Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
August 24th, 2018
With the White Perch Open behind us, we look forward to a successful Fall season of fishing and crabbing here in the Chesapeake Bay area. If you missed the event, you can check out the full results from the tournament here. We would like to thank everyone for coming out and congratulate our winners. We are looking forward to making the White Perch Open bigger and better next year!
In the Upper Bay area, Rockfish are being caught in many of the usual areas that we’re used to. The Channel ledges from Swan Point down towards the Bay Bridge, Love Point, Podickory Point, and the pilings at the Key and Bay Bridges. Chumming with either large chunks of FRESH Alewife or while live-lining Spot has been the best method for catching them. Soft or Peeler crab has also been working as bait on the bottom. Speaking of bait on the bottom, you will most likely get into a mix of small Rockfish, Channel Catfish and some random big Black Drum in these areas.
Light Tackle Casting
Topwater plugs and spooks are working very early in the morning in 10′ of water or less in many of the same areas as the Chumming bite. Areas like the rock piles near the bridge, submerged structure near the Key Bridge, and also some areas in the Narrows and into the Eastern Bay. Once the sun comes up, look to switch to a Yo-Zuri shallow diving crankbait or a 1/2-3/4oz jig paired with your favorite soft plastic trailer.
A few anglers have reported some catches trolling Spoonbrellas, Tandem rigs with Spoons and Bucktails and also some hoses in Red and Green color. Not a ton of action going on with the troll bite but the further south you go, the better the bite has been. Look to target these fish in deeper water near channel ledges of the main bay.
White Perch are being caught with regularity in many of the tidal rivers and in the main bay. You can target them with spinnerbaits like a Super Rooster Tail or Bert’s Perch Pounders. You can also catch them with live bait like grass shrimp, razor clams or bloodworms rigged on bottom rigs. Look to find them near shallow structure like riprap, bulkheads, pilings on piers or bridges. You can also find them on hard bottom in deeper water.
Anglers are finding Spot near the mouths of the tidal rivers in the area as well as the shallow areas near the Bay Bridge. The western side of the bridge has been better for Spot. Look to use a bit of bloodworm on a bottom rig in 10′-15′ of water in these areas. You can rig these on a larger in-line circle hook near the tail to catch nice size Rockfish or keep them yourself and make some Spot sandwiches!
Reports of Croaker have been caught in/around the Eastern Bay this past week. Not a ton of them but they’re there. A bit of soft crab or bloodworm on a bottom rig will do the trick!
If you’ve been fishing this year, chances are you’ve caught one. They’re all over the place. Due to lower salinity levels in the Bay, they’ve traveled further and further south. You can catch them with a variety of baits such as Fresh Alewife, Soft Crab, Razor Clams or Bloodworms and Nightcrawlers. They even take lures like Bert’s Perch Pounder spinnerbaits and Savage Gear Shrimp.
Southern Chesapeake Bay
A mix of Bluefish, Rockfish, Triggerfish, Sheepshead, Cobia and big Reds are being caught down near the Bay Bridge Tunnel. Anglers targeting Bluefish can look to use metal jigs, spoons or jigs with Z-Man softplastic trailers. Live-lining Spot is going to work best for the Rockfish. Soft Crabs on bottom rigs or jigs will work for the Sheepshead. Bigger profile jigs will also work for the Cobia and Reds.
Over the last week we’ve had good reports of crabbers getting better hauls. Crabbers in the southern portion of the bay are getting about a bushel a day after tending to their trotlines while a half bushel is being reported up in the mid-upper bay region. Razor Clams, Chicken Necks or Frozen Alewife will all work but Razor Clams seems to be the most productive bait of the three. Look to catch crabs during a transitioning tide in 10′-15′ of water. Grassy flats are a great place to find them!
Most freshwater fisheries are in full Summertime patterns. Early morning topwater in the shallows with stick-baits and soft-plastics worked deeper as the day rolls on. You can target big Largemouth before the sun ever rises with buzzbaits or Whopper Ploppers at night. When the sun rises and the water temps rise, look to find these fish under structure like floating docks or piers. Work a wacky rigged worm slow near the bottom for that afternoon bite.
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