White perch should provide steady action in the upper bay into August and September. Many anglers are finding a lot of small perch in some areas but a few big fish can be found with time and effort. The usual small spinners, spinnerbaits, and 1/16 to 1/8-ounce lead heads with Mr. Twister grubs on light spinning tackle all catch fish. Pieces of bloodworm, grass shrimp, wild seafood shrimp, and small minnows are all good baits, especially when fishing around docks and pilings.
The usual bottom fishing areas for saltwater panfish — spot, perch and croaker — should be productive during the next few weeks. Spot and white perch can be found on hard bottom areas, shell bottom, oyster bars, or shoals off Sandy Point State Park beach, the mouth of the Magothy, Bay Bridge pilings, and the Severn River.
Bottom fishing action for both spot and perch can be found at Hacketts and Thomas points on shell bottom and bars, as well as around Eastern Bay, Poplar Island, and the Severn and Choptank rivers. Small bluefish and spanish mackerel should be moving into the area, with the combination of hot and dry weather and salinities being relatively high. Anglers are hoping for a repeat of last year’s action on Spanish mackerel, which extended all the way to the upper bay.
If you are fishing with kids, remember that white perch and spot can also be caught off of docks and piers in 5-10 feet of water with a simple one-hook or two-hook bottom rig baited with pieces of soft crab, bloodworm, or grass shrimp. Synthetic bloodworm-flavored fishbites also work well.
A mix of blue and channel catfish should continue to provide steady action for anglers fishing with cut bait, chicken livers, soft peeler crabs, and other baits in most of the tidal rivers within the region. Channel catfish can be found in every tidal river, and blue catfish are found mostly in the Choptank and Nanticoke rivers.
Trolling spoons and hoses (surgical tube lures) will produce both cobia and large red drum around the Target Ship, with bluefish in the mix. Large red drum are also being caught and released by anglers who are light-tackle jigging with soft plastics.
Spot and white perch should provide steady bottom fishing action in the hard bottom areas of the lower Patuxent River, Honga River, and off Hoopers Island. Pieces of bloodworm on a bottom rig is the best bait for spot.