Your fishing report for the Chesapeake Bay & surrounding area
This weekend looks to be pretty messy weather wise as there is rain predicted Thursday, Friday and all day Saturday. The best opportunity to get outside looks to be on Mother’s day which would be a nice way to spend it with all those amazing moms out there. We were planning on having a fun crabbing event & seminar this Saturday but with rain in the forecast we unfortunately have to postpone it. We will be announcing a new date for this event later this week.
The past week was another slow week for Trophy Rockfish in the Upper to Mid Bay area. Some of the more popular spots for trolling for trophy rockfish in the upper bay have been north/east of Love Point shipping channel and just north of the Bay Bridge in the deeper shipping channel waters. Zig-zagging across the channel using large white umbrellas has produced a few keepers but not much to speak of. Some of the best fishing has been chumming/chunking on the steep channel ledges off Podickory point or on the deeper side of Hackett Point. Sandy Point has reports of decent Rockfish in the 20″-30″ range using cut bunker off the rock jetty. These will be keepers in 6 days! Matapeake Pier was also a pretty good spot later in the day using bloodworm or cut bunker.
Trolling in the lower bay area was still productive with reports of nice keepers caught near buoy 72 on the eastern side of the shipping channel. Most of the reports we’ve received noted that fish were being caught in the 40′-80′ depths with big white umbrellas. Most of the fish being caught were males which signifies the end of the season is here. Males are typically the first to arrive and last to leave the spawning grounds. The mouth of the Potomac was also reported to be decent this past week but much of the Upper Potomac was unproductive with stained choppy waters.
Fishing for Rockfish in the Eastern Bay area is still catch and release until May 16th but fishing has been pretty good over the past week. Reports coming in are saying that early morning and late evening jigging has been productive in the shallower waters near shore. Jigging around The Hill was also pretty good this past week. Using 1-2oz. jigs with 6″-10″ BKDs or Bustem’ Baits trailers. We just got some “Opening Night” shads in the other day and they’ve been hot also.
Fishing for filleting size White Perch has been great this past week. Typical spots like deeper hard structure bottom, mouths of the rivers near structure and in the shallows near fallen trees are all good spots to find them. If you’re fishing deep, bottom rigs with bloodworms or night crawlers will do the trick. If you’re targeting them near rip-wrap or shoreline structure, look to use Perch Pounders or spinner baits. Another popular spot to target is near the dock pilings in nearly every tidal river in the area. Especially once the water warms up a bit. In the upper bay area near Conowingo dam has also been a good spot for catching nice sized White Perch. There is no keeper limit so go ahead and get yourself some nice fish for a good ol’ fish fry!
Hickory and American Shad
In the upper bay area the Conowingo dam was opened up this past week due to the rain we had so fishing was a little difficult. Water was cold and stained but there is still decent catch and release Shad fishing going on. The numbers of fish are down this week compared to the last couple weeks. Look to use small tony spoons, shad darts and grubs to catch these fish. Play with your colors depending on the water clarity. With the stained water we have now, look to use brighter colors like chartreuse or pink or white. Fishing in the Potomac area near Fletchers Boat House is slowing down now. Using the same lures as in the upper bay area, you should be able to get into a couple shad in this area. Play with colors and weights depending on water clarity and current.
Bluefish, Flounder & Coastal Fishing
Fishing between the OC coast and up north to Assateague this past week has still seen some nice Bluefish being caught off the shore with cut finger mullet or bunker. Finger mullet has been more productive than most other bait. The big Bluefish blitz is nearly over as most of those fish are moving north. You will still see some Bluefish being caught all summer but the majority of these fish are moving north. If you’re fishing the inlet area jigging 1.5-2oz. jigs with Z-Man Streakz will do the trick. Gotcha plugs have also been productive catching Bluefish in the Inlet area. The best times to target these fish are the first hour of a good incoming or outgoing tide. This is when these fish are moving around looking for bait to eat.
Fishing for this species in freshwater ponds, lakes or reservoirs over the past week has been pretty good! Most anglers will find these fish in the end of their spawn or in post-spawn conditions which means they’re hungry! Targeting grassy areas with crankbaits, jigs or stick baits matching the colors of their natural forage has been productive over the past week. If your lake has deeper drop-offs, look to throw bigger swimbaits down deep and target those big girls that are all spawned out and hungry. Many fishing tournaments on the Potomac this weekend should have decent success targeting grassy edges with crankbaits as well as spinnerbaits. Just make sure your color choice matches the natural forage for the Bass. If there are Bluegill then go blues/greens and if there are Shad, look to use more silvers and shiny baits.