Fishing is very good with perch, spot, and rockfish leading the way.
The perch are in the creeks and rivers taking tiny spinner baits
in the shallows and bloodworms and fishbites in the deep.
Spot are still in the creeks and rivers and bay willing to hit most any bait with protein.
Puppy drum and slot drum are being caught on lures and bait most everywhere.
The rockfish are schooled up with blues in the mouth of the Patuxent breaking into bait fish. The blues are a hefty two to three pounds; the rockfish breakers are mostly undersized. The bigger stripers are under the breaking fish for trollers using heavy weights to get their lures down. The rockfish are coming into the creek mouths on falling tides at sunset. There was a proper blitz of rockfish at Goose Creek below Cedar Point on the Naval Air Station several evenings last week. Consistent catches of stripers are available by trolling bucktails on the bottom up the Patuxent and Potomac.
Red drum in the 18 to 27 inch slot are in the creek mouths and in the shallows on the bay shore. Puppy drum in the 10 to 14 inch range are mixed with perch in the creeks.
It is October and the the time to catch fish is now.
A percentage of the striped bass can be just short of the 19-inch minimum but there are plenty of striped bass in the 20-inch to 29-inch range. The lower Potomac and Patuxent rivers are two of the better places to find these larger fish. In the mornings and evenings there is good light-tackle fishing along the shorelines for a mix of striped bass, speckled trout, and small red drum. Casting paddle tails and similar soft plastics is a very popular way to fish.
Jigging along the steeper channel edges, under breaking fish or wherever striped bass can be found suspended near bottom structure. Skirted soft plastic jigs and metal jigs are the most popular way to fish. Trolling is also a great way to catch striped bass. The channel edges and the outside edges of breaking fish are good places to be. A mix of umbrella rigs, spoons, bucktails, hoses, and swimshads are all good items to have in a trolling spread.
There are still some large red drum in the region to provide some exciting catch-and-release action. They can be found under smaller breaking fish, chasing bait such as large menhaden, or caught blind while trolling large spoons. There are still a few cobia near the Middle Grounds but they must be returned to the water if caught now that the season is over.
Fishing for a mix of spot, white perch, speckled trout, and a few surprises such as kingfish, northern blowfish, and even small sea bass has provided entertainment for those who choose to go bottom fishing. The mouth of the Potomac and Patuxent rivers is full of action this week as is the Tangier Sound area. The most popular bait has been pieces of bloodworm on a bottom rig; artificial flavored baits and soft crab can work well also.
Those hoping for one more good batch of crabs are working hard to catch a half bushel. The crabs tend to be deep, and using collapsible crab traps is one of the better ways to catch them. Reports of crabs dropping off before they can be netted and large numbers of sooks continue. Razor clams seem to far outshine chicken necks as the 2020 recreational crabbing season winds down.