Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
By now most of us have started growing fins and webbed feet with all the rain we’ve been getting. It seems the world is coming to an end, or at least it’s on our doorstep…haha! Fear not good fishing friends, there are dryer days on the horizon. The rain certainly has had an effect on all of us, but the fish don’t seem to mind it too much. Over the past week we’ve seen good fishing and if you’re willing to get a little wet, the fish are biting!
This past Wednesday we transitioned from Trophy Rockfish season to the start of the Summer season. With that, some Rockfish rule changes are now in effect and anglers should be aware of them before they head out! As a quick-hitter overview, this is what you need to know:
• If you are live-lining or chumming (chunking or using any attractants in the water that are not hooked), you must use a non-offset circle hook;
• If you are fishing with fish, crabs, worms or processed baits, you can use either a J hook or Circle hook, no treble hooks allowed;
• the Keeper size requirement drops from two fish @ 20″ to 19″ 1 of which can be over 28″
For the full skinny on the rule change, head over to the DNR page here.
With the start of the Summer season, many anglers are eager to put some meat in the coolers. The trophy season was undoubtedly slower than years past but the start of the Summer season has already been successful! Anglers are reporting catching big fish in many of the same locations as the past weeks. Bloody Point, mouths of the rivers like Magothy, Severn & the mouth of the Eastern Bay were all productive this past week.
Anglers trolling deep spreads south of Bloody Point caught a few trophy sized fish and many schoolie sized fish on their deeper baits. Look to switch out a few of the 9″ shads with some smaller 6″ baits to increase your catches. You should also vary the depths of your rigs so that you’re covering all parts of the water column. A few more reports of chartreuse colored baits working well this week and with water color/clarity/visibility deteriorating due to the rain, we’re recommending using more chartreuse & black baits until conditions improve.
Some other locations that were productive were just outside of Chesapeake Beach, the mouth of the Patuxent, the mouth of the Potomac & directly across the bay from the Potomac around Smith Island & Bloodsworth Island.
As we transition into the Summer season, chumming is going to be the ticket! As we mentioned before, you are going to need to use non-offset circle hooks when chumming this year. Some of the hot spots are going to be Podickory Point, Love Point, Sandy Point, Hackets Point & just south of Thomas Point Light.
One of the main things to pay attention to is the tide. You should focus on the last hour of one tide to the first couple hours of a new tide. This is the ideal time as bait fish are moving and Rockfish are eating them.
Light Tackle Casting
The last week has been pretty good for light tackle casting for Rockfish. Finding the fish is obviously the hardest part! Jigging the power plant just outside of Calvert Cliffs has been productive. The Key Bridge in the mouth of the Patapsco has been good for jigging lately. Jigging the transition points in the Susquehanna has been decent the last few days as well.
In this area, the Bay Bridge has been the most consistent area to jig Rockfish up. The rock piles are a good place to start your search and just keep looking around pilings until you find em.
Best baits to use are going to be 1-2oz. jigs with 7″-10″ soft plastic trailers, #17 sized Tony Spoons & the Tideright Teaser Rig. Some colors to try out are going to be black this week as the water is super muddy.
The Summer pattern is starting up as we’re finding some Perch in the rivers and shallower water as well as deeper holes on hard bottom. If you’re looking to have fun catching some Perch, look to use the Perch Pounders around shallow structure. We have a bunch of new colors like “Loose Change” which is all silver with willow blades and “Magothy Money” which is all gold. If you’re fishing around the bridge or in deeper holes, look to use a top-bottom rig with Bloodworms, Razor Clams or Soft Crab on the bottom.
With all this rain over the past week, many of the area fisheries are MUDDY water. This obviously makes things tough but in some areas, not all hope is lost! Fishing slow and using dark colors is going to increase your chances of landing some fish.
Good baits to use this week are going to be topwater baits, swim baits, chatter baits & fished SLOW! Target structure or points as these fish are either spawning or are guarding their fry.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online.
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