Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report August 17, 2015
Chumming – This week has been fantastic as anglers all around the mid to the upper Chesapeake Bay are catching stripers in big numbers. The chum bite has been hot primarily on the Eastern Shore side from the dumping grounds/pipeline, all the way up past Swan Point near Rock Hall. Ray numbers have been reported as minimal. Success has been reported in 20-32 feet of water using Alewive chunks on fishfinder rigs with 17-25 lb fluorocarbon leaders outfitted with 5/0 Gamakatsu Octopus and Circle hooks. The catch so far has been mostly schoolie sized fish ranging from 18-25 inches. Reports of larger summer fish are being caught in the shallower waters, approximately 15 feet, on an incoming tide.
On the western side of the bay, Podickory Point has been phenomenal on the shallower edges from 15-25 feet of water, on an incoming tide using the same fish finder rigs.
Jigging – On the artificial side of things, the jig bite has been hot. From the pipeline to the bridge pilings, both east and western side, to up north around the mouth of the Chester, fisherman have been slamming stripers. They see success on 3/8-1/2oz jigheads from hard head custom baits in candy corn and pearl/chartreuse paired up with 5 inch Bass Assassins in Hammertime, Electric Shad, Electric Chicken, and Smoke Wagon. Some have also been using 5.25 inch Bust Em Baits in Green Shiner and Midnight Shad on 15 to 20lb fluorocarbon leaders. It has been a very tide dependant bite, as reports indicate that at the start of the outgoing tide is producing much better over the last three days and yielding BIGGER fish.
More breakers are starting to show themselves on calm afternoons among Thomas Point and the eastern ledge from Brickhouse to Gum Thickets and Bloody Point. Folks have been seen using Gold 2 oz StingSilvers and 1.5 oz P-line jigs in Pearl and Chartreuse, as well as 1oz Kastmasters in either silver or gold.
Trolling – On the trolling tip, anglers are yet again producing fish with the surgical tube in 12 to 15” in candy apple red and solid black, on 6 to 12oz in-lines.
Spoons are starting to pick up as we are seeing more of Captain Johns spoon umbrellas, plus small gold Drone spoons. These have all been smacking stripers down at the mouth of the South River. Small bucktail tandems have also been producing as usual for late summer fish, being worked up and down the main channel of the Bay with 5” paddle tails in 15 to 45 ft of water.
Topwater – The start of a topwater bite has began in a few of the rivers through the area. The Severn, South, Eastern Bay, and Chester River have been harboring shallow topwater fish in the early morning and late evening. Try using black and banana yellow Smack-It Jr’s and the Zara Spooks in red/white and silver.
With terrible reports for the last three months, we are happy to report they are finally up here and a few in decent size! The typical places that would harbor croakers, such as Podickory, Love, and Baltimore Light would be a good place to start. The influx of freshwater to the Bay has delayed certain saltwater species from coming up the bay. However, a few reports are starting to surface about a solid grade of croaker off oyster and clam bottoms, from Dolly’s Lump past Hackett’s and Thomas Point, in 20-26 ft of water, primarily on peeler and soft crab. Bloodworms have also been producing.
Using small spec rigs and teaser rigs, and similar to jiggin’ for rockfish, try using mission fishing jig heads in ¾ to 1oz. Let it drop bottom with a drop loop 12” above with a 1/8-1/2oz head in chartreuse and white tipped with Berkley Gulp 3 to 4” swimming mullet in either Pink, Chartreuse, or Pearl White.
Mid-summer Perch jerkin’ is still on ladies and gentleman! Grab your Bert’s Perch pounders in Halloween, Chartreuse, Opening Night, Hot Pink, and White with a gold blade and make your way down to the dock. Most creeks around the Annapolis area have been harboring numerous white perch, making this one of the best years we’ve seen in the past ten years or so. Look for structure (jetties, rock piles, pilings, trees, sunken boat, etc.) in 3 to 8 ft of water and cast straight to it, and then a straight retrieve.
You will catch black backs all afternoon if you try small 1/8oz shad darts with 1” Berkley Gulp Minnows, tiny Sea Striker 2” twister tails on an 1/8oz jig head, small Rapalas, Rattle traps, and 1/12-1/8oz Kastmasters. These would all be a good start to fishing on a light 4-6lb test outfit. Bait-wise, it’s hard to beat a soft crab, but razor clams have been successful on a bottom rig, with a #6 baitholder hook. Some have been successful as well with bloodworms, nightcrawlers, and bull minnows.
We are starting to see more and more bluefish coming on a weekly basis. More reports out of the mid-bay have been around Gum Thickets, Bloody Point, and the entirety of the Eastern Bay, primarily when the fish are breaking on silversides and peanut bunker. Popular baits are alewives, shiners, and fresh spot. Artificially things can get exciting, as bluefish are known for being extremely aggressive and will hit a multitude of bait.
The best plan is to start is with a good pair of binoculars and the right weather, and then start looking for breakers in 10 to 25 ft of water, primarily around bait balls. Lures are primarily going to be the standard 1oz Hopkins spoon, Kastmasters, 15 Tony Spoons, Drone, and 1oz P-line jigs with a 40lb mono leader. Trolling with a good gold drone spoon, and a #2 planer, going 4 or 5 knots is recommended, although most of the Spanish mackerel haven’t even made it up the bay this year.
EVERYBODY WANTS SPOT. Well, the good news is they are up by the bridge off Dolly’s Lump in 15 to 18 ft of water. It’s been a very tough year for finding spot small enough to live-line. If you have a hankering for fried spot, get a 8-10lb outfit, a bottom rig with 1-2oz of weight, some #6 or #4 Bear Paw snells, grab some bloodworms, razor clams, and soft crab, and go have a ball! Primarily a hard bottom deal, look for oyster beds around the mouth of the Severn River and drop on them. Anglers the past two days have been showing few decent reports of decent sized spot in the area.
I’m sure many of you are wondering why Capt. Avedon even bothering to write a report on Channel Catfish. Well, they are everywhere, and a blast to catch if you’re bored! North of the bridge, with all the rain we have had this year, fish that would typically be up north amidst the Susquehanna have drifted south to Annapolis. Love Point and Swan Point have been hot the past two weeks! Soft crab, clam snouts, and chunked alewives have been a favorite in mud bottom 15-20’. We have received numerous reports even on the western ledge of 8 lbs and more being caught while chumming for stripers. The same fish finder rigs we use for stripers can be used for catfish, with the exception of a J-hooks and Circle hooks in a 3-5/0 Owner or Gamakatsu.
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