Cover Image: Left: There are so many different species to target in our Chesapeake Bay area! Including fresh water species in the upper parts of the bay’s tributaries. Anglers pro-staff employee Jimmy caught this large mouth bass in the upper choptank! He caught him right up against the bank on a lay down using a 4.3 keitech in the silver flash minnow pattern on a weedless swimbait hook! Right: Davis Swicord was targeting rockfish in shallow water on a rock wall near Eastport on the last day before the closure when he caught this 12 lb catfish! He was using a 1/4 oz jig head with a chartreuse/white skirt and 4 inch chartreuse paddletail.
Rockfish season remains closed until August 1st. There are plenty of other species to target, including:
White Perch: Perch are everywhere! Take your pick of the bridge pilings, any of the knolls north of the bridge, or any of the rivers! Use spinners like Rooster Tails, or Perch Pounders in shallow water around structure, or Chesapeake Sabiki rigs over hard bottom. If bait fishing, Razor clams have been working the best!
Spot: Large spot are also hanging out around the bay bridge pilings, and on points such as Hacketts. Chesapeake Sabiki rigs have been fantastic for spot too. Lugworms have been the bait of choice for Spot!
Bluefish: Bluefish are making their way up the bay, and have reportedly been caught trolling as far north as the bay bridge! Further south out of Chesapeake Beach there are breakers everywhere! Use a metal jig when casting to breaking fish. You need to reel as quickly as you possibly can! Occasionally stop reeling and give it a few jigs before reeling as fast as you can again.
Mackerel: The majority of the reports of Mackerel are still in Virginia waters, but there are also scattered reports of them being caught further north, including just north of Crisfield. While we have not heard any confirmed reports, we absolutely believe that they are as far north as Chesapeake Beach and just not breaking yet. We really haven’t seen anyone trolling for them in the Chesapeake Beach area, so we expect that if you break out your spoons and number one planers, you will be one of the first to find them! Remember, troll 7-9 knots for mackerel. If you are catching small rockfish you are going too slow!
Cobia: Cobia are plentiful out of Point Lookout and around the Target Ship! A lot of people are catching them by anchoring up on points and fishing with fresh alewife or live eels. You always have to reel in a few rays to catch a cobia though! Sight casting bucktails or pre-rigged cobia jigs from Hard Head Customer Baits or Coach Jig Heads is always an option as well. If you want to troll for them, use number 2 or 3 planers with surgical hoses and troll 5-7 knots.
Speckled Trout: The speckled trout bite continues to be hot on the eastern shore side of the bay from the Choptank down. Several of our staff members have had a lot of success using popping corks to catch them. Just put your standard 4 inch paddletail on a 1/16, 1/4 or 3/8 oz jighead under the popping cork, or try a