There are new striped bass regulations now in effect in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters. Anglers may keep one striped bass per person per day, with a minimum length of 19 inches and a maximum length of 31 inches.
The Cedar Point rocks is another favored spot for casting topwater lures, paddletails, and jerkbaits up close to the rocks in the early morning or evening hours, and work soft plastic jigs in the deeper waters during the day. The Calvert Cliffs Power Plant warm water discharge is another popular location to drift and jig close to the bottom with a variety of jigs.
A good depth finder is an important tool when searching for suspended striped bass along deep channel edges; once found vertical jigging with light tackle is one of the most exciting ways to fish for striped bass.
Trolling is a popular option, especially on the larger boats, and they will be pulling a variety of setups. Planers and inline weights can be used to get spoons down to where the fish are holding. Tandem-rigged bucktails and swim shads are popular behind inline weights, and finally there are the umbrella rigs that are a lot to reel in but it works out fine when there is a striped bass hooked on the trailer. Swim shads and bucktails are common trailers.
The lower Potomac River offers plenty of good striped bass fishing this week; the tidal Potomac has the bonus of being able to keep two striped bass per day if they measure 20 inches to 31 inches.
Some anglers will be chunking or chumming at favorite locations and in many areas will have their hands full with blue catfish being attracted to their chum slicks or drifting chunks of cut bait. Drifting peeler or soft crab baits along channel edges and the mouths of creeks flowing into Tangier and Pocomoke sounds is a very productive way to target striped bass and speckled trout. A few black drum have been caught in the area and red drum will arrive soon.
If anyone is looking for some nonstop action, there are plenty of blue catfish to be caught in the tidal Potomac, the Patuxent, the Nanticoke, and numbers of blue catfish are increasing in the Wicomico and Pocomoke rivers. There are also charter boats that are offering blue catfish trips on the tidal Potomac.
White perch are now being found near the mouths of the region’s tidal rivers and creeks and can be caught on grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm on bottom rigs. They will also begin to move into Tangier Sound. The mouth of the Patuxent is usually a great place to target them on the oyster bars.
Northern snakeheads are entertaining anglers throughout the region this week. The snakeheads are very active and striking baits in the tidal rivers and creeks. Paddletails tend to be one of the favorite lure choices but large minnows under a bobber work well also. Shallow grass is always a fun place to use topwater lures in the form of frogs, buzzbaits and poppers. When fishing in tidal waters watch out for northern snakeheads and if you suspect a strike from one, give it a second before setting the hook – they are famous for short strikes.
White perch can be found in the lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers, usually in deeper waters during the day and shallower in the evening. Grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm can be fished on a simple one-hook bottom rig that is constructed so the baited hook is about 5-6 inches off the bottom. Use as little weight as possible. In the evenings white perch can be found near shoreline structures in the form of rocks, sunken wood, and dock piers.