Captains Log February 07′

The 2006 Chesapeake Bay Charter fishing season for MISS SUSIE CHARTERS was an excellent one, with a very busy schedule and great fishing.  Because of our loyal and valued customers, 2006 was a record year for MISS SUSIE CHARTERS, running more charters in one year than the business has ever done in its more than 15 year history.  That is quite an accomplishment considering the industry was in a serious slump in 2006.  Enough cannot be said about the importance of and how deeply appreciated our very special customers are.  We at MISS SUSIE CHARTERS plan to continue to provide top quality fishing charters and treat all of our customers with respect and courtesey, ensuring that these same valued customers will continue to support us and enjoy all we have to offer for years to come.

In an effort to improve upon the services that we provide the “Miss Susie” will be a much different boat in 2007 than it has been in the past.  We are currently starting the project of converting the “Miss Susie” from a twin motor boat to a single motor boat.  This will vastly increase deck space aboard the “Miss Susie” as well as make her a knot or two faster.  Instead of two fairly large motor boxes which the boat has had for years, she will now have just one motor box positioned in the center of the deck.  This will allow for passengers to stand and fish against the rail all the way around the outside area of the boat.  Because of the two large motor boxes this was not possible before, so what this basically means is that the “Miss Susie” is now much better suited to entertain large groups (8 to 16 passengers) than she was before.  For all of my long time customers, you will be amazed at the difference this transition will make.

Also, important to note, I, Capt. Greg Buckner recently acquired FIN FINDER CHARTERS from Capt. Sonney Forrest.  The “Fin Finder” is a luxourious 46ft Markley licensed to carry up to 30 passengers decked out with the latest and greatest in electronics and fishing equiptment.  Capt. Sonney Forrest (owner and operator for over twenty years) will continue to run the majority of the charters for at least the next three years.  Capt. Andrew Turner, a good friend of mine and occasional fill-in mate aboard the “Miss Susie” will be serving as full time first mate and fill in Capt. aboard the “Fin Finder” for the next few seasons.  Whenever there are situations where fishing parties need two boats to accomadate large crews or if MISS SUSIE CHARTERS is already booked for a certain day, you can rest assured that you will be in good hands aboard the “Fin Finder” with Capt. Sonney and Capt. Andrew.  Also, Capt. Andrew Turner and myself (Capt. Greg) will be moving the “Fin Finder” south to VA Beach in mid to late December to take advantage of the amazing fishing opportunities available in the Ocean Winter Striper Season.  We will be fishing down there through early to mid February.  Plan early, so you don’t miss this opportunity.  We will be offering package deals which include two days fishing and one night’s lodging.

Now we have discussed the boats for 2007, lets talk about what new for fishing in 2007 aboard the “Miss Susie” and the “Fin Finder”……..

Because we are losing six days of our Trophy Season in 2007, I have decided to offer something new this season.  What I am offering is Pre-Season, Catch & Release, Light Tackle Trolling charters from April 13th thru April 20th.  We will be using light tackle spinning rods and reels spooled with braided line to troll for the monster Spring Trophy Rockfish while there is little to no fishing pressure on the fish before the season opens.  We will be trolling 16 lines all rigged with single parachute and shad baits (no UMBRELLAS).  The use of Planar Boards and Down Riggers will let us get away with using un-weighted lines (no Big In-line Sinkers).  Also, because we are using such light tackle and the set up of our spread, after a fish is hooked up the boat will have to slow to a crawl.  This means you get to fight your Spring Trophy with the boat barley moving so it is just you and the fish.  Surely landing a 30″ to 50″ Striper in this fashion will be an accomplishment to be remembered forever.  If you and your crew are interested in one of these trips, just let me know.  I am offering a 6am and a 1pm charter and the trips will be 5 to 6 hours in length and there will be no limit on how many fish we can catch and release.  Dates for these trips are booking up already, don’t miss your chance to give this a try.

Cobia Fishing in late June in the Bay Bridge Tunnel Area, departing from Salt Ponds Marina.  Cobia are a very hard fighting and powerful fish that look like a cross between a shark and a catfish.  They enter into the very lower Chesapeake Bay every June to spawn, and we catch them while on anchor with spinning rods, using a mixture of cut baits and live baits to catch them.  While fishing for Cobia it is common to catch a wide variety of species including Red Drum, Sharks, Rays and much more.  We will be in the Hampton, VA area Cobia fishing from June 19th thru June 28.  Because Cobia are a very unpredictable fish we encourage our parties to book two days back to back vastly improving our odds of everyone landing a Cobia.

VA Beach Winter Ocean Fishing aboard the “Fin Finder” with Capt. Greg and Capt. Andrew.  It was already mentioned above, but if you have not tried it you would not believe it.  Winter Ocean fishing is the one time all year when the entire East Coast Stock of Trophy Striped Bass school up in massive numbers feeding on baitfish off of the VA Beach coast.  Many days the Stripers are so thich that jigging for them is just as effective as trolling.  We will be offering package deals which include; a day one charter departing around 10 AM and returning sometime before dark, hotel rooms (2 per room), and a day two charter departing around 6 AM and returning some time early afternoon.  These dates will also begin booking soon, so gather your crew up and get them excited about trying something new.  Mid December thru Mid February.

I was going to give a fishing year in review, but this Report has already got too long winded, so look foward to seeing it soon as a new Report.

Thank You Very Much to All of My Customers, may God Bless You and Your Families in 2007,

Capt. Greg Buckner