Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report September 17, 2015
The start of fall fishing is here! Plenty of breakers are surfacing around Annapolis and the mouth of the Severn, primarily around Tolly and Thomas Point in the mix of some snapper bluefish chasing alewives. North of the bridge has been producing a better grade of fish. The reports are up north around Baltimore Light and Belvedere Shoals, but primarily most of these fish seem to be on the western side of the Bay. The chumming and live lining has still been effective. However, the bite on bigger fish has been in very shallow barring the tide off Hackett’s and Dolly’s Lump. Success is in anywhere from 6 to 15 feet of water, although more fish are being caught at the 25 to 35-foot mark. Bigger and better grades have been reported in shallow water. Trolling-wise, things are still solid, if you can get away from the smaller schoolie grade of fish. Clark spoons and Drones on planers have been successful as well as small buck tail tandems trolling channel edges from Thomas Point down to the mouth of the West River in 12 to 30 feet of water.
For the light tackle angler, this is the best time of year. Pretty much every piece of structure you come across (Thomas Point lighthouse, Bay Bridge, marinas, rock jetties, etc.) is bound to have some healthy stripers lurking around the corner.
Small 1/4 to 1/2oz jig heads with natural looking plastics have been killing it the past 3 or 4 days with water clarity being extremely high. The shallow water bite has been producing solid fish as well using top water Smack-Its, X-raps, Live Target stick baits, and the good old fashioned Rattle Trap.
Though they are not all over the place, select schools have been found down south around the mouth of the South River on the west to Gum Thickets and Bloody Point chasing silversides in the mix of mackerel. Hopkins, Kastmasters, and P-line spoons have been extremely effective on these little chompers. Trolling has also been producing a high volume of smoker blues with small Clark spoons and essentially anything metal. If you want to use bait, alewives or silversides would be your best choice in a chumming scenario on a channel edge such as Tolly or Podickory Point in 20 feet of water.
Spanish mackerel are still here in numbers! Don’t bother looking for alewives and concentrate on finding smaller pods of baitfish like silversides and bay anchovies. Throw small metal spoons, spinners, jigs, etc. and rip them as fast as you can. Very nice “mack attacks” have been caught over the last week as far north as Love Point in 15 to 30 feet of water. For the trollers, we’re talking small itty bitty spoons and a good 6 to 8 knot cruise.
Ol’ Mr. Channel Bass is still around although it has been hard to specifically target them. They are still being caught from Sharps Island Light on north to Poplar Island. Some smaller reports of puppy drum in the 18 to 20 inch range being caught here and there up in the shallows off Love Point, and select places just south of the Bay Bridge. Plastics are always a good bet, as well as topwater lures in the late evening on a good running tide. For the bait fisherman, peelers are always a safe bet as well as chunks of alewives on fish finder rigs. Look for these guys primarily around oyster and clam beds, key structure points, grass flats, and anywhere with enough structure to hide a few baitfish and crabs. Trollers are still picking up large reds in the midst of trolling for stripers on the same channel edges in 15 to 45 feet of water.
Yes, there are some sea trout hanging around for what seems like the first time in years! Although they are not of any significant size, it is a great sign that we might regain a fishery for these little guys. Bottom fisherman have been picking them up here and there in 10-15’ of water on oyster beds around the mouth of the Severn, primarily off Greenbury Pointt using peelers and soft crabs.
Plenty of white perch are being caught still in the shallows but are soon to be on the way out if these cold fronts continue. In other words, catch them while you can! Most creeks and rivers with structure have been producing solid black backs anywhere from 8 to 12 inches. Try using Bert’s Perch Pounders, Rooster Tails, small Kastmasters and Tony’s. Also, famous shad dart tipped with some Berkley Gulp have all been good choices to catch these fish as well as a Chain Pickerel or two in the process.
Spot remain to be tough to find and are likely to be on the way out of the Chesapeake Bay in a few weeks. So look for clam beds, look for hard bottom around the Bridge. Stick with bloodworms on a bottom rig and good luck.
Still on fire north of the Bay Bridge up around Belvedere Shoals in 20 feet of water being caught on alewives and clam snouts and on fishfinder rigs. Though considered a trash fish to many, they offer one heck of a fight and supreme table fare. So grab your medium heavy rod, some 12 lb mono or braid, some 4/0 octopus hooks and have a ball…there is not much these fish will not eat!
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