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Thursday, September 17, 2020
Anglers in the lower bay are targeting a wide variety of species — striped bass, Spanish mackerel, cobia, red drum, bluefish, and speckled trout, as well as bottom fishing for flounder, spot, and white perch.
Striped bass are being caught in the lower Potomac River by those trolling spoons, bucktails, and diving crankbaits. They are also being caught by live-lining spot along the channel edge between St. Georges Island and Piney Point. Many are of good size at 5 pounds or better. Smaller striped bass are in the mix with bluefish and Spanish mackerel chasing bay anchovies. If one jigs under the surface action close to the bottom, larger striped bass can often be caught. One may also get hooked up to a large red drum, which has the habit of lurking underneath breaking fish.
Trolling gold Drone and Clark spoons has been a very popular way to catch Spanish mackerel this week, both are being pulled at a fast clip behind #1 and #2 planers or heavy inline weights. The eastern side of the shipping channel, the mouth of the Patuxent and off Point Lookout have been three of the best places to troll for them.
There has been a flurry of cobia activity near the Target Ship for the past week and they are mostly being caught by sight fishing and casting live eels or large soft plastic jigs. This fishery will not last long so if a cobia is on your list, don’t miss out on the action right now.
The shallow-water fishery for speckled trout continues to be a real treat for light-tackle anglers who enjoy fishing the shallower areas along marsh edges, prominent points and grass beds. Most are casting white or pink paddletails with light jig heads. At times, striped bass and puppy drum can be part of the mix. Drifting peeler crab or soft crab baits on a good ebbing tide in the creeks and guts that drain from the marshes of the Eastern Shore is a productive way to fish for speckled trout with the bonus of a slot size red drum now and then.
Fishing for a mix of spot and white perch with a few speckled trout mixed in has been extremely good, particularly at the mouth of the Patuxent, the Point Lookout area, Tangier Sound, and the mouth of the Honga River. Many of the spot are now sized to offer fun fishing and great table fare. Pieces of bloodworm on a bottom rig are the most popular bait but peeler crab can work well. Fishing for flounder in the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds has been good for those who target them along hard bottom shoal areas next to channels.
September often is what one might call the zenith of the recreational crabbing season, and this week is just that. Crabs are filling out from last week’s big shed and are at their seasonal peak size and abundance. Reports from all regions of the bay speak of bountiful catches of heavy crabs. Many of the best catches tend to be coming from shallower waters, and razor clams continue to be the most favored bait.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
The main stem of the Potomac River and the Maryland section of the Chesapeake Bay are now open to striped bass fishing.
Spanish mackerel, bluefish, speckled trout, red drum, white perch, and spot were all providing good action in the lower bay prior to the passing of the remnants of Hurricane Laura. Anglers will find out this week if those schools of fish were broken up by the storm. If you are searching for mackerel, troll the edges of the shipping channel from the Virginia line north to the middle bay, the shipping channel edge from Buoy 72 south to Buoy 68, and the area from Point Lookout to Cove Point. Trolling #1 and #2 Drone and Clark spoons in gold behind #1 or #2 planers or heavy inline weights at about 7 knots works well. Trolling near breaking fish or slicks is resulting in limit catches for some anglers, with a daily creel limit of 15 fish per day.
Anglers are encountering breaking fish along the edges of the shipping channel; these fish are mostly a mix of Spanish mackerel and bluefish feeding on bay anchovies. Small striped bass can also be mixed in at times. Anglers are also finding large red drum deep underneath the surface activity, and jigging with large soft plastics or spoons will produce catch-and-release action with these bruisers.
Bottom fishing for a mix of spot, white perch, and a speckled trout now and then has been excellent in the lower Patuxent River. The Cornfield Harbor area, Tangier Sound, and lower Hoopers Island are all great places to get in on the action. Pieces of bloodworm are the most popular bait but peeler crab can also work well. Flounder are being found on the shoal edges near channels in the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds this week. Popular baits include live minnows and Gulp baits.
Speckled trout are spread throughout the region with much of the best action found on the eastern side of the bay. Casting soft plastics in pearl and sparkle flash near prominent points, marsh edges, and creek mouths is producing good catches. Drifting peeler crab baits near structure and creek mouths is also a great way to fish for speckled trout. Small red drum will be part of the mix, with most measuring under the minimum 18-inch length.
Cobia fishing within the region had been slowing down prior to the storm and only a few are being caught in Maryland waters. The best catches of cobia are coming from Virginia waters closer to the mouth of the bay. Sight casting with live eels has been the most successful way to fish for them, but chumming is another alternative.
Blue catfish in the tidal Potomac River or the Nanticoke River offer good fishing for those wishing to anchor up or bottom fish from shore. The blue catfish are plentiful and offer good eating. Any kind of fresh oily cut bait works well, with gizzard shad and menhaden being common choices.
Recreational crabbers are enjoying some of the best crabs of the season and this will hopefully get better if salinities do not drop too much from rain. The crabs have ventured up the tidal rivers and into the upper bay in greater numbers. Prior to the storm, most crabbers in the upper bay were able to catch a half-bushel or more per outing. In the middle and lower bay, catches of a bushel per outing are common. Razor clams remain the bait of choice whether trotlining or crabbing with collapsible traps. Some of the best crab catches are coming from deep water in the tidal rivers. There will be a major shed coming up soon and catches of large crabs tend to pick up in September and early October.
We will be closed Saturday, September 19, 2020. We will be open Wednesday, September 23, 2020. Sorry for any inconvenience .