Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
Much like last week the Chumming bite was great as the fish continue to move northward. The Summer is in full swing now and there’s no better way to have fun with the whole family than a fishing trip! Whether you’re fishing with a group of friends or with family members, a fishing trip can create a lifetime of memories. There are so many great life lessons that can be learned while fishing so get out there and have FUN!
After talking to many customers and charter captains, Chumming with circle hooks is gaining acceptance and people are catching fish! We’ve noticed the bigger sizes 7/0-9/0+ are producing less gut hooks and more corner of the mouth hook-ups, especially on the smaller throwback size fish. With the water temps continuing to climb, Rockfish are becoming more stressed and handling throwbacks should be done with care. Ideally, unhooking the fish in the water with a pair of needle-nose pliers and releasing them is the best scenario.
The hotter spots this week were up around Pooles Island, Gale’s Lump, Hodges Bar and further north along the ledges up to the flats. Chumming with fresh Bunker on the bottom has been producing lots of throwbacks with a nice mix of 24″-28″ keepers. We are getting FRESH LIVE SPOT this evening so we should be stocked through the weekend. Anglers live-lining spot in many of these areas are going to have an advantage for sure. Some other good spots to try out are Love Point around the triple buoys, Podickory Point, and the Eastern side of the Bay Bridge around pilings and the rock piles.
Light Tackle Casting/Jigging
Anglers looking for a really exciting time can find some nice size fish in relatively shallow water very early in the morning and later in the evening. Targeting them with topwater lures like the Smack-It Jr.’s or subsurface lures like 1/2oz-3/4oz jigs with 6″ trailers are working well. Water temps continue to climb so don’t expect this bite to last long. Once the sun comes up, expect this bite to die off as the fish seek deeper, cooler water.
Jigging the Bay Bridge has also been productive this past week. We’ve heard good reports of the eastern side rock piles holding some decent keepers. Look to target them earlier in the morning with 1/2oz. – 3/4oz. jigs with a chartreuse/white Anglers Exclusive BKD trailer. Another area that was productive was the Key Bridge/docks in the Patapsco river. Anglers had decent success jigging up fish all around the docks/pilings in that area.
The trolling bite continues to catch fish, just not with the same frequency as with Chumming or Jigging/Topwater. Ideally you’re targeting Rockfish early in the morning along the channel ledges further north in the same areas as the Chumming fleet. Gold/Chartreuse size 17 Tony spoons, Red or Green hoses and spoonbrellas have all been good options. Key here is being patient and targeting quiet, oxygen rich waters with 25′-40′ of depth. Focus on the mouths of the major rivers like the Patapsco, Gunpowder & Bush. Mostly along the deeper drops where there’s cooler water.
The chatter around the water cooler has been that fishing for Perch has been hit or miss. We’re noticing that good numbers of fish are being caught early in the morning around deeper structure like the western side of the Bay Bridge. You can fish for them with top & bottom rigs baited with Bloodworms, Razor Clams or Soft Crab. In shallow water areas you’re looking for the following things…structure, bait, grass and cooler water are all key factors for locating these fish. A good transitioning tide from high to low is going to be a good time to fish. Small spinnerbaits like the Perch Hounders are perfect for catching Perch especially around shallow structure like marinas and docks.
Much like last week, the crabbing report is slowly improving! Crabbers are catching decent crabs in the Middle to Lower Bay in 10′ of water or less. Some of the better areas have been tidal creeks/rivers off the Eastern Bay and the Little Choptank River Sanctuary. Razor Clams are definitely out performing other baits but Chicken Necks and Frozen Bunker work also. Look to run a trotline in 5′-10′ of consistent depth water, especially during a transitioning tide.
The Spot/Croaker bite has been good in the Lower Bay area. Target these fish near the mouths of the Patuxent or Potomac Rivers with either Peeler/Soft Crab or Bloodworms. The Spot/Croaker bite is even better further southeast from this area around the Tangier Sound on the MD/VA border. We will be getting LIVE SPOT later this evening (Friday) and they will be $2.49ea/$23.99doz.
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