Friday, May 29, 2020

Fishing Report


Trolling along the shipping channel edges continues to be the most popular way to fish for the large trophy-sized striped bass. Most boats are trolling a mixed spread of large parachutes and bucktails dressed with large sassy shads in white and chartreuse. Umbrella rigs are also a common part of each trolling spread.

The west side of the shipping channel from Thomas Point south to Chesapeake Beach, Breezy Point and Parkers Creek is a popular area to troll.

Trolling spreads are often a mix of large parachutes and bucktails dressed with sassy shads in tandem, and umbrella rigs with medium-sized trailers or larger offerings. White tends to be a productive color. White has been edging out chartreuse as the most productive color for parachutes and bucktails dressed with sassy shads of matching colors.

There are other ways to fish for striped bass and those who love their light-tackle jigging are finding action. White perch have moved into their summer locations in the region’s tidal rivers and creeks and provide fishing opportunities off of docks and shoreline structure.

The first croaker, spot, speckled trout, and bluefish are making a presence and there was even a report of a Spanish mackerel caught in the lower bay. Large red drum are being caught as well as flounder.

Those looking for a trophy striped bass are trolling along the steep shipping channel edges in front of Cove Point, Point Lookout, and the steep channel edge near St. George’s Island in the lower Potomac River. Large parachutes and bucktails dressed with equally large sassy shads pulled in tandem behind planer boards or as a flat line are effective; white has been a favored color. Umbrella rigs are usually part of every spread and are often fished deeper with heavy inline weights. Some are placing large spoons into their trolling spreads for the large red drum in the area.

Jigging  with soft plastics for striped bass has been good along channel edges and structure.. Most of the striped bass caught by jigging are between 19 inches and 26 inches. A few boats are chumming and are attracting medium-sized striped bass along with catfish, although this also attracts cownose rays.

Fishing for white perch has been very good in the tidal rivers and creeks. Most are casting small spinnerbaits and beetle spins near shoreline structure. Using bottom rigs baited with grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm near docks and piers or deeper areas is also a good option. Croakers, spot, and speckled trout can now be part of the mix when fishing with bait. The mouth of the Patuxent River and the lower Potomac River near Piney Point are two places showing the best catches of croaker.

Speckled trout have moved into the region and although some can be caught near Point Lookout, the area of Pocomoke and Tangier sounds is producing the most action. Casting swimshads and similar soft plastics with light jig heads or small jerkbaits in the shallow areas has been working well for speckled trout. Drifting peeler crab baits at the mouths of small tidal creeks draining from the marshes has also been an excellent way to catch speckled trout. 

Large red drum are being caught by drifting peeler crab baits at creek mouths and some are within the 18-inch to 27-inch legal slot size. Flounder continue to be found along channel edges and drop-offs near shallow flats in the Pocomoke and Tangier sounds. White or pink Gulp baits or squid have been working well.

Recreational crabbing is slowly gaining speed, there is currently the first shed of the season occurring. The best crabbing is being seen in the lower Eastern Shore this week. The 2020 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey results were recently released and are available online.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

We Are Open Today Wednesday, May 27, 2020

g. Operating Requirements.

i. All businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities that are permitted to be open under this paragraph III shall comply with:

1. applicable Local Orders; 
2. applicable Secretary’s Directives; 
3. applicable social distancing guidance published by CDC and MDH; and
4. orders issued by the applicable Local Health Officer pursuant to the Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland Number 20-0405-02, dated April 5, 2020, entitled “Delegating Authority to Local Officials to Control and Close Unsafe Facilities”, as it may be amended from time to time.

ii. For avoidance of doubt, Retail Establishments shall continue to comply with the Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland Number 20-0415-01, dated April 15, 2020, entitled “Requiring Use of Face Coverings Under Certain Circumstances and Requiring Implementation of Certain Physical Distancing Measures”, as it may be amended from time to time (the “Face Coverings Order”).

iii. Any business, organization, establishment, or facility in the State of Maryland may require its customers over the age of two, visitors over the age of two, and/or staff to wear Face Coverings (as defined in the Face Coverings Order).  A business, organization, establishment, or facility that elects to do so shall post signage at each entrance advising customers, visitors, and/or staff about such requirement.

b. Retail Establishments.   

Subject to applicable Local Orders, effective as of 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020, retail businesses, organizations, establishments, and facilities in the State of Maryland that principally sell goods (“Retail Establishments”) may open to the general public, provided, however, that the total number of persons permitted in a Retail Establishment at any one time shall not exceed 50% of that Retail Establishment’s Maximum Occupancy (defined below).  

c. Manufacturing.  

