Maryland Fishing Report
August 9th, 2019
As Summer rolls on through, we put another hot week behind us and gear up for what looks like another hot one ahead of us. Forecasts call for clear skies and 90º through the weekend and isolated thunderstorms early next week! The bite this past week has been great, especially in the typical areas such as Swan, Love and Podickory Points.
One housekeeping note before we get into the report…Our White Perch Open is coming up! On August 18th, we are holding our 4th annual White Perch Open tournament at Podickory Point Yacht Club. Everything you need to know about the event can be found here. Sign up as space is limited!
The Live-lining bite has continued to shine over all other methods this year. Especially in the areas of Pooles Island, Swan Point, Love Point, Podickory Point and the eastern side of the Bay Bridge pilings. We’re finding fish in 20′-25′ of water near channel ledges, earlier in the am and on occasion, later in the evening. Fishing either live spot or perch has been the most effective. Live soft crab, fresh peelers or FRESH Alewife on the bottom will catch some as well. The majority of the bigger fish are being caught while live-lining spot or perch.
Don’t forget that you need to be using in-line circle hooks while Chumming, Chunking or while Live-lining. Ideally a 7/0 or larger hook will be used to reduce the number of gut-hooked fish. If you’re catching throw-backs, we ask that you handle the fish as little as possible and try to leave the fish in the water while unhooking it. This will help with their stress levels and hopefully reduce the Rockfish mortality rate.
Light Tackle Casting
There are decent Rockfish being caught in 10′-25′ of water around submerged structure in many areas of the Upper Bay this week. Early morning topwater action gives way to a slow jig or sub-surface jerk bait later in the day. Water temps are climbing due to sunny, hot conditions out there so make sure any sub-legal fish are being released with extreme caution and care and ideally all done in the water. If the fish needs to be removed from the water, be sure to do it quickly and with care.
Trolling in the upper bay has produced a few fish over the last week. The best bite is before dawn and just after. Once the sun is up, the bite will slowly shut off due to rising temps. Look for them in 25′ of water along channel edges from Love Point up to Hart Miller Island. If you are in the Mid-Lower Bay area, you will have better success trolling Surgical Hoses in Red or Green color or Gold Spoons on a size 1 or 2 planer as there are a heavy mix of Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish in the middle bay area.
Spanish Mackerel / Bluefish
We’ve seen plenty of Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish caught in the middle to lower bay over the last couple of weeks. Anglers are having good success trolling for them around the target ships and the main shipping channel ledges. Trolling small white, gold or silver spoons behind #1 planers has been working great. Look for diving birds or breaking schools of fish and cast metal spoons or sting silvers into the mix and hold on! All this action is happening from the Target Ship all the way down to Point Lookout.
We’ve been asked no less than 969,000 times where the Spot and Croaker are over the last month. We are finding them on hard bottom in 8′-15′ of water in a variety of areas. Those fishing around the Bay Bridge can catch some on the western side of the bridge in 10′-15′ of water with bottom rigs baited with bloodworms. There are plenty of spot being caught in the Choptank and rivers further south.
The Croaker are still pretty far south and we haven’t seen many moving up this way due to all the fresh-water flooding into the upper bay the past couple weeks. Reports are from the mouth of the Potomac up to the mouth of the Pautuxent in 10′-15′ of water on hard bottom.
The Perch bite has been on fire the past week. Some anglers are reporting catches of over 60 fish in a single trip! We are not only seeing numbers being caught but also some very nice sized perch as well! Look to target them in deeper water with either a Chesapeake legal Sabiki rig or a standard bottom rig baited with soft crab, bloodworms or razor clams with 1/2oz-1oz weight. You can also find them in the shallows in many of the area’s tidal rivers and creeks around docks, piers, rip-rap, grassy flats or bulkheads. The ideal shallow bait is going to be a spinnerbait like a Bert’s Perch Pounder or a Super Roostertail.
Anglers targeting Northern Snakehead have had success early in the morning and later in the evening as the water is very warm once the sun gets high. Some of the better areas to catch them have been the typical spots like Blackwater, the Potomac and the Patuxent with more and more reports of new locations like the Severn, Bush and Gunpowder rivers. These fish have moved in nearly everywhere, now its up to us to find them! Target them in your local creek/river by starting near the headwaters and tiny creeks fishing near structure with topwater baits or spinners.
Much like everything else right now the bite is an early morning/later evening bite. Target these fish with topwater/sub surface baits like spinners early. Target shoreline structure like bushes, laydowns and rock. Once the sun gets high, the bite will nearly shut off until the evening when it cools off. You can target them in deeper water with a dropshot worm or creature bait once the sun gets high. Fish for them slow and target shoreline structure early in the morning.
This year’s White Marlin Open has a record setting 404 boats and over $6.1 Million in prize money! No doubt, OC is flooded with tournament traffic and fishing has been great! We’re looking forward to the rest of the weigh-ins but as we sit today, Tom Hinkle aboard the Fish Whistle is in the lead in the Marlin category with a 79.5lb White Marlin worth $1,460,000!
Fishing offshore has been great lately. Plenty of Dolphin, Tuna, Sea Bass, Flounder and a mix bag of Shark are being caught with regularity. Trolling and bottom fishing around the wrecks has been good and it seems as if you can do no wrong out there right now!
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