The lower Potomac River is once again one of the better locations to fish for striped bass. The steep channel edge between Piney Point and St. Georges Island continues to offer good fishing for striped bass. Most anglers are live-lining spot with very good results, while others are chumming. A fair portion of the striped bass being caught are undersized so anglers are urged to be careful when releasing them since they hold the future of striped bass fishing this fall and next year. Please visit the DNR website for responsible catch-and-release procedures and for tips on using circle hooks.
The lower Patuxent River and edges of the shipping channel are also offering good live-lining action for striped bass, when fish can be located on depth finders. Trolling can be a good option when striped bass are spread out along channel edges. Most anglers are using umbrella rigs pulled behind inline weights to get them down to the depths where the fish are holding. Trolling small Drone spoons behind inline weights and bucktails behind umbrella rigs is another tactic. Bluefish are steadily moving into the region and in the coming weeks will become more of the fishing mix.
Jigging along channel edges where fish can be suspended is always an option. Casting topwater lures, paddletails, and jerkbaits along shoreline structure and the shallower grass flats of the Eastern Shore and the Tangier Sound area is a fun and productive way to fish for a mix of speckled trout and striped bass. Speckled trout fishing has been a bit off lately due to cooler weather, but with hot weather in the forecast the success is expected to increase.
The cobia season has gotten off to a relatively slow start in Maryland waters, but a few fish are being caught at the Middle Grounds and Target Ship areas. Most anglers are setting up chum slicks and drifting live eels back in the slick. Large red drum are in the eastern side of the Bay around Tangier Sound and continue to provide some exciting catch-and-release action.
Fishing for blue catfish in the lower Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers is very good this week. Based on observations in other tidal rivers, it is a good bet many of the blue catfish may have moved downriver. The channel edges are among the better places to fish, and cut fish and other baits will entice them to a hookup.
Fishing for white perch is good and a fun experience for young and older anglers. They can be found near docks and piers in the tidal rivers and creeks of the lower Bay. They can also be found on oyster bottom in the lower Patuxent River and Eastern Shore areas from Hoopers Island south through Tangier Sound. Bottom rigs baited with grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm work well in deeper waters and casting small jigs and spinners are a fun way to catch them in the morning and evening hours along shoreline structure.
Recreational crabbing continues to move along at a rather slow pace but it is definitely worth the effort to go out and catch your own. Current market price is about $165 for a half bushel for large crabs if you can find them. Most knowledgeable crabbers in a good area can usually come up with a healthy half bushel per outing. Be sure to check the new Maryland blue crab fishing regulations that will be effective July 1.