Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fishing Report

Striped bass fishing in the Potomac River from the Route 301 Bridge south to the St. Marys River has been good and should continue. Trolling along the steeper channel edges with tandem rigged bucktails dressed with twister tails is working well. Umbrella rigs with bucktails or swimshads as trailers are also favorites. There is also some spotty striped bass trolling going on along the shipping channel edges and in the Patuxent River.

There has been a little bit of live-lining activity along the steep channel edge between St. George Island and Piney Point in the lower Potomac River. A few anglers are trying to chum off of Point Lookout for a mix of striped bass and bluefish with the added hope of luring a cobia into a chum slick. Cownose rays are one of the most uninvited guests to chum slicks in the region lately.

Spot are spread out along both sides of the bay. The lower Patuxent River, the mouth of the Honga River, and Tangier Sound are a few of the most popular areas to fish with pieces of bloodworm. Some of the spot are now getting large enough to consider as table fare. White perch are mixed in at these same locations and every tidal river and creek in the region.

Fishing for speckled trout continues to be extremely good with most of the action occurring from Hoopers Island south to Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. Casting pink, white, or pearl/sparkle combinations with soft plastic swimbaits have been the best producing lures to use, as are Gulp baits. In the early morning and late evening hours, casting Zara Spooks over grass or stump fields is a fun way to catch speckled trout and a few striped bass.

Cobia are steadily moving into the region and a few are being caught by chumming or sight casting with live eels or large soft plastic jigs. The Middle Grounds to the Target Ship and Point Lookout are traditional locations to look for them. Large red drum are being caught and released in the Tangier Sound area by jigging or trolling large spoons.

Bluefish are becoming more common in the region and their numbers will most likely increase this month. Right now they are being caught while chumming or live-lining and by trolling with spoons or hose lures. Spanish mackerel are showing up now and then for those trolling small Drone spoons at a faster clip, or as incidental catches when fishing for striped bass. Flounder are also making an appearance in the Tangier Sound area along channel edges.

Recreational crabbing is fairly good in the middle bay region with most being able to catch close to a full bushel per outing of nice heavy crabs. Fortunes increase in the lower bay where most report there is no trouble catching a full bushel of crabs. Razor clams are being used as bait by an increasing number of crabbers and most consider them worth the cost and trouble. As most anglers know, bait is usually the cheapest part of the expenses when going fishing or crabbing.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Fishing Report


Fishing for speckled trout has been extremely good along the Eastern Shore marshes in about 5 feet of water over grass beds. Speckled trout are also showing up on the western shore near Point Lookout and Cornfield Harbor and the mouth of the Patuxent River. White and pearl sparkle combinations of soft plastic swimbaits and other lures are working well and scented Gulp baits are always a proven winner.

Although the bulk of the cobia are being caught below the Virginia state line, it won’t be long before they tip toe into Maryland and will be found from the Middle Grounds up past the Target Ship. Sight fishing and casting live eels or large, soft plastic swimbaits and jigs is a popular way to target them. Chumming is an old standby but with the abundance of cownose rays being attracted to chum slicks, it can be a difficult proposition.  


Spanish mackerel are becoming more common for those who are trolling at a good clip with small Drone and Clark spoons. Trolling at slower speeds with large spoons in the general area of the Target Ship north to the Little Choptank area can result in some exciting catch-and-release action with large red drum.


Striped bass are mixed in with the speckled trout in many areas and provide plenty of fun fishing action for light-tackle anglers. Topwater lures are a favorite way to fish for both species during the early morning and evening hours. Jigging along channel edges is a good option for striped bass, when they can be found suspended. Trolling is a popular option along channel edges using umbrella rigs with inline weights to get them down to where the fish are holding. The steep channel edge from St. Georges Island to Piney Point continues to be a popular place to find striped bass. Some are chumming at these same locations with a mixed take of striped bass, bluefish, and blue catfish, while others are live-lining spot with good success.


Spot can now be found in the mouth of the Patuxent River, Tangier and Pocomoke sounds, and the shallower areas off Hoopers Island. Most of the spot are small, which is good for live-lining, but not enough to eat. Flounder can be found along channel edges in the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. White perch are holding in just about all of the tidal rivers and creeks of the region and will hold there through the summer months. Abundant numbers of blue catfish can be found in the Nanticoke, Patuxent, and Potomac rivers. Fresh cut bait and clam snouts make excellent baits.

