Image: Left: Mike Benefiel took his son Austin and friend Colby out on the bay for a great morning of fishing this week! Right: Ben Grimm caught this monster bass (estimated 7-8 lbs!) in a farm pond using a live cricket!

Rockfish: There’s a good reason why they call it “Rocktober!” Nice sized rockfish can be caught all over the bay right now. A lot of people are trolling tandems and umbrellas in 20-30 feet of water. The fish are scattered throughout the middle of the water column, so it’s a good idea to use a variety of in-line sinkers to mix up your lure depth. Trolling from the bay bridge past Hackett’s to the mouth of the Severn has been productive, as well as the mouth of the Patapsco. You can troll inside of the rivers as well! Try the Patapsco from the Key Bridge out to the Seven Foot Knoll, or the Severn from Round Bay to the Naval Academy. Jigging has also been productive around all of the traditional points, Belvedere Shoals and the Seven Foot Knoll. For shallower water, use a 5 inch paddletail on a lighter jig head, or try topwater. The topwater bite around shoreline structure and points has been hot in the Severn, the Patapsco and Eastern Bay!

Pickerel: Pickerel season is here! Upper parts of the Magothy and Severn are great places to target them. Eastern Shore Mill ponds such as Unicorn, Smithville and Johnson Pond are good spots as well. Use paddletails, x-raps, or live minnows to catch them!

White Perch: You will still find some perch in shallow water around structure, but they do tend to move a bit deeper this time of year. Look for them over hard bottom and oysters beds in the rivers and in the main bay. Love Point is a great spot to target them.

Snakehead: Snakehead fishing at Blackwater is slowing down a little bit as water temperatures cool, but we are still getting good reports from up in the Middle River and Bush River areas. The Patuxent, Severn and Magothy rivers are hit or miss, but as we start to see less anglers out targeting them, they may actually become easier to catch. Try using minnows or slowly fish a weedless paddletail.

Speckled Trout/Weakfish: Speckled trout are still being caught near the Little Choptank, in the Tangier Sound, and around the mouth of the Patuxent and the Potomac. We are also starting to see Weakfish show up in those same areas! Use small paddletails on light jig heads in shallow water, particularly around points.