The 2020 recreational striped bass season closes Dec. 10 for the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Anglers will still be able to fish in the bay but will have to practice catch and release. In the tidal Potomac River, anglers will be able to catch and keep two striped bass at a minimum of 20 inches until Dec. 31.
Those looking for a little winter outdoor fun and some good eating can recreationally catch their own oysters. If you have a boat and a set of you’re good to go. Drifting in the shallows with clear water one can often spot individual oysters and collect them with a miniature set of tongs called nippers.
Trolling has been but it takes heavy tackle to deal with the even heavier inline weights needed to get umbrella rigs and tandem rigged parachutes down to where the fish are holding. Chartreuse is the color of choice for most teasers and trailers on umbrella rigs or tandem-rigged bucktails.
The western side of the shipping channel is also providing some trolling opportunities. The channel edge near Thomas Point and the edge from Chesapeake Beach south past Parkers Creek has been getting the attention of those trolling umbrella rigs and bucktails.
When the surrounding waters become a bit frigid, the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant warm-water discharge always gets the attention of fish nosing into the warm can hold particularly true for species such as speckled sea trout and puppy drum that most likely wish they’d left Maryland waters and headed south earlier with their buddies. That said, anglers are also attracted to this site and will continue to be through the winter months. Drifting in the current and jigging with soft plastics or metal close to the bottom is how to fish this area, and it must be . The number of boats and engine noise as well as depth finders pinging away can all have detrimental effects on fishing success.
There has also been plenty of action on the west side of the lower bay. The mouth of the Patuxent, the area from Point No Lookout and Smith Point has been a great place to jig or troll for striped bass suspended off the bottom in some of the deeper channel edges ranging from 30 feet to 40 feet deep. Those fishing the lower Potomac can keep two 20-inch striped bass until December 31.
White perch are now holding in 40 feet of water or more as they seek out slightly warmer water to hunker down for the winter months. It may take a couple of ounces of metal weights to hold a bottom rig to catch them with pieces of bloodworm. Fishing for blue catfish is very good this time of the year and they can be found in the tidal waters of the Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers.