Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
Overall the past week has been excellent for all types of fishing in the Chesapeake Bay area. We had decent enough weather to get out and enjoy some time on the water pretty much all week. Looking at the week ahead, we’re excited to see conditions continuing to improve! Whether you’re looking to hook into some Rockfish, Perch, Bluefish or Crappie, we have you covered on how/where to target each species. In the video below, Alex covers everything you need to know to have fun out there this week!
Light tackle jigging in middle/upper bay has been great this past week. Many anglers have reported catching plenty of fish in the 22″-35″ range in transition or drop-off areas. Some of the typical areas have had success such as Love Point, mouth of Eastern Bay, Thomas Point and Hacketts Point. This time of year anglers will have better success downsizing your light tackle presentation. If you’re on a drop-off in 20-40′ of water we’re recommending a 3/4oz.-1.5oz jig head with a 5″-7″ trailer. This size seems to catch the best combination of numbers and size. The hardest part of this technique is finding the best quality of fish which comes by working a school of fish looking for the bigger ones. Working different areas in the water column is a great way to work a school of fish, starting at the bottom of the water column and working your way up.
As far as trolling goes this week, its much like jigging, this time of year it’s a good idea to downsize your baits. Look to use 6″-8″ paddle tails on your rigs. Popular areas have been the Stomping Grounds, Love Point, the mouth of the Eastern Bay and on the Western side of the Bay Chesapeake Beach has been a productive area to troll. Productive colors this week have been holographic green and a new color called Opening Night. Try to cover as much ground over the channel ledges by zig-zagging over the ledges and running your spreads 20′-40′ deep.
We sent a few anglers out this week who were looking to chum and they came back reporting nice fish being caught at Podickory Point, Thomas Point, Hacketts and Love Point. Key to this technique is a transitioning tide. The baitfish will move with the tide and Rockfish look to eat during this time. Best baits to use are fresh cut Menhaden, soft crabs and soon there will be Spot. We’ve heard reports that Spot are moving up the Bay and that means the live-lining bit will start very soon!
Shore fishing the past week has been hit or miss but generally pretty good for anglers off Sandy Point, Matapeake, Jonas Green Park, Ft. Smallwood and as far south as Point Lookout. The shore fishing in the middle/upper bay area has been the best at night. Most of these areas are shallower water which means the fish will come in to feed later in the evening and into the night. Topwater, live bait and cut bait have all been catching pretty good fish in the past week.
Perch, Spot & Croaker
Perch fishing the past week has been on fire. With water temps continuing to rise, these fish are feeding nearly all day especially in the 2′-10′ depth near structure. Perch Pounders have been doing the trick lately and especially this new Perch Pounder color Electric Chicken. For whatever reason, we believe it is most likely the built-in contrasting colors, this color of Perch Pounder has been catching a TON of fish. If you’re fishing off a boat, focusing on oyster bars, hard bottom and submerged structure like the Bay Bridge pilings and rock piles. Best baits to use lately have been Razor clams, Bloodworms and they’ll eat Soft Crab.
As Summer approaches the Spot are slowly showing up. We’ve seen a few being caught near the mouth of the Magothy, and even Hacketts. We’ve seen some big schools of Spot moving around in the Southern Bay area near Point Lookout in 20′-30′ of water. Cove Point has also been a productive area for catching Spot. Baits and techniques are very similar to Perch when targeting Spot. Gotta love the Summer Spot run!
Croaker have been caught mostly in the Southern Bay area over the last week near Point Lookout. We most likely won’t see many Croaker up in the middle/upper bay until late July-August. The Croaker population over the last couple of years in this area has been down but with the numbers we’ve seen down in the Southern Bay area we are optimistic.
CrabbingThe past week has been a good week for people looking to catch those delicious crabs we all know and love! People are continuing to have success in 4′-8′ of water, especially during moving tides. Baits that have been working really well recently are Razor Clams. Pull traps and handlines off docks have been doing ok with chicken necks. If you haven’t already, get geared up here at our shop for anything you might need to catch dinner this weekend! We have everything from Vinyl Pots to Trotline supplies and nets! Remember size limits right now are 5″ for Male hard crabs, 3 1/2″ for Male Peeler Crab and 3 1/2″ for Soft Crabs.
Speckled Trout & Bluefish
For the past two weeks we’ve been hearing about nice size Speckled Trout being caught in the lower bay area on the Honga River. From Fishing Creek and the marshy flats on the Honga we’ve seen nice sized trout being caught in shallow water jigging 1/2oz. double barbed jig heads with 4″-5″ Gulp Mullet trailers. The creel/size limit on Trout is 14″ or greater and you can keep 4.
A good amount of smaller Bluefish are in the Southern Bay area at this time. We’re hearing that trolling smaller spoons in 20′-30′ of water has been catching Bluefish as well as using cut bait like Menhaden. Another good technique to catch them would be jigging with 1oz. Z-man jig heads and StreakZ trailers.
Ocean City Coastal Fishing
Flounder fishing in the area has been good. Fishing in-shore in Ocean City using Gulp! Alive jigged off the bottom has been catching nice sized Flounder. Some other techniques to catch Flounder have been live minnows, cut strips of squid as well as shiners on bottom rigs. Lots of the charter fleets are maxing out on their trips to the wrecks. The Black Sea Bass bite has been good in the area as well. Many of the charters have also been maxing out on the Black Sea Bass each trip!
Fishing the shorelines has been decent this week. Some nice Bluefish and Rockfish have been caught off the shore of Assateague, Ocean City as well as the Delaware Beaches. Many shark anglers have been busy throwing out big chunks of LY on large rigs in hopes of landing a quality shark from shore.
Fishing many of the freshwater lakes, reservoirs and even some of the tidal rivers has been great for Largemouth this past week. Big swim baits like the Savage Gear 7″ Gizzard Shad are being used to land larger Bass this time of year. Water temps are in the high 60ºs/low 70ºs and we’re in the post-spawn Summer pattern so the fish have moved off their beds and are in shallow water early/late and deeper water during the day. Crankbaits, Seinkos and Swimbaits are great techniques during the day when the fish are deeper. Fishing topwater early in the am or later in the evening with either a Buzzbait, Frog or Whopper Plopper are all very exciting techniques to use when targeting Largemouth Bass.