Ohhh baby it’s HOT outside!
It sure has been super hot out this past week! With temps on the rise, both fish and humans try to find ways to cool off. Fish tend to move deeper in the water column and we humans tend to eat snowballs from our brand new delicious snowball stand!
If you haven’t yet, swing in this weekend and try either the Bloodworm Bomb, Bunker Butter or one of our other many delicious flavors.
Fishing up in the northern section of the Bay we’re seeing a slowing trend on the topwater bite that has been really good over the last few weeks in the Susquehanna flats area. This is mostly due to the heat and the fish moving deeper in the water column to stay cool. The key to this bite is moving water from the dam and getting out earlier before the sun rises. If you have good cold water from the dam and it’s nice and early, that bite will most likely still be there. If you’re not having any luck with topwater, try jigging with 1oz. jigs and some paddle tails around the rocks. Another great method would be to use cut bait like Alewife and get a nice mixture of either Rockfish or Channel Cats in/around Port Deposit and the edges of the flats. Moving a little further south near the mouth of the Patapsco/Swan Point you’ll want to be fishing deeper water as well. Most people are having success in 20’+ of water. The best bet is on a moving tide and focusing on the 35′ depth range with chum or chunkin’ fresh Alewife. Use your chumming/chunking set-up with a fish finder rig, 1oz-2oz. bass sinker, 24″-36″ leader & size 5/6 circle hook and be sure to use fresh cut bait.
Swan Point, Love Point, Podickory and Baltimore Light have been the best for Live Lining Spot, Chumming and Chunking bait on the bottom. We have live Spot in stock and pretty much anywhere you can think to live line will work. Near the bridges, off a pier or even in deeper water. Soft Crab has also been doing really well this week especially near Rock Hall and around the Bay Bridge. Jigging around the upper bay has been ok lately. You’ll be looking to mark suspended fish in the 20′-35′ of water around these same areas. We’ve had reports of topwater doing well late at night in these areas. If you are patient and you can fish later in the evening, you’ll have better chances of catching fish on topwater.
Trolling for Rockfish lately has been decent. We’ve had reports that north of the Bridge is still doing well with 6″ holographic green paddle tails but south of the Bridge, you’re going to want to troll metal because of the Bluefish. We carry a nice rig with spreader bars, two teaser spoons and two longer #17 Tony Spoons. Lots of guys are trolling this light rig deeper with 8-10oz. inline weight. You can also troll this rig higher and faster in the water column which has surprisingly caught a decent amount of fish lately.
In the Southern part of the Bay, you’re going to find a better mix of Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Rockfish. Trolling with size 2-3 planer boards will get your rig roughly 10′-18′ of water. You’ll want a 10′ leader and trolling some smaller drone spoons at 3-9 knots. Look to target areas like buoy 72-72A, Cove Point, Cornfield Harbor, Point Lookout and the Gas Docks. A nice mix of Spanish Mackerel, Bluefish, Redfish and Rockfish in these areas. Some of the other species you’ll find down south are Spot, Croaker, Speckled Trout and Cobia!
Fishing the coast has been productive lately. People are catching smaller Bluefish with high & low Bluefish rigs w/ finger mullet. Try and get out early in the morning as this is going to be the best time for fishing the coast. Sharks have also been pretty regular lately using fish heads and bigger cut bait off OC, Assateague and Delaware Beaches. Step up your rigs when targeting sharks or you’ll get broken/bit off pretty easily. We’ve had more reports of Kingfish lately and we carry Kingfish rigs so pick some of those up on your way to the coast. Look to use a 2oz-3oz sinker for your Kingfish rigs.
Flounder fishing on the coast has been ok the past week. Lots of throwbacks in the inlet area. One great bait to try is Bluefish belly as a trailer to your jigs to target Flounder and Redfish in this area.
Offshore has been great this past week. Many of the charters are coming back with lots of Tuna (Yellowfin, Bluefin, Big Eye, Mahi) and White Marlin. Some good Sea Bass have been caught recently as well.
Pretty much the same pattern as last week with fresh water fishing. Try and get out there early in the morning or late in the evenings and target deep structure. The fish are going to be holding tight to the bottom during the days and you’ll want to try dropshot, texas rigged soft plastics and slow swimming deeper crank baits. In the early morning you can try throwing topwater baits like poppers, ploppers and frogs.
Crabbing this past week has been slow. Lots of commercial guys are going deeper with their pots and we’re finding them in 10’+ of water. Try dropping commercial sized galvanized traps with fresh Razor Clams, Chicken Necks or Frozen Alewife and leave them overnight. Make sure to mark your buoys with your DNR ID number and keep them at least 100′ away from anyone else’s traps. If you’re trot lining, be sure to have a consistent depth of 4′-10′ of water and be patient! Remember the 60/40 rule…keep 60% of your vision on the crab you’re scooping and 40% of your vision on the crab on the next bungee. Lots of times crabs will be in bunches so you’ll have to scoop quick!