Capt. Phil Hughes
I have fished the Chesapeake Bay literally all my life. My grandfather was a Chesapeake Bay waterman from Fleeton, just outside Reedville, Va., and from him, I learned to love the Bay and its abundant sea life. Some of my earliest memories are of fishing from Granddaddy’s deadrise workboat. At a very young age, especially by today’s standards, I would row a wooden skiff out to the mouth of the Great Wicomico River to fish for spot, croakers or gray trout. I always kept a spinning rod rigged with a small Tony Aceta spoon to cast for breaking stripers or bluefish.
As an adult, I have fished from the Bay Bridge near Annapolis to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel just off Virginia Beach. But for the last 30 years, I have concentrated on fishing the lower Bay near Gwynn’s Island. I have owned a waterfront home there since 1985, and I know those waters well. Catching stripers, speckled trout, bluefish, or croakers on either light tackle or a flyrod has always been my favorite method.
In 1997, I became licensed by the Coast Guard as an official Captain. I retired from the world of finance at the end of 2002, thus providing the time to do what I really love – taking people fishing on my beloved Chesapeake Bay. And we certainly do catch a lot of fish.
Shad fishing at the fall line of he James River during the spring spawning season has been a passion of mine since the early 1960’s, especially fishing for them with a fly rod. The fishery has rebounded strongly in recent years, and the days of catching 30 or more fish per person are routine.
I love to fish myself, but I get even more pleasure from taking others and enabling them to have a good day’s catch.
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