Thursday, June 17, 2021

Fishing Report


Fishing in the lower Bay covers several different methods and locations. Live-lining spot is popular along the steep channel edges of the lower Potomac near St. George Island and Piney Point as well as shipping channel edges out in the Bay. Spot are relatively easy to obtain in the lower Bay so a majority of anglers looking for striped bass are fishing this way.

Light-tackle jigging is also popular in many of the same areas, especially on the eastern side of the Bay. The cuts through Hoopers Island provide a great place to jig for striped bass and a speckled trout now and then. The speckled trout bite has dropped off some but the fish are most likely still in the area, so there is plenty of hope the action will pick up again. Scented Gulp and Fishbite paddletails in white, pink, and pearl or chartreuse combinations are a good bet, as are Rapala Searchbait paddletails in 4.5-inch to 6-inch lengths on a 3/8-ounce jig head.

Trolling deep along channel edges in the lower Potomac and the Bay with weighted umbrella rigs with swimshads or bucktails as trailers can work. In shallower areas, bucktails and swimshads can work well also. 

On the eastern side of the Bay there is some exciting catch-and-release fishing for large red drum. Most anglers are scanning the depths to locate schools of red drum and then dropping soft crab baits down to them. Most are learning if they do not get a pick-up in a short time to not leave baits down too long since there are a lot of cownose rays in the region.

There are reports of some Spanish mackerel at the mouth of the Bay and they will hopefully arrive in Maryland waters by next month. Now is the time to stock up on small Drone and Clark spoons as well as inline weights. Those waiting to buy until the Spanish mackerel arrive may find themselves looking at empty shelves and pegboards in local tackle shops. Bluefish will show up also in the near future and it will be a tough time to troll with swim shads once they arrive.

Fishing for a mix of spot and white perch is good in the lower Patuxent River and Tangier Sound. There is not much size to the spot but most are focusing on catching them for live-lining. The flounder fishing in Tangier Sound is reported to have slacked off recently, which may be due to low salinities from rain runoff. 

Blue catfish are abundant on the tidal Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers this week and offer plenty of good fishing from shore or boats. Fresh cut bait from oily menhaden and gizzard shad top the list for baits. In a pinch, chicken livers, clam snouts, and nightcrawlers usually work as well. Channel catfish will be part of the mix at times.

Recreational crabbing continues to pick up at a steady pace. Most are able to catch a 1/3 to a half-bushel or so in most tidal rivers of the middle and lower Bay. Trotlines set in shallow water of 6 feet to 8 feet are reported to offer the best catches and razor clams are the bait of choice, but chicken necks will certainly catch crabs.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Fishing Report


Most of the best fishing action in the lower Bay is taking place in the shallower waters along the eastern and western shores. Casting paddletails and soft plastic jigs in white, pink, and pearl color combinations is a very popular way to fish for a mix of striped bass and speckled trout. Often the speckled trout are taking center stage since most are longer than 20 inches with a daily creel limit four fisher per day, while catching a striped bass above the 19-inch minimum can be tough at times. The morning and evening hours usually offer the best fishing opportunities.

Some are trolling along the channel edges in the lower Potomac River and the Bay shipping channels with fair results. Most are trolling deep with umbrella rigs and closer to the surface with tandem rigged bucktails and swimshads. Spot and small white perch can be live-lined and anglers are searching channel edges looking for suspended fish to set up on. 

Large red drum are being caught and released near the Target Ship and Mud Leads on soft crab baits, jigging with large soft plastic jigs, or by trolling large silver spoons. There are a lot of cownose rays in the neighborhood so make sure you have locked in on the drum with your depth finder before dropping soft crab baits over the side. 

White perch can be found in the tidal rivers and creeks. Casting small lures during the early morning and evening hours along shoreline structure is great fun with light tackle. They can also be found in deeper waters in the lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers, usually on hard bottom. In the lower Patuxent and Potomac, spot and croaker can also be in the mix when fishing with bloodworms or peeler crab on a bottom rig. 

Fishing for blue catfish could hardly be better in the tidal Potomac, Patuxent, and Nanticoke rivers. They offer plenty of action and make great table fare. Fresh-cut gizzard shad, white perch, or menhaden make excellent baits, as are nightcrawlers, clam snouts, and chicken liver. 

The recreational crabbing season is slowly picking up momentum this week, and each week tends to be a little better than the previous. In the middle Bay, trotliners are generally catching a few dozen to a half-bushel of heavy crabs. The best catch is in shallow water with razor clams, and those crabbing on the Eastern Shore are doing better than the western side of the Bay. Lower Bay catches are up a notch from the middle Bay, with catches of a half-bushel fairly common, and some have gone home with a full bushel of crabs.

Northern snakeheads are busy protecting the fry balls this week so they tend to stay put in thick grass. Since they are so protective, casting chatterbaits or perhaps a soft plastic lizard near their brood may get a strike. 

Fishing for crappie remains good this week and targeting sunken brush, fallen treetops, bridge piers, or marina docks are great places to look for them. Fishing a small minnow or marabou jig under a slip bobber is a good way to fish for them in the tidal Potomac River near the Wilson Bridge and nearby marinas. The bridge piers at Loch Raven and Liberty reservoirs and small lakes such as Wye Mills are just a few of the other good places to fish for crappie.

Fishing Report

  Fishing in the lower Bay covers several different methods and locations. Live-lining spot is popular along the steep channel edges of the ...