Anglers in the lower bay are targeting a wide variety of species — striped bass, Spanish mackerel, cobia, red drum, bluefish, and speckled trout, as well as bottom fishing for flounder, spot, and white perch.
Striped bass are being caught in the lower Potomac River by those trolling spoons, bucktails, and diving crankbaits. They are also being caught by live-lining spot along the channel edge between St. Georges Island and Piney Point. Many are of good size at 5 pounds or better. Smaller striped bass are in the mix with bluefish and Spanish mackerel chasing bay anchovies. If one jigs under the surface action close to the bottom, larger striped bass can often be caught. One may also get hooked up to a large red drum, which has the habit of lurking underneath breaking fish.
Trolling gold Drone and Clark spoons has been a very popular way to catch Spanish mackerel this week, both are being pulled at a fast clip behind #1 and #2 planers or heavy inline weights. The eastern side of the shipping channel, the mouth of the Patuxent and off Point Lookout have been three of the best places to troll for them.
There has been a flurry of cobia activity near the Target Ship for the past week and they are mostly being caught by sight fishing and casting live eels or large soft plastic jigs. This fishery will not last long so if a cobia is on your list, don’t miss out on the action right now.
The shallow-water fishery for speckled trout continues to be a real treat for light-tackle anglers who enjoy fishing the shallower areas along marsh edges, prominent points and grass beds. Most are casting white or pink with light jig heads. At times, striped bass and puppy drum can be part of the mix. Drifting peeler crab or soft crab baits on a good ebbing tide in the creeks and guts that drain from the marshes of the Eastern Shore is a productive way to fish for speckled trout with the bonus of a slot size red drum now and then.
Fishing for a mix of spot and white perch with a few speckled trout mixed in has been extremely good, particularly at the mouth of the Patuxent, the Point Lookout area, Tangier Sound, and the mouth of the Honga River. Many of the spot are now sized to offer fun fishing and great table fare. Pieces of bloodworm on a bottom rig are the most popular bait but peeler crab can work well. Fishing for flounder in the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds has been good for those who target them along hard bottom shoal areas next to channels.
September often is what one might call the zenith of the recreational crabbing season, and this week is just that. Crabs are filling out from last week’s big shed and are at their seasonal peak size and abundance. Reports from all regions of the bay speak of bountiful catches of heavy crabs. Many of the best catches tend to be coming from shallower waters, and razor clams continue to be the most favored bait.