Rockfish are the prime target now with good catches just about everywhere for trollers in bay, Potomac and Patuxent. They love the smaller Hard Head Custom Bait umbrella rigs, tandem bucktail rigs, bucktails, jigs. and spoons.
There are still chunky bluefish in the region near the Target Ship, the Middle Grounds, and along the shipping channel edges. There are even a few Spanish mackerel stragglers being caught this week. Striped bass are spread throughout the region in the lower sections of the tidal rivers and out in the bay along channel edges.
A mix of bluefish of about 2 pounds or so are mixing it up with 2- and 3-year old striped bass. The 3-year-olds usually are measuring from 20 inches to 26 inches. Jigging along channel edges in the lower regions of the Patuxent and Potomac rivers and the Tangier Sound area has been very good. The channel edges of the shipping channel also offer great jigging action when fish can be found suspended under breaking fish or bottom structure. Soft plastic and metal jigs are both working well.
Trolling along channel edges and wherever breaking fish can be spotted is an excellent way to fish. Trolling umbrella rigs behind inline weights or trolling tandem rigged bucktails or single-rigged spoons are very popular. Placing a hose or large spoon in a trolling spread can also be a good idea in case you come across a large red drum for some catch and release action. Great places to troll include both sides of the shipping channel, and the lower Potomac between St. George’s Island and Piney Point.
In the Tangier Sound area, fishing for speckled trout remains good. Grassy shallows, prominent points, stump fields, and creek mouths are great places to fish. are a popular bait, while drifting soft crab baits on a falling tide in the creeks is also a great option and slot size red drum can be part of the mix.
Most areas with hard bottom in the lower Patuxent, Potomac, and Tangier Sound are holding concentrations of spot. Many are pan-sized and white perch and speckled trout can be part of the mix. Pieces of bloodworm are the most popular but pieces of soft crab will work well on white perch and speckled trout.
Recreational crabbing is slowing down as water temperatures become chillier and crabs migrate to deeper waters. has been tough as the crabs are often found in about 20 feet of water. Sooks are ever-present and baits are getting chewed up . Those crabbing with collapsible crab traps to have it a bit easier in the deeper waters. Just make sure you have plenty of line and a substantial so you don’t lose track of your traps due to current drag on long lines.