Some friends and I just got back from a canoing/camping/fishing trip on the Otter One platform off the Roanoke. Awesome time but the fishing was really strange. We caught a few stripers off the bank but that was it.
While in the canoes we were clearly among them at various times. We saw them rising all around us (mostly in the center channel) and even saw their stripes out of the water. But when this happened they wouldn't hit *anything* we threw at them. Between the four of us we fished grubs, bucktail jigs, jigging spoons, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimming fish, beetle spins, and more. No hits. It was so strange.
Any thoughts on why? I'm leaning toward the theory that they were in the middle of actually spawning and not interested in feeding. Maybe slapping the surface is part of spawning or something?
This mostly happened in Broad Creek and we had no live bait. Why did they ignore us?!
Describe what you saw...was it pretty violent thrashing on the surface and obviously something being eaten or fish quietly porpoising on the surface. If it was the latter, you were seeing gar gulp air.
If you saw several fish around a single larger fish, they were in the act of spawning. It's commonly known as a "rock fight". Several males will gather around a female toward the surface and agitate her. That stimulates her to release her eggs into the current. You should then see the water have white clouds around the smaller males which is the sperm. The eggs are fertilized and tumble in the current. They will hatch in about two days if they tumble at the right speed.