Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
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The fall season is in full effect from the start of Rocktober until now. Rivers have been chock-full of healthy fall fatties in and around the Severn, Magothy, South and Chester. Early morning and late evening topwater bites have been prime with key baits being Smack-it Jr’s and Mega Eye’s from The Lonely Angler. The shallows have been just as productive on an ebb tide in late morning mid-afternoon using stick baits, Rattle Traps, and subsurface swim shads, bass assassins, etc. As far as the jig bite goes all is well. Look for breakers on key ledges in the river. Frankly, if you just look for the birds, they will be in close contact with fish. Most of the bigger fish seem to be sitting down tide from the smaller “schoolies”, but anglers have been jigging fish up to and over 30 inches, which makes for a heck of a light tackle fight. Out to the Bay, front fish are still holding on the bridge pilings as they so often do year round. I’ve gotten several decent reports off the eastern rock pile with some fish suspended in the channel. The chum bite off Hackett’s has been decent as of late. Heading up north to the mouth of the Magothy and Chester Rivers there has been a really good bite live lining eels drifting on the bottom. Trolling is still productive as anglers have been picking keepers up on six pack schoolies and metal rigs with number 1, 2, and 3 planers working anywhere from Hackett’s Point and south to the mouth of the West River.
Well, most of these fish have moved out of the shallows and are staging up in deep water holes before they head to the wintering grounds. Though it is not what a lot of people want to hear, the world is not ending! Plenty of schools of big black backs are sitting on oyster reefs and any hard living bottom from 15 to 25 feet of water. All you need is ½ to 1oz metal, and you can have one heck of a day wrangling the infamous black backs, or worst case scenario, get the bottom rigs and some bloodworms out! The bridge is also famous this time of year for holding big white perch. I have personally received several great reports off the western side pilings in 25 feet of water holding large fish in excess of 14 inches.
Though there are still some being caught in and around breakers most of the blues are making their way south now. Fish are still being picked off around Hackett’s and Tolly’s and across to Gum Thickets on metal spoons and jigs, but the majority of these schools are from the Choptank south. Fortunately, if you are trolling metal, your odds are best around 25 to 35 feet of water around the Gooses down to Solomon’s.
Yes, the rumors are true. Although most have been small schools of trout, have been showing up with some keepers outside the mouth of the Choptank on up to the West River in some deeper holes being caught on 1.5-2oz sting silvers, primarily black and gold. Hopefully, they stick around for awhile!
It’s hard to get a good flounder report in the Chesapeake as not many anglers have an interest or the know how to catch flounder. There has been a good run of big flounder up to 23 inches being caught on oyster ledges from Thomas Point south on 1 to 3oz tandems tipped with Berkley Gulp and bull minnows with most fish being caught from 12 to 24 feet of water. How long these fish will be around is a guessing game but if you have any inclination to try something different it can be done!
Though fall season is pushing through now, the Chester is still as always holding some good fish in deeper water holes from 25 to 40 feet so anchor up on a good hole or ledge, throw some Bunker or clam snouts out on the bottom, crack a beer, and enjoy catchin’ Whiskers!
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