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.

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...