Trophy Striped Bass Season Opens!

April 19th, 2019

Trophy season is here! April 20th marks the beginning of the trophy season where anglers get their chances at landing a giant! Anglers may catch one striped bass per day, with a minimum size of 35 inches, in the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line. Captains all over the area have been working hard to get their rigs ready to roll this weekend. Unfortunately it looks like it may be a bit breezy (winds up to 25 mph from the south) so trolling and boating may prove to be a bit difficult. If the trophy bite doesn’t get you going, there are still a ton of fishing opportunities out there for you to enjoy. Everything from trout to tautog is biting all over the state!

Trophy Rockfish

The opening of the trophy rockfish season will be met with some gusty weather. Winds out of the south may reach up to 25mph so boaters should proceed with caution. In the upper bay area, anglers will be targeting fish near channel ledges from north of Love Point down past Bloody Point and near the mouths of the Eastern Bay and Choptank river. Trolling will be a popular way to catch these fish. Most will be deploying planer boards and multiple lines with big umbrellas with 9″-12″ shads or big tandems in either chartreuse or white. Look to target fish in all parts of the water column as main bay surface temps are warmer than below.

Umbrella rigs with chartreuse shads are a popular rig to troll for trophy striped bass.

Bait fishing for trophy rockfish will be a good tactic. Big chunks of alewife in 25′-35′ of water in many of the same areas that we’ve mentioned. Love Point, Podickory Point, Thomas Point are all good places to try bait on bottom. We recommend fishing fresh cut alewife on 7/0-8/0 circle hooks with 1-3 oz of weight in that magic depth of 30′.

Jigging 1.5oz-2oz jigs with large soft plastic trailers like a 10″ Bust’em or 12″ BKD will work really well near warm water discharges like Calvert Cliffs. You can also jig for large trophy fish off channel ledges in much of the main bay stem but these fish will be spread out quite a bit so be patient! Before you head out, make sure you head over to the rockfish regulations page to make sure you’re legal!

Northern Snakehead Fishing

Pro-staffer Alex Perez landed some nice snakes from kayak this week. The evening bite seems to be better once the water warms up a bit!

Ask around the local tackle shops and social media feeds, you won’t find a hotter species to target. With all the doom and gloom in the rockfish world, we’ve all been focused on catching these awesome fish. They are delicious, fun to catch and the good/not so good news is there are plenty of them.

Dave got into some nice snakehead in Dorchester county using our Snakehead Salties! Nice citation snake Dave!!

They are here and they will be here for quite a while. We would like to share the Maryland DNR page that has great info and research regarding this invasive species. Make sure you’re aware of the rules and regulations before targeting them! We’ve started carrying Black Salties which is a hearty bait minnow with a larger profile and so far the response has been good. We’ve had several guys come through looking for help on how/where to catch them and we are here to help!

Fish for them much like you would a shallow largemouth bass. They will eat nearly everything on topwater, and love big minnows 12″ under a pop’n cork. If you have any questions be sure to stop by and we’ll be glad to help.

Trout

Put and take trout management areas have been busy lately with the hard work of the stocking program paying off nicely. Anglers have been enjoying nice fish and plenty of limits being caught. Small spinners, nightcrawlers or trout eggs on small hooks under a float will all work well for these fish. Check out the latest stocking updates from Maryland DNR’s page to find out all the good spots to go!

White Perch

Mike Ayd went looking for crappie but managed a mix of nice white perch with some yellows mixed in. Nice fish Mike!

The white perch are still running thick in the upper creeks and rivers near spawning sites. The majority of them are spawned out and heading back down towards their summer retreats. Look to find them in creeks and rivers with either bloodworm on bottom or float-n-fly with small jigs and a bobber. Using a 1/16th-1/32nd dart or small jig with either 1″ minnow or grass shrimp under a float will work really well in shallower water applications, especially near structure.

In the deeper waters you will be able to find them with bottom rigs baited with bloodworms as well as grass shrimp.

Catfish

Mark Crone of Chance,MD caught this 28 1/4″ from his dock on cut bait.  His faithful companion, Paris, is always there to check out the catch. Thanks for sharing Mark!

There’s just so many…you can catch them with nearly any kind of bait resting on bottom. In the upper bay you will find a ton of channel catfish with a few blue cats mixed in. If you go further south, in the Potomac and the southern bay area it will be reversed, lots of blues with a few channels mixed in.

Either way, fishing bait on bottom is your best bet. Look to use bloodworms, cut alewife, razor clams or white perch. All these baits will land some kitty cats!

Largemouth/Smallmouth Bass

Eric Packard landed a few nice bass this week. Nice “work” Eric!

In many of the freshwater rivers/streams/lakes and ponds the bass are feeding heavily. This past week has been better and this coming week should continue due to the moon phase. Expect bass to continue their feeding for the next few days. You can get into some nice fish in the same spot in the Little Patuxent without even really having to move your feet!

Swimbaits, jigs and crankbaits are all catching fish right now, especially near structure and transition points like grass edges and rocky points.

Show us what you caught!

We’d love to see your catch! Send your photos with some simple info (your name, location, bait/technique) and any other info you’d like to share to [email protected] By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online. If there are any children under 18 we need their parents permission before posting any images online!