Subject to applicable Local Orders, effective as of 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020, all manufacturing businesses and facilities in the State of Maryland may open.
d. Certain Personal Services.   

i. Subject to applicable Local Orders and paragraph III.d.ii below, effective as of 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2020, the following establishments in the State of Maryland (“Personal Services Establishments”) may open to the general public:  

1. beauty salons, but only to provide hair services and provide hair services—blow drying, as described in Title 5 of the Business Occupations Article of the Maryland Code; and 

2. barber shops.  

ii. All customers over the age of two are required to wear Face Coverings (as defined in the Face Coverings Order (defined below)) while inside any Personal Services Establishment, except to the extent wearing a Face Covering would make it impossible for services to be performed.  All Personal Services Establishments shall: 

1. require staff to wear Face Coverings while in areas open to the general public and areas in which interaction with other staff is likely; 

2. provide services on an appointment basis only; 

Fishing Report

This region is offering some of the best opportunities to catch a trophy striped bass. The west side of the shipping channel from the Parkers Creek area north past Breezy Point, Chesapeake Beach, and past Thomas Point to Hacketts Point have been excellent places to troll for striped bass. The east side of the shipping channel from the Brick House Bar to Bloody Point, south past Buoy 83 to the CP Buoy should not be overlooked.


Trolling spreads of large parachutes and bucktails dressed with equally large sassy shads rigged in tandem behind planer boards are popular as always. Umbrella rigs with parachute or bucktail trailers have also been part of most trolling spreads, and medium-sized lures are mixed in for smaller striped bass. 


White perch are providing plenty of fun and rewarding fishing in the tidal rivers and creeks of the middle bay. They can now be found near docks and piers, breakwaters at harbor entrances, fallen treetops, and similar shoreline structure. When fishing near docks and piers, a small sinker, a single hook, and a piece of bloodworm or a grass shrimp is hard to beat when fished tight to the dock or pier. Casting small spinners, curly tail jigs, spinnerbaits, or small rattle trap lures near shoreline structure can offer lots of fun light-tackle action.

The steep channel edge in front of St. George’s Island in the lower Potomac River is also a location that is getting a lot of attention. Potomac River regulations concerning striped bass can be found on the Potomac River Fisheries Commission website.

Fishing for blue catfish continues to attract a lot of anglers to the tidal Potomac River from the Wilson Bridge down to the Bushwood area at the mouth of the Wicomico River. Most all who fish for them are easily catching as many as they need. Fresh cut bait remains the preferred bait. On the Eastern Shore, the Nanticoke River in the Sharptown-Marshyhope area is productive to fish for blue catfish, and they are becoming more common in the Wicomico and Pocomoke rivers.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Maryland Striped Bass Conservation Regulations Set for Spring 2020

Maryland Spring Trophy Season Begins May 1

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced new striped bass conservation measures for the Spring 2020 fishing season to meet a coast-wide conservation target. 

The 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass indicated declines, so the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has determined that conservation measures are needed for the 2020 fishing season. ASMFC is a management entity comprising 15 member states on the East Coast, including Maryland.

The conservation goal set by ASMFC is to reduce the total number of striped bass that are killed by fishing activities. This means reducing the number of fish that are harvested and the number of fish that die after being caught and returned to the water, known as dead discards. 

Maryland’s management changes follow numerous meetings and discussions with stakeholders and a month-long public comment period, and were developed using the best available science and decades of experience. Measures for spring are designed to protect large migratory spawning fish as they enter the bay. The implementation plan was reviewed and approved by ASMFC’s Striped Bass Technical Committee and the ASMFC Board on Feb. 4.

In addition to a cut in the commercial quota, targeting of striped bass by the recreational sector will be prohibited starting April 1 — including a prohibition of trolling — and the spring trophy season will be delayed until May 1. Limits are one fish per person at a 35-inch minimum. These rules will be in effect until May 16. The full regulations can be viewed on DNR’s website.

The department will also move forward with conservation options for the summer and fall seasons in the 2020 Implementation Plan. Measures in the summer and fall are designed to reduce mortality caused by high temperatures and low oxygen in the water. The department will announce a public comment schedule for those regulations in the coming weeks. 

In 2018, the department raised concerns about the problem of discard mortality with ASMFC. This resulted in Maryland being authorized to adopt a decreased minimum size from 20 to 19 inches. In addition, Maryland took unilateral action to require the use of circle hooks when chumming and live lining. Circle hooks are an effective conservation measure because they significantly reduce “gut hooking” that leads to discard mortality. ASMFC has now asked all other states to follow Maryland’s lead and enact this policy.  

DNR also launched and is continuing to expand a statewide educational outreach program to assure compliance with these regulations. The department also instituted a system of advisories for anglers on hot days where both water and air temperatures could increase the likelihood of stress on striped bass. 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

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Fishing Report

Trolling along the shipping channel edges continues to be the most popular way to fish for the large trophy-sized striped bass. Most boats...