Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
Welcome to Summer!! The Summer season is officially here and with that comes long days and short nights full of fishing opportunities. Summer vacations are in full swing and many people are choosing to go to the beach or camping or just taking time off to be with the family and to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. This gives families ample opportunity to enjoy some time outdoors fishing or crabbing and the good news is, fishing has been great all over the state and we expect that to continue for a while.
In the upper bay area, many anglers have been having success over the last week fishing the Susquehanna dam pool early in the morning with topwater lures such as plugs or Whopper Ploppers. A hot color of Whopper Plopper is “Barney” for that early morning bite.
Trolling in the upper bay has been good along the channel edges in 20′-30′ of water. We’ve seen good success trolling Mann’s Heavy Duty Stretch lures and surgical tubes in red or green color. Make sure you’re using a good quality swivel as the surgical tubes get twisted up pretty easy!
In the middle bay area jigging, chumming and trolling have all been doing really well. Jigging has been hot around Love Point, the mouth of the Eastern Bay and also around the Bay Bridge later in the evening once all the boat traffic calms down. Depending on the depth of the water you’re in and where the fish are marking, you’ll want to use either a 1/2oz. to a 1 1/2oz. jig head with your favorite soft plastic trailer. White Hard Candy Jig heads with Butt Naked Saltwater Assassin trailers have been working really well. Chumming has been really hot around the dumping grounds, Podickory Point and down around the Gum Thickets on a transitioning tide. Trolling the channel edges with tandem red or green surgical hoses in 30′ of water has been working well also. As the Summer rolls along, we’ll be switching to spoons while trolling especially once the Bluefish and Mackerel start to show up in the middle to upper bay area.
Shore fishermen have been reporting good success off Sandy Point early in the am or late at night. Matapeake and Kent Narrows have also been doing really well at night using bloodworms or cut alewife or bunker.
In the Southern Bay the hot spots are pretty much the same as last week. Buoy 72-72A around the Falls Channel has been good. Near the gas docks at Cove Point many anglers have been live-lining Spot that they’re catching down there. Patuxent river bridge is another good area to live line spot for Rockfish. Point Lookout has been reporting smaller Rockfish with sizes around 15″-22″ but more and more dolphin are being caught.
White Perch / Bottom Fishing
White Perchin’ in the Bay has been fantastic the last week or so. It seems everywhere you go, there will be White Perch ready to bite a Perch Pounder or a bottom rig with live bait such as grass shrimp, bloodworm or razor clam. Great spots are nearly everywhere as long as you’re near any type of structure in 2′-10′ of water. Good times to go out would be during a transitioning tide early in the morning or later in the evening. Water temps in the tidal rivers in the middle bay area are hovering right around 77º so fish are very active. Many anglers are catching and reporting nice size Channel Catfish lately. Here is a nice shot of a happy angler with a 30″ Channel Catfish caught with a Bus Stop colored Perch Pounder in the Magothy River!
Another good area to try is the Bay Bridge pilings as well as the rock piles under the bridge. The tidal creeks and rivers are also producing many White Perch in the middle to upper bay area. Ft. Smallwood Park has also been producing a nice concentration of 10″+ White Perch.
In the Southern Bay area the Flounder bite has been decent the past week. Lots of smaller sized flounder but decent numbers are being caught in the mouth of the Potomac in the Crisfield area. On the eastern shore side of the Bay the Speckled Trout bite is still going strong in shallow marshy areas. Smaller Puppy Drum up to 18″-20″ are being caught on spoons or BKD’s in the same areas as Speckled Trout.
On August 20th, we’re holding our 2nd Annual White Perch Open which you can register for here. It’s going to be tons of fun with a fishing tournament and party/fish fry afterward. There will be an individual division, kids division (12 & under) and a longest White Perch award. If anyone catches a White Perch over 14″ they will get the fish mounted and immortalized on the walls of Anglers forever! Lots of prizes and cool stuff happening so mark your calendars for August 20th!
We’ve been hearing good things from the coastline this past week. A mix of Bluefish, Rockfish, Shark and Flounder are being caught in the surf. Bluefish are being caught with finger mullet, Rockfish and Shark are being caught with cut bait and Flounder are being caught with White Gulp. While trolling anglers are having success when focusing on oyster and lobster buoys. Trolling Ilander lures in green color with Ballyhoo or soft plastic trailers are producing the best for Tuna. Reports of nice Mako, Thresher and Blue Shark 30-35 miles off the coast have been coming in as well.
A mix of Puppy Drum, Sheephead and Black Drum are being caught in the inlet with Green Crab, Soft Crab or Peeler Crab. A mix of Rockfish and Bluefish are being caught later in the evening bouncing bucktails and BKDs off the bottom.
Liberty and Rocky Gorge have been doing well the past week. Many of the ponds/lakes on the Eastern Shore have been doing well also. The Summer pattern is in full effect with good bites coming early in the morning or later in the evening. Topwater early in the am and later in the evening have been doing really well. Whopper Ploppers in the 130 size are catching good sized bass. Texas Rigged brush hogs fished around brush and structure are good tactics during the day. Crankbaits around secondary points and ledges are another way to trigger nice Summer bites. Swimbaits fished slow and deep are another way to get a trophy sized bass early in the day. Here’s a shot of a nice 5.5lb Largemouth caught while Daddy and Daughter kayaked on the Eastern Shore!