Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
As we near the end of Trophy season, the action has stayed about the same…slow up north with more action down south. Main Bay temps are in the upper 60º range with lots of action in the upper bay catching catfish, schoolie sized rockfish, white perch and snakehead in the freshwater rivers and creeks!
The start of the Summer season is fast approaching (May 16th) and with that new regulations will be 2 fish @ 19″. If you are fishing live bait or chumming you must use in-line circle hooks. If you are just fishing cut bait or with no chum, you can use circle or J hooks with no size requirements on the hooks. For the full details regarding these regulations, please familiarize yourself by going here.
The trolling bite has been decent over the last week with most fish being spawned out and smaller. Anglers trolling from Love Point down past Poplar Island have been picking up a few fish here and there, especially on white tandems. Fish are being caught in the upper water column so try running spreads in 15′-30′ of water. If you’re running 6 or more spreads, evenly distribute your baits to cover all your bases (2 down on the bottom, 2 in the middle and 2 in the upper water column) to increase your chances of landing that trophy!
Some other areas to target in the upper bay would be: mouth of the Magothy River, just south of Hacketts Point and around Bloody Point and Poplar Island. Those have all been decent areas this past week.
Moving further south in the bay, anglers trolling between Chesapeake Beach and Point Lookout have had more success trolling the Western Shore side closer to Calvert Cliffs. A few keeper sized fish were caught there this week, mostly in the upper part of the column. With warmer temps in the forecast, we’re anticipating more fish to be caught near the top.
The Chumming bite continues to catch a healthy mix of schoolie sized rockfish and plenty of catfish mixed in. Areas like Podickory Point, Hacketts Point & Love Point are all producing fish. Anglers fishing with chum buckets and fresh LY on the bottom have landed a few really nice fish in these areas.
One of the key factors to this tactic is timing the tides. You need to be fishing during a transitioning tide. Target the last hour of one tide into the first hour of the next tide, ideally on an outgoing tide. This is when bait and Rockfish will be most active and apt to bite.
Another key factor is using FRESH LY for your baits. Frozen LY can be used but generally the fresher the bait, the better your chances of hooking up. Frozen will work best for chunking/throwing over the side as chum.
Light Tackle Casting
Anglers fishing from shore at Thomas Point have been catching decent fish. Casting lures like Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnows, Spoons & Jigs w/ Soft Plastic trailers have all been catching. Not a whole lot of keeper sized fish have been caught here but lots of schoolie sized fish which are fun just the same. Good news is May 16th brings the start of the new size regulations where anglers may keep 2 fish over 19″.
Jigging the Bay Bridge has produced some fish but most of them are resident fish, measuring 18″-30″. Calvert Cliffs power plant has produced some fish but not in great numbers like we’ve seen in recent years. Jigging up north in the Susquehanna Flats has been decent near the edges of the channel. Expect the topwater bite to start in the next couple weeks once the water temps rise a bit more.
Areas like Sandy Point, Thomas Point and Point Lookout have all been producing fish. Fishing bait like Alewife, Bloodworms, Soft Crab & Razor Clams are going to catch a mix of fish like Rockfish, Perch, Blue & Channel Catfish. Matapeake and Romancoke Piers have been better in the evening with Chunked LY and Bloodworms.
Perch are showing up in their usual Summer stomping grounds, near rip-rap, piers, bulkheads and shoreline structure in the creeks, rivers and main bay stems. Water temps continue to rise which will only help the action pick up. Fishing spinnerbaits near structure in 5′-10′ of water early in the morning or late in the evening will start to pick up soon. Baits like Bloodworms, razor clams or grass shrimp will all be great baits to use on bottom rigs in somewhat deeper water.
More and more reports have come in the past week and we’re hearing about Bluefish, throwback rockfish, drum and flounder being caught in the coast and in the back bays. We expect the Bluefish run to really pick up over the next couple weeks in areas like the Ocean City Inlet, Indian River Inlet, and Lewes, DE. Anglers fishing cut bait from shore or casting lures like the Daiwa SP Minnow have landed sporadic fish. It’s been decent for the last week but it’s only going to get better over the next couple of weeks.
A bunch of short Rockfish and a few keepers were landed at Indian River Inlet this past week. The evening bite has been better at the Rt. 50 bridge this past week.
The Flounder bite has picked up quite a bit and anglers are catching them in Ocean City and DE. Best baits to use are top & bottom rigs with live minnows, squid & Gulp.
Black Drum are being caught off the beaches from Ocean City, Assateague & Fenwick with Sea Clams.
The Snakehead bite has been slow the past week. Many anglers are catching them on beds during their spawn. Topwater baits, swimbaits, chatterbaits and live baits like big bull minnows under a pop’n cork are all great ways to catch these delicious fish.
Largemouth Bass are biting like crazy this past week as well. Many are on beds or transitioning from deeper water to the shallower water to spawn. Using the same baits as you would Snakehead, you can catch quite a few largemouth right now!
We are having a Monster Snakehead Hunt tournament which begins Memorial Day, May 27th and runs through the summer up to Labor Day when the winner will be announced. The only thing that matters? Size. The largest snakehead will win the prize money collected plus we are mounting their snakehead in our shop with their details on a plaque, forever! Check out the tournament and sign up today!
Show us what you caught!
We’d love to see your catch! Send your photos with some simple info (your name, location, bait/technique) and any other info you’d like to share to [email protected] By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online.
If there are any children under 18 we need their parents permission before posting any images online!