Recreational crabbers are working hard to catch a good bushel of crabs this week. The best catches are coming from the lower bay region, especially on the eastern side. One can catch a full bushel of crabs per outing in the middle bay region but it just might take a little longer. Razor clams are the most popular bait since they do pull in crabs, but chicken necks can work just fine. Many are reporting that the crabs tend to be deep.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Fishing Report

Trolling for striped bass in the lower Potomac along the channel edge from Piney Point south to Cornfield Harbor has been productive. Umbrella rigs behind inline weights with white bucktails dressed with white sassy shads or twister tails have offered a favorite trailer, as do Drone spoons in chartreuse and gold color combinations. Bluefish are becoming more common in the mix. Anglers are reminded that the creel limit for bluefish has changed this year. The daily creel limit is now 3 per day if fishing from shore or a private boat and 5 per day if fishing on a charter boat. The minimum size is 8 inches.

Some of the most exciting fishing action this week is on the eastern side of the bay from Hoopers Island south through Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. Anglers are catching a mix of striped bass and speckled trout in the shallower grassy areas along marsh edges in about 5 feet of water. Casting poppers and Zara Spooks offers fun in the morning and evening hours. Casting a variety of 4-inch to 5-inch soft plastics on white or pearl and chartreuse sparkle combinations has been very productive.  

Large red drum continue to show up for some fun catch-and-release action for those trolling large spoons near the Middle Grounds and up to the Target Ship. Jigging can also be a very effective way to catch them when spotted on depth finders or under slicks. Cobia are becoming more common in Virginia this week but a few have crossed the Maryland line and are being caught by those sight-casting live eels or large soft plastic jigs.

Small spot are being caught on hard bottom areas at the mouth of the Patuxent River and in the Tangier Sound area. White perch can be caught in the same areas on the same bloodworm baits. A mix of channel and blue catfish can also be found in the same areas and caught on clam snouts or cut bait. White perch are in the many tidal creeks of the lower bay and can provide lots of fun light-tackle action.

Recreational crabbing is steadily picking up this week. As one might expect, the best crabbing is occurring in the lower bay, especially the eastern side. A full bushel of good crabs is fairly common per outing there. In the middle bay, one can catch a full bushel if they work at it and once again the eastern side of the bay tends to offer the best success. Razor clams continue to be the most productive bait with chicken necks working just fine most of the time.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Fishing Report

Striped bass fishing in the lower bay is being described as a bit slow, as legal-sized fish are tough to find. There has been some trolling success along the steep channel edge between Piney Point and St. Georges Island for those trolling umbrella rigs. Use bucktails dressed with curly tails or sassy shads in white and chartreuse as trailers.

Anglers have been working shallow structure areas such as Cedar Point Light, the targets and shoreline areas in the lower Patuxent, and the Point Lookout area with topwater, paddle tails, and soft plastic jigs in the morning and evening hours. On the eastern side of the bay, the cuts through Hoopers Island have been good places to jig. A fair portion of the striped bass come up short of the minimum size but there are plenty of legal fish to catch.

Perhaps the biggest news on the eastern side of the bay is the good fishing for speckled trout. A few striped bass are also in the mix. There are black drum and red drum in the region and they can be caught on soft or peeler crab baits.

White perch can be found in all of the region’s tidal rivers and creeks. Casting small spinnerbaits, spinners, and small curly-tail jigs all offer a fun way to catch them on light tackle near shoreline structure. Fishing with grass shrimp under a bobber or on a simple bottom rig also works well.

There are plenty of blue catfish to be caught in many of the Chesapeake’s tidal rivers. The tidal Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers offer some of the highest concentrations. In the tidal Potomac, the stretch from the Wilson Bridge down past the Route 301 Bridge offers the best places to fish. The Benedict area of the Patuxent and the area near Sharpstown on the Nanticoke are the center of blue catfish activity. Fresh cut baits of gizzard shad, bluegill sunfish, or white perch make excellent baits.

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

Striped bass fishing in the Potomac River from the Route 301 Bridge south to the St. Marys River has been good and should continue. Trollin...