Maryland Fishing Report

April 26th, 2019

Trophy season started off slow but things are slowly picking up! Over the week we’ve seen more and more fish being caught which is a good sign of things to come. With main bay temps hovering just under that magic number of 64º, we’re expecting the spawn to start very soon which will really get things going. Aside from trophy rockfish, there are a ton of options for getting out there and catching some fish!

Trophy Rockfish

Trolling

John Barnes landed this nice 44.5″ trophy while trolling just outside Bloody Point this week. This fish bit a 9″ white shad in 75′ of water.

In the upper/mid bay region anglers trolling may have a bad taste in your mouth from last week. Don’t let it get you down! Be patient and focus on what we know to be successful trends. The mouths of the rivers are hot spots as these are perfect intersecting points from where they’re spawning to where they’re headed and vice versa.

Vary your depths. Have half of your spread in the upper half of the water column and the other half in the lower part of the water column. Run Chartreuse and White until you find a pattern. Look for untouched water. These fish don’t like engine noise so try to get in spots where there isn’t so much traffic. Utilize planer boards and long lines to get your spreads away from your boat.

With water temps rising and warmer temps in the forecast, start to focus on shallower water (30′ or less) especially around the mouths of the rivers.

Some of the better areas we’ve heard over the last week have been just outside Eastern Bay and also between Chesapeake Beach and the mouth of the Patuxent River. We are anticipating this to shift north with warmer water temps in the next week.

Ashley Case landed this nice trophy while trolling this past week. This fish was tricked with a gold head chugger and 9″ white shad.

Chumming

Chumming is going to be one of the more effective/efficient ways to target these big fish right now. They’re looking for a big delicious snack as they’re headed into the tidal rivers to do their business. We’re recommending using either big chunks of FRESH LY, or whole Bloodworms fished on the bottom in 27′-35′ of water. Utilize 1 or 2 chum buckets on the bottom. Look for areas with this water depth and muddy bottom.

Focus on the mouths of the tidal rivers around the mid bay area. Especially early in the am or just after sunset.

Jigging/Casting

Anglers jigging for these dinosaurs have had a SLOW first week. Keep the faith! Warmer water temps are signifying 1) more fish moving up the bay to spawn and 2) more aggressive/hungry fish looking for 10″ BOSS BKDs to swallow. People jigging the bay bridge pilings have had success catching throwback fish (18″-25″) which are tons of fun but that isn’t filling the fridge!

Look to focus on transition points near mouths of rivers and the deep drops off the shipping channels in the main bay.

Shad/Herring Report

They’re officially running right now! Water temps have been perfect for their spawn run and they’ve been caught all over the place this past week. Areas like the Susquehanna River (Deer Creek), Tuckahoe Creek and the Northern Potomac (near Fletchers Boathouse) have all been good!

Bright tandem shad dart rigs jigged off the bottom will work well, spinner baits and even smaller Storm paddle tails retrieved slow near the bottom will catch you a few!

White Perch

It seems the Perch run is still going strong with many fish still being caught in creeks and rivers. Float-and-fly or small spinnerbaits worked in deeper pockets and around submerged structure will be very productive. Worms or bloodworms will also work on either bottom rigs or tipped on the back of a shad dart.

In the main bay, look to target deeper holes near bridge pilings with either bottom rigs or tandem rigs with either bloodworm, razor clam or minnow will work well.

Channel/Blue Catfish

Sandy Point State Park offers good shore fishing opportunities for anglers looking to land some nice striped bass or catfish! Photo submitted by Loris Puliti.

If you’re fishing bait on the bottom in the bay, you’re likely to catch a catfish. Pretty much any bait will work. Bloodworms, Nightcrawlers, LY, Razor Clams, Soft Crabs, they all work well. You can set yourself up with a live-liner combo or just a nice medium power spinning combo with a bottom rig.

Target deeper channels, submerged structure or rip-rap, especially on a moving tide. Not only do they provide a good fight, but they also make pretty good table fare!

Snakehead

Snakehead are being caught at an incredible rate and they’re spreading. This offers anglers an exciting and delicious game fish to target. Stop by our shop to learn all about the species and how to target them! Photo submitted by Eric Packard.

Over the last week, snakehead fishing has been hit or miss. Some days you can catch 50, some days nada. High tide seems to really effect these fish and they’ll be hiding really far back in the frack on a high tide. Look to find them in ditches, flooded pockets, skinnier waters vs. in open water. Target them with topwater baits retrieved slow, especially in the early morning or late evening.

Weightless flukes, spinners, live bait like minnows or salties and some topwater baits have all been working. Over the last week, we’ve noticed the evening bite being better than all other times of the day.

Largemouth Bass

Todd Freeman and Grandpa John are all smiles after Todd landed this nice 24″ largemouth in a private pond on the Eastern Shore. Nice fish Todd!

In many of the areas freshwater bodies of water, we’re seeing lots of action! Pre-spawn and even some post-spawn Bass are being caught in Eastern Shore lakes and ponds. In smaller, warmer water bodies of water some topwater action has been working of late. Dropshot worms and Chatterbaits with blade swimmer trailers have also been working well.

Liberty and Loch Raven have been producing nice big fish on Jerkbaits and jigs worked slow near deep structure. Some pickerel have been caught here as well with smaller swimbaits in shallower water.

The northern Potomac area has been heating up as well. Anglers have had success with some crankbaits worked in 5′-10′ over grass beds.

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!