Friday, April 16, 2021

Fishing Report

Catfish have been reported biting steadily at Abel's Wharf, Breton Bay, Bushwood Pier, and many other locations north of St. George Island.

Fresh water fishing is excellent at St. Mary's Lake with bass, crappie, and yellow perch eager to take lures and night crawler and live minnow baits. Bluegill and various breams love live crickets fished from the shore using a bobber.

The mild weather and sparse rainfall should make the crabs season begin early. The high spring tides have begun and the shoreline grasses are greening up quickly. The crabs and white perch will be active in the creeks by the end of next week.

There are plenty of blue catfish to be found in the tidal Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers this week and conditions could hardly be better for targeting them. The rivers have warmed up enough to cause them to be very active along channel edges during the daytime hours. It does not take rocket science to catch them, just some stout tackle and some fresh bait. Stout tackle is a good idea since a fair number of the blue catfish being encountered can weigh 40 pounds or more. Fresh gizzard shad or white perch make ideal baits when combined with large circle hooks and enough weight to hold bottom. Channel catfish can be found in these same rivers and most every other tidal river within the region. 

The tidal Potomac within the boundaries of the District of Columbia continues to be a very popular place to enjoy the exciting catch-and-release action with hickory shad and also American shad. Large numbers of hickory shad have arrived in the past week and the action is at its peak, so anglers are urged not to miss this event. This section of the river is easily fished from kayaks or one can rent a rowboat at Fletcher’s Landing. Fishing from shore is easily done but the best spots tend to be taken rather quickly. Casting shad darts of enough weight to get close to the bottom in the strong current is necessary and fishing with tandem rigged shad darts or tying in a small spoon is very common. Although not as common as the hickory shad, larger American shad are also part of the mix.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Fishing Report

The main stem of the Potomac River is open to catch-and-release during April, but anglers need to take note that the Maryland tributaries to the Potomac are closed during that time. 

Perhaps some of the most exciting news is the arrival of American and hickory shad in the upper section of the tidal Potomac within the boundaries of Washington D.C. A few were caught last week and recent warmer weather has encouraged more shad to move into the area. The area near Fletcher’s Boat House tends to be ground zero for this fishery and there is good parking and row boat rentals available there. Casting shad darts heavy enough to get down close to the bottom are in order, either from small boats and kayaks or from shore. Small flashy spoons and flies are also a good option. This is strictly a catch-and-release fishery and offers a lot of fun if done correctly. 

Fishing for blue catfish is on the top of the list for many anglers on the tidal Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers this week. They offer plenty of action and make great table fare. Channel catfish are holding in all of the region’s tidal rivers and creeks and also offer fun fishing. Fresh cut bait of white perch or gizzard shad make excellent baits and nightcrawlers; clam snouts and chicken liver can work well for channel catfish.

Fishing for white perch remains good in the upper reaches of all of the tidal rivers and creeks within the lower bay region. Casting small shad darts tipped with grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm or minnow work well. The traditional locations can be very popular on weekends, but often the white perch locations on the eastern side of the bay are less so. 

Northern snakeheads are beginning to move about and feed, especially on those warm sunny afternoons. The creeks that flow into the tidal Potomac as well as the Patuxent and Eastern Shore rivers are all places to fish for snakeheads. Many are fishing large minnows under a bobber while also casting white paddle trails near shoreline structure.

The upper Potomac is expected to bump up this week due to rain runoff, but should settle down by the weekend. Anglers have been experiencing good fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye, and that success should continue. Soft plastic jigs, small crankbaits, and live minnows have been popular baits. 

Largemouth bass are showing aggressive pre-spawn feeding behavior in areas between the shallows and deeper waters. Grass beds are beginning to show some growth but are still sparse, so any kind of cover is sure to hold fish. Fallen treetops and any kind of submerged wood is a good bet, as are creek mouths. Small crankbaits, soft plastics, grubs, jerkbaits, and spinnerbaits are all excellent choices. In many areas, northern snakeheads will pursue these same lures meant for largemouth bass.

Crappie are becoming more active and have moved into shallower areas, out of the deeper waters where they spent the winter. They can be found near fallen treetops, sunken brush, marina docks, and bridge piers. Small minnows or marabou jigs under a bobber is a good way to target them. Bluegill sunfish are also active and moving into shallow areas where they will be spawning soon.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Striped Bass Fishing Regulations

 

Regulations Issued for 2021 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Fishing

March 29, 2021

Conservation Measures Include Two-Week Midseason Closure in July

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces new regulations for the Chesapeake Bay summer-fall striped bass season. 

The 2021 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, and resume August 1 through Dec. 10. Anglers would be able to keep one striped bass per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate would not be permitted to land or possess striped bass for personal consumption.

During the closure period from July 16 through July 31, anglers will be prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release and charter boats.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Blue Catfish

If anyone has any doubts about the exploding populations of blue catfish in rivers such as the Patuxent, this picture of blue catfish brought to the surface by an electro-fishing survey is an eye opener. 
 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

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Fishing Report

Catfish have been reported biting steadily at Abel's Wharf, Breton Bay, Bushwood Pier, and many other locations north of St. George Isla...