Cover Image: Left: Mackerel are here!! Nine year old Grady caught this monster Spanish Mackerel using a silver Gotcha Plug near Poplar Island. Right: Jaime, Lyndsie and Jasmine caught countless white perch with the JLS Light Tackle Ladies Fishing Team. They were fishing rocky shorelines and structure near Rockhall using Bust ‘Em Baits Spinners!
Rockfish: Striped Bass Season re-opens on August 1st!! Our prediction is that the bite will really be hot in the rivers! Topwater in the early morning hours was getting good right before the season closed, so that should now be even better! Using paddletaills rigged on a light jig head either alone or under a popping cork in shallow water should also be productive in the rivers! In the main bay, we expect that the bridge pilings and Thomas Point will be good spots to try. For bait fishing, live spot will be the ticket once again and we will have them available again starting on Sunday!
Mackerel: Just as, if not more exciting than rockfish re-opening is the reports that Mackerel are here!!! They were caught as far north as Poplar Island this week which means that should continue to push up to Bloody Point and Eastern Bay very soon! You can either troll for them or cast to them. Troll spoons on #1 or #2 planers, at 7-9 knots. If you need a refresher on how to rig them, check out this video from last year. Casting to them is very fun! Use a metal jig such as an Epoxy or a G-Eye Jigs Rain Minnow. You need to reel as fast as you as you possibly can! A high speed reel can help if you have trouble with it. If you catch rockfish, you’re reeling too slow! Look for birds and breaking fish to cast into, and follow them as they move!
Bluefish: Bluefish will be school up all over the bay with Mackerel. They’ve also been caught as far north as the Bay Bridge, much farther north than we are currently seeing Mackerel. Catch them using the same methods as Mackerel!
Speckled Trout: The speckled trout bite continues to be good from the mouth of the choptank down in to Tangier. You can also catch them around points inside of the Choptank. This time of year, we are really finding them on secondary ledges, out from the shoreline a little bit. Use 3/16, 1/4 or 5/8 oz jig heads with a 3-4 inch paddletails. Rigging the lure under a popping cork has been really effective especially when there is a lot of grass or underwater structure such as tree branches.
Cobia: The chunking bite for cobia has been great! They are out of Point Lookout and even a little further north! Anchor on points for chunking. You can also sight cast for them on a calm day using bucktails.
Red Drum: Red Drum are also in the same area as Cobia and even Mackerel. Keep heavier rods on your boat rigged with 1-2 oz jig heads and 7-10 inch plastics in case you find a school!
Snakehead: The reports from Blackwater, the Little Blackwater and the surrounding tributaries have been that spinners, weedless paddletails and topwater frogs are all producing! They’re really biting all over the eastern shore in ponds and in spots such as the Wye Mills spillway. On the western shore, people are seeing them in the rivers and creeks, but it’s harder to get them to bite! If you’re fishing from shore, put a rod in the a rod holder with a minnow under it while your casting your lures!
Crabbing: Crabbing continues to be pretty decent! You’ll want to run pots or trotlines in about 4-6 feet of water. You might find that you catch fewer crabs but they have been big!