The nor'easter last week kept a lot of fishermen off the bay with small craft warnings. We also had high tides bringing our water back to summertime levels.
The stripers responded by returning to the shorelines where fishermen caught them on top water poppers, live bait, and swimming plugs. Goose Creek, Hog Point, and the Navy Recreation Pier in Solomons had some good catches.
Bait fishermen on the Point Lookout Pier using cut alewife caught some keeper rockfish in the rough surf.
Trollers and jiggers continue to catch stripers in the Potomac and the Patuxent with breaking fish drawing diving gulls.
There are plenty of rockfish in the triangle area out the mouth of the Potomac. Breaking fish are in the Point No Point area to marker 72, the Target Ship and on the Mud Leads.
The weather forecast for the end of the week calls for sunshine and temperatures approaching 60 degrees. The winds will calm and the fishing will be great.
Striped bass can be found scattered along the shipping channel edges and channel edges in the lower Patuxent and Potomac rivers and Tangier Sound. On most days it is easy to spot bird action as baitfish continue to move out of the tidal rivers and travel down the bay. The most common bait being seen are 4-inch to 5-inch juvenile menhaden.
Light tackle jigging is one of the most fun and productive ways to fish for striped bass in the fall and this year is no exception. Using half-ounce to 3/4-ounce jigs skirted with six inch soft plastic bodies in white, pearl, or chartreuse is the ticket to this fun. Metal jigs with single hooks are also a good choice, and braided line is a real asset in regard to sensitivity and line drag.
Trolling is a great option along channel edges and wherever bird action is spotted. Trolling with umbrella rigs and heavy inline weights is the most popular trolling option to get down deep to where the striped bass are holding.
White perch can be found deep — often 30 feet or deeper — in the lower parts of the major tidal rivers over good hard bottom with some amount of current flowing through the area. It’s best to use bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworm or dropper rigs holding small jigs or a metal jig with a dropper fly-rigged above. Anglers are reminded that rigs may not have more than two hooks per rig.
Speckled trout can still be found along the eastern and western sides of the Bay in deeper holes, but it’s hard to get them to bite due to cold water temperatures. This is a great time of the year to target blue catfish in the tidal Potomac River, the Sharptown area of the Nanticoke River, and the Patuxent River. Fresh cut bait or items such as clam snouts work well, and channel edges are a good place to look for them.