Yes yes, I know, live spot are striped bass candy, but those fish don't always act like we think they're going to and we have the proof—in this episode of Got Bait? we caught a livewell full of spot and then tried live-baiting them in a half-dozen different areas of the middle Chesapeake Bay. The results were, in a word, weird.

striped bass

What did the guys have to do to get a striped bass on the line? Let's just say it was NOT normal. Watch Got Bait? Episode II, to find out why.

At first, the spot went untouched. Then a few spot got hit, but not eaten. In what had to be the most bizarre fish behavior I've ever experienced on the bay, the spot then went on to swim around in bluefish-infested waters without getting eaten. Time and again we caught blues on different lures, but they didn't want to eat those spot.

You don't believe it? Watch the episode, and see the proof for yourself.


Crazy, you say? Yes. Strange beyond belief? Youbetcha. Unbelievable? If I hadn't seen it first-hand, I'd call myself a liar. It's worth noting, however, that the fish were acting strange in other ways, as well. My favorite hot-spot had been red-hot the week before, but on this day, it was as barren as the Sahara. We went to an area in Eastern Bay where fish had been breaking water a mere 12 hours earlier, and found it, too, was abandoned. And at one point we encountered fish breaking water in a feeding frenzy, out in the middle of open water where there was no fish-attracting structure within a mile.

We didn't really intend for Got Bait? to be a learning experience, but it's certainly turned out to be one. In the first two episodes, the fish haven't failed to surprise us. And for once, we have the proof—it's all on film. So the next time you can't buy a bite with live spot or the fish are otherwise acting down-right weird, shift gears and try a different tactic. Or, try moving on to another hotspot. Learn to expect the unexpected. And carry more than one type of fish-candy on your boat, because you never know when those fish are going to turn their nose up at their own favorite meals.

Want to see more? Check out Got Bait? Episode I: The Hunt for Flounder.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld,, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.