Maryland Fishing Report
October 5th, 2018
October is a special time in Maryland. There are so many things to see and do that Hunters and Anglers alike may have a hard time deciding how to spend their weekends. The United States Sail & Power Boat shows are October 4-8 and 11-14 respectively. The Maryland Renaissance Festival runs through October 21st. The Maryland Fleet Week runs from October 3-9 in Baltimore and will have U.S., Canadian and British naval vessels ready for boarding in the Inner Harbor. Even with all this going on, the lure of the Chesapeake Bay and it’s rich bounties are always calling to us. Take some time this week and wet a line, make some memories, and enjoy this beautiful place we live in! Now on to the fishing report!
“Rocktober” is off to a great start so far. Conditions are perfect and we’re seeing more and more schools of breaking fish and birds working the surface. In the upper bay we’re seeing the typical hot spots producing like normal. Swan Point, Love Point, Podickory Point and the Bay Bridge have all been productive. The Patapsco River has had many reports of good fish being caught on topwater as well as jigging the submerged structure around the Key Bridge and the mouth. Live-lining Spot or Chunking Fresh Alewife in a chum slick has been working all year. Look to target Rockfish in 15′-30′ of water around the popular points (Swan, Love, Podickory and Hacketts) if you’re live-lining, jigging or chumming/chunking.
The trolling bite has been decent especially around the mouths of the rivers in deeper water. Look to target them in 35′ or deeper along the channel ledges at the mouth of the Magothy, Chester or Severn Rivers. The mouth of the Eastern Bay has also been a great spot to target them. Trolling umbrellas with 6″ shads in chartreuse or white has been the ticket. Hoses in red or green and gold Pet Spoons have also been good baits to try.
Fishing from shore has been good in a variety of areas. A good outgoing tide is key right now as bait is moving out of the rivers and Rockfish are looking to intercept them. Sandy Point State Park, Thomas Point State Park, Matapeake, Romancoke and Kent Narrows all have been productive this past week. Reports of a variety of species are being caught in all these areas. Best baits to use are going to be Live Peeler Crab, Live Soft Crab, Fresh Alewife or Live Spot.
Jigging for has been productive as of late. Look to target fish around structure in 15′-25′ of water around the Bay or Key Bridges. Channel ledges or drop-offs that have quick transitions from shallow to deep water are great places to find a good grade of fish. The mouth of the Eastern Bay has been a good place to target them while jigging.
Topwater fishing has been picking up daily. Good lures to try would be Spooks, Poppers or Walk-the-dog style baits. Target them in 10′ or less of water, especially around submerged structure like docks, sunken ships, rock piles or pilings.
The White Perch bite continues to stay hot this week. We’re definitely seeing a transition from shallow structure to a deeper water bite this week. We’re still catching them around shallow structure with small spinnerbaits but as the water cools, expect the White Perch to move deeper. You can catch them on a good outgoing tide around the mouth of nearly all tidal rivers in the Bay. A top & bottom rig baited with either Bloodworms, Razor Clams, Peeler Crab, Nighcrawlers or Grass Shrimp will all work. Typically these panfish will hang out on oyster beds or other hard structure areas.
They’re everywhere. They eat pretty much anything. Anglers are catching them with topwater plugs, spinnerbaits, jigs and cut bait. Pretty much anything you throw out there has a chance of getting bit by a Kitty. Some of the better baits to try are going to be large chunks of Fresh Alewife, Soft Crab, Peeler Crab, Nightcrawlers or Minnows.
The latest craze is all about the Snake. For those who have caught Snakehead, they aren’t surprised. It’s one of the most exciting species to target for a variety of reasons. Pound for pound they’re one of the hardest fighting fish. They’re delicious. They’re aggressive and explosive. There is a growing population of people that exclusively hunt for this species and they are hard-core.
The bite has been great as of late. Reports out of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge have been hot. Good numbers and size have been caught recently. Seems as if the night bite has been better but Anglers are catching them frequently. Look to use topwater frogs, buzzbaits, swimbaits or chatterbaits. They all work.
We’ve had quite a few reports of nice Largemouth being caught this week. This is the time of year where they’re fattening up getting ready for cold water conditions. They’re actively feeding on topwater early in the mornings and later in the evenings. Topwater baits like the Whopper Plopper, Live Target Frog or a Buzzbait will all work well this time of year.
In deeper water look to find some Bass along grass beds and deep structure. You can jig them up or dropshot some soft plastics like a stick-worm or a small paddle tail in these areas. Swimbaits worked deep around rocks will work well also.
We’ve had reports of hit or miss fishing lately along the Maryland coast. At the inlet we’ve heard of Sheepshead being caught on peeler crab, sand fleas or green crab around structure. In the surf they’re catching a mix of small Bluefish, Kingfish and a few Drum. Look to use some Mullet, Alewife or Crab baits in the surf for optimal success.
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