Fishing the Chesapeake by Lenny Rudow

Fishing the Chesapeake

I tend to stick to novels and books of short stories in my reviews, but in light of an impending move to Maryland I have been a) really busy and can’t binge novels, and b) have been obsessing over fishing the Bay once more. It is in that context that I have poured over Lenny Rudow’s Fishing the Chesapeake with the same level of rigor and belief a conspiracy theorist brings to dissecting the illuminati symbols in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” I’ll be posting two other fishing-book reviews, but I’m starting with Rudow because this is the all around best book on fishing the Chesapeake I’ve found.

Rudow’s guide is a wealth of information about any and everything related to fishing the Chesapeake. Part I gives a detailed overview of all the different MD and VA tributaries and bay-proper waters from the Connowingo Dam south to the CBBT. Pat II is an impressive breakdown of tips and tricks surrounding various tactics– from trolling to chumming to jigging. Part III adds some filler by describing the various species of fish. I found this last section a bit tedious– nothing too eye-opening, but still fun to read once you’ve read and re-read all of Parts I and II.

The most useful aspect of this book, by a country mile, are Rudow’s detailed “hotspots” for each and every section of the bay. These are labeled on reproduced depth charts and then narrated in the descriptions. For example, I’m dying to get out to “The Puppy Hole” to the west of Janes Island in the Tangier Sound. The maps are a bit hard to read and the labeling system is downright confounding— but if you’re willing to squint and cock your head to the side, you’ll figure it out. You’ll need more accurate and recent charts to safely navigate the waters— I wouldn’t rely on the book for that.

Tight lines, as the fisherfolk say–

Availability:  USMAI, COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Shane D. Hall
Rating:  Highly Recommended

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