Image: LJ and Travis Long with G-Eye Jigs has a great day catching Mackerel and Bluefish right out of Chesapeake Beach with Travis’s son Nick and their friend Lucy and her son AJ. They were casting G-Eye Jigs Rain Minnows!
White Perch: The perch fishery is always a super fun one this time of year!! You can catch monsters in the main bay around any kind of structure, like the bay bridge pilings or at the Knolls. They are also in all of the rivers or at the mouths of the rivers along rocky shoreline and structure and over oyster beds. Try bait fishing in deeper water using razor clams or worms, or use lures like spinners or stingers in shallow water. Using 3-4 inch paddletails on 3/16, 1/4 or 5/8 oz jig heads will produce bigger fish! You can even use a popping cork!
Rockfish: The re-opening of rockfish season has proven to be very productive! The biggest excitement has been the early morning and evening top water bite in the Rivers! The Chester, Magothy, Patapsco and Severn have all been on fire! There are plenty of fish still being caught north of the Bay Bridge around Tolchester and the Knolls, but they aren’t schooled up like they were prior to the closure. Instead they are moving all over the bay. There’s definitely a good bite at the bridge and the Baltimore Light, where fishing with live spot of soft crab will be your best bet! You can also catch mixed sizes of rockfish, including some keepers in shallow water anywhere from Thomas Point south. Use 3/16, 1/4 or 5/8 oz jig heads with 3-4 inch paddletails. The further south that you go the more chance that you have of catching:
Speckled Trout: The Eastern Shore side of the bay from the mouth of the Choptank into the Tangier sound still continues to have the best Speckled Trout bite, but we are finally getting some reports from the mouth of the Patuxent and Potomac as well! Remember that in warmer weather they will most likely be on secondary ledges, not right up against the shoreline. A steady retrieve with occasional jerks is all you need to catch them!
Mackerel: Spanish Mackerel have made their way up as far as Chesapeake Beach and Bloody Point, with tons of reports coming from Poplar Island! The afternoon/evening bite seems to be better than the morning. There isn’t really a specific spot, because they are constantly moving. Birds are your best indicator. If you are lucky, you’ll find fish breaking and birds diving. However, birds sitting on the water or circling high over the water are also good indicators. The fish are most likely below the surface and just aren’t breaking yet. When you find them breaking, cast metal jigs into them and reel as fast as you can! Trolling #1 planers with spoons at 7-9 knots is very effective, especially if you can’t find those breakers.
Bluefish: If you don’t want to make the run to Poplar Island, you can catch bluefish using the same techniques as mackerel all the way up to the Bay Bridge. Of course, fishing further south will give you a nice mix of both Bluefish and Mackerel. Remember that if you’re catching small rockfish you are trolling or reeling too slow!
Red Drum: In the southern bay, there is a good chance that there are red drum hanging out under those schools of breaking fish! Drop a heavier metal jig down to the bottom and give it a few jerks for a chance at catching them. You can also troll large spoons on #2 planers, just slightly slower than mackerel, around 5-6 knots.
Cobia: The best cobia bite has moved out of Virginia waters and in to Maryland waters around Point Lookout and the Target Ship! Chunking fresh alewife and/or live eels seems to be the most productive way to catch them right now, although you can always sight cast bucktails on a calm clear day!