Maryland Fishing Report
November 2nd, 2018
Welcome to November folks! We had a blustery end to Rocktober and we’re looking forward to some good fishing over the next few weeks. With cool water temps (upper 50ºs in most of the Bay area) the fish are feeding heavily as they prepare for winter. Trolling, jigging and light tackle casting will be the most productive ways to find fish now. The pattern now is fish are feeding shallow early in the morning/later in the evening and holding close to the bottom in deeper water during the day. Trout stocking continues, providing freshwater anglers some exciting fishing. Freshwater action has picked up with Yellow Perch, Crappie and Pickerel being caught in good numbers as well.
The pattern these last few weeks has been shifting to a deep troll bite, especially on a good outgoing tide near the mouths of the tidal rivers in the area. This is where good size fish will be waiting to intercept bait that is moving out of the rivers and creeks and into the main bay. Deep channel ledges in 35′-60′ of water is a great place to start your trolling efforts. Anglers have been trolling umbrellas with holographic green or limetreuse 6″ shads or bouncing tandem bucktail rigs off the bottom.
Some of the more successful areas this week were the Chester River, the mouth of the Eastern Bay (around Poplar Island), channel ledges just outside of Chesapeake Beach and further south around Point Lookout. The key is going to be finding the best combination of clear and quiet water in these areas.
Jigging, Light Tackle Casting
In the upper bay, there has been good jigging action going on the past week. Anglers who braved the elements were rewarded with decent fish being caught around structure and channel ledges. The Patapsco river has been holding plenty of fish in 5′-35′ around structure and bridge pilings. Early in the mornings you can find 16″-30″ fish around pilings, piers, points and rip-rap. Jigging the Key Bridge pilings will land you some fish. 1/2oz-1oz jigs with your favorite 6″-10″ soft plastic trailer will work well. Good colors to try out right now are Chartreuse, Alewife or Pink. Some of the other areas that have been hot recently are the Bay Bridge rock piles and pilings, mouth of the Eastern Bay around Poplar Island and Thomas Point Lighthouse. The ideal time is going to be during a good outgoing tide.
Topwater fishing has been good this past week. Shallow water areas that have quick access to deep water are the ideal spots to target. Areas with good shoreline structure like rip-rap, sunken trees or pilings are prime this time of year. Another good place to start is around warm water discharges. Poppers or Spooks from The Lonely Angler are a great bait to use right now.
The chumming bite has definitely slowed over the last couple weeks but it isn’t dead! Anglers are still having decent success in the typical upper bay hot spots. Swan Point, Love Point, Podickory Point and Hacketts are all good spots to try out. The outgoing tide is an important factor here. Make sure you’re in these areas with a decent chum slick during this timeframe. You will find fish holding close to bottom in 25′-35′ along channel ledges in all of these spots. Expect a mix of decent Channel and some Blue Catfish while chumming or chunking.
Live-lining has also slowed over the last couple weeks. Anlgers have switched from Live Spot to Eel with decent success, especially around the Bay Bridge pilings. Focus on the same areas you would if you were chumming or chunking and be patient!
White & Yellow Perch
In the main bay, we’re finding Perch in deeper water this week. Areas with 10′-20′ of water and hard shell bottom are going to be good to target. Tandem rigs, bottom rigs, or little jigs with either live bait or soft plastic trailers will work. Live bait like Bloodworms, Minnows, Razor Clams or Nightcrawlers will all work well. You can find some Perch in some of the tidal rivers and creeks this week. Try a float-n-fly technique with a little live bait on the hook. Some good spots to try are Tuckahoe Creek, the Choptank River and the Chester River.
As the water cools, we are starting to find more and more Pickerel in the creeks and rivers in the area. Spinnerbaits like the Mepps or Roostertails in all white or Perch color will work well. Small spoons tipped with bullhead minnows will also work. Target shoreline structure in 2′-10′ of water. They will be in many of the same areas you will find Perch and other panfish.
Still a ton of Catfish out there. The Connowingo has been open quite a bit this year so we’re seeing plenty of these whiskery fish. Good news is they’re a good fighting fish that likes to eat pretty much everything! Some anglers had really good success fishing near the Narrows in the Chester river this week. Came in with coolers full of Channel Catfish with a few Blues mixed in. Ideal times to fish for them are going to be during a moving tide. Baits to use are going to be Fresh Alewife, Bloodworms, Razor Clams, or whole Nightcrawlers. You can fish for them with fish-finder rigs or a standard top & bottom rig.
The Fall Trout stocking wrapped up this week in Carroll, Calvert and Garrett counties. A good mix of Rainbow and Brown Trout were stocked in Garrett county the last few days. Look to catch these beauties with either Flies, Corn, Nightcrawlers, Salmon Eggs, or some of the Berkley Powerbait. To find out where Trout were stocked, head over to the DNR page here.
Anglers fishing the surf lately have been busy with Snapper Bluefish, some Kingfish and a few Tautog. The best baits for these are going to be cut Bunker or Mullet and Squid. You can also throw some Bloodworms on top & bottom rigs. No decent reports yet of Rockfish in the surf as they’re still making their way down from New Jersey. We expect them to start showing up in a few weeks to a month so stay tuned!
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