As a reminder to lower Bay anglers, striped bass fishing is closed everywhere this to protect the species from water temperatures. The Potomac River is closed until August 20, Virginia waters are closed until October 4 and all Maryland waters are closed to targeting striped bass through July 31. Lower Bay anglers are fortunate that they have several other species to fish for this week.
Bluefish and Spanish mackerel can be
found in good numbers this week making life miserable for schools of bay
anchovies. The action tends to be best when a strong tide is running, and the
baitfish are being swept along the edges of channels throughout the region.
Diving seagulls will often lead the way to breaking fish. Casting small heavy
and flashy jigs or Got-Cha type lures into the fray, allowing them to sink, and
then speed reeling is a great way to catch Spanish mackerel. Slower retrieves
will get you bluefish. It pays to look for slicks that are telltale signs that
some baitfish were being chomped nearby, and jigging deep often will provide
Trolling is a popular option and a
great way to cover a lot of water when in search of Spanish mackerel and
bluefish. Small Drone spoons in gold or with chartreuse coloring added are an
excellent choice for Spanish mackerel. Small gold Clark spoons are another good
choice. Both are usually pulled behind No. 1 planers at about 6 to 7 knots.
Bluefish will hit at slower speeds. Putting out a couple of lines with inline
weights to fish closer to the surface is always a good addition to any trolling
Fishing for a mix of spot and white
perch with a few small croakers tossed in has been exceptionally good lately.
The spot are getting larger and there are a lot of them to be found in the
lower Bay . Pieces of bloodworm or the artificial version are the baits of
choice. The mouth of the Patuxent River and Tangier Sound are two of the best
places to get in on the action.
There are plenty of white perch to be
found in the tidal rivers and creeks as well as Tangier Sound. Pieces of
bloodworm, small minnows, peeler crab, and grass shrimp are just a few of the
bait choices that will serve you well. Shoal areas in the rivers and sounds are
good places to look for white perch. The shorelines always hold good numbers of
white perch around docks, rocks, bridge piers, and prominent points. Fishing
with bait or small lures is a wonderful way to fish for them.
Speckled trout are being found along
the marsh edges of the Eastern Shore in stump fields and over grass beds along
with the occasional slot size red drum. Large red drum are being encountered
near the Middle Grounds and the Target Ship, anglers are jigging at them when
troubled water can be spotted or by drifting soft crab baits to them and
trolling large silver spoons. Cobia fishing tends to be slow this week, but it
only takes one legal-sized fish to make your day. Smith Point has been one of
the better places to set up a chum slick.
Recreational crabbers are doing well
this week in all regions of the Bay. In most areas crabbers are finding the
best success in waters less than 12 feet on a good moving tide. In some areas
small crabs have been chewing up baits but in many locations crabbers are
finding a bounty of 7-inch and 8-inch crabs that are full of meat. Many are
reporting culling crabs under 6 inches and tossing them back into the water in
favor of the larger crabs. Nettles have been pesky lately and if you are
pulling a trotline, net rings, or collapsible crab traps into the wind, the
stinging nematocysts can really be bothersome.