Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report featured image 11.5

  Howdy folks. It’s been an exciting week as we get closer and closer to the start of Striper season. Lots and lots of big cows are showing up and its causing a lot of excitement among fishermen. Hot water discharges up and down the Bay have been on fire holding fish upwards of 50” being caught on 1.5oz-2.5oz jig heads and a 10” BKD. Other light tackle anglers have been kayak trolling in shallow water as shallow as 3’ of water and throwing big X-raps and other stick baits alike and while the fishing is slow, a good bit of bunker has been along the eastern channel edge of the Bay over the last several days and some big stripers are definitely the prime result. Just remember it IS catch and release season which means A: Take a picture quick and let the fish go and B: you MUST use barbless hooks! Pinch them down or cut them off, regardless the idea is to put as little stress on these big fish as possible to allow their breeding cycle to take place with minimal mortality. Structure has also been a great place to jig up some stripers although most being under 30”, still a fun fight on a medium action rod and a 7” Bust ‘Em Bait soft plastic. Look for bridges, hard bottom, shipwrecks, and other solid pieces of structure around the Annapolis area to target fish. On the trolling side of things, the water temp is sitting right about 50 degrees which is a bit of a drop from a few days ago so it has definitely been less active, however it hasn’t been dead. The typical spots have been Brickhouse, Gum Thickets, Thomas Pt, etc. running channel edges from 40-80’ of water on umbrella rigs and tandems predominantly white and white with black backs as the water clarity has been unreal. As far as a bait bite goes, fish up to 30 pounds have been caught off Sandy Point in the past 3 or 4 days on fish finder rigs with 6/0 circle hooks and bloodworms.

Changing over to white perch, we’ve had a pretty good run on the whites which is not to say over, but definitely on the outward pattern with a lot of post spawn fish being caught. Hillsboro and Red Bridges have been a sure bet to catch fish but to get bigger perch you will need to bounce around hole to hole until you start finding bigger 10” plus fish. Having said that, the Chester is also a great place to look for big fish up towards Unicorn lake and Millington.

Along with post spawn white perch being caught, the Hickory shad run is just starting up over the last few days with water temps cold as they may, it is about time calendar wise for them to be here. Look for the same spots you would find white perch in creeks and tributaries such as the Tuckahoe, choptank, Nanticoke, Potomac, Patuxent, etc. The old nickname for hickories is “Poor Man’s Tarpon” and it is that for a reason. They fight exceptionally well on an ultralight outfit and often go airborne like it’s going out of style. Shad darts and Nungesser spoons are a great way to have some fun with these guys. Stay tuned for the first reports of American Shad!

As far as anything else I have for you this week, the pickerel fishing has been awesome, definitely no secret there. The same rivers, the same stuff (spinners, rattle traps, shad darts, jigs, plugs, etc.) has been extremely effective and proven to be a good way to pass the time away sitting on the river. In news of catfish, the channel catfish bite along the shore has been really productive using alewife and nightcrawlers on 4/0 circle hooks and fish finder rigs.

Well, that’s all I have for you this week folks, in the meantime and as usual, stay safe, don’t do anything I wouldn’t, and as always, tight lines