Friday, July 21, 2023

Fishing Report

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 results.

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 spread.

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Fishing Report

Cooler water temperatures have shifted many of the lower Bay fisheries into a fall pattern. Striped bass are moving freely throughout the lo...