Trolling is always a popular way to fish this time of the year, especially if the boat has a warm cabin to get out of the wind. Trolling is also a good way to cover a lot of water when the fish are spread out, which is the case this week. It takes heavy inline weights to get umbrella rigs down to where the fish are holding. White sassy shads on the umbrella arms and white bucktail trailers have been favored combinations lately.
Some are lucky enough to happen upon breaking fish, which are often sub-legal striped bass, but jigging underneath them can often produce larger fish, not, it is all good fun on light tackle. White paddle tails are the top choice for lure selection; combinations of pearl and hints of chartreuse are good choices also. One should keep an eye out for slicks and sitting seagulls which can indicate action below the surface.
White perch are holding deep over oyster bottom in the lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers. The best way to target them is to locate a school with a depth finder, and either anchor or drift over the suspended perch, which will be holding close to the bottom. Using pieces of bloodworm on a bottom rig is the best way to target them.
Striped bass are being found throughout the lower but a few standouts include the lower Potomac River, the mouth of the Patuxent, and the eastern side of the shipping channel from Buoy 72A south past the Target Ship.
In the lower Potomac, the steep channel edge from St. George Island past Piney Point has been a very productive location for the past week. Many are trolling white umbrella rigs with heavy inline weights to get down to where the fish are suspended off the bottom. There are additional trolling opportunities in the mouth of the Patuxent River and along the eastern side of the shipping channel.
Fishing for blue catfish could hardly be any better in the tidal portions of the Potomac and Nanticoke rivers this week. If one is looking to stock up on tasty fillets that freeze well, it is hard to beat blue catfish. Most any kind of cut bait, clam snouts, or chicken liver are good baits to use on a simple bottom rig.