Cover Image: Left: Brecken and Evalyn Ellington had a blast trolling for Rockfish at Thomas Point earlier this week! They were using #1 and #2 planers and caught several nice fish! Right: Ascanio Satta caught this nice rockfish live lining spot at the Bay Bridge with his dad Herve!
Rockfish: Rockfish are following bait all over the bay, so you can really take your pick of both method and location! Trolling has been quite productive. Most people are still using smaller sized tandems and spoons, although we will want to start to upsize those baits as we move more into the fall. You can troll north of bridge around the mouth of the Patapsco and up into the river towards the Key Bridge, and around and just inside the mouth of the Chester. Or, you can head south and troll the mouth of the Magothy and the Severn down to Thomas Point, Bloody Point and the mouth of Eastern Bay. Further south the ledges near Chesapeake Beach have been producing too! Jigging is also productive in the rivers and around structure in the main bay. There have been a ton of fish stacked up in the Magothy River that you can mark and catch by jigging. Top water in the early morning and late evening is also still on fire in the rivers. Bait fishing is working very well too. Around structure such as the Bay Bridge and any of the lighthouses, try soft crab or live-lining spot. From shore, Soft Crab has been the ticket for rockfish. Alewife works too and will produce a mix of rockfish and nice catfish!
Perch: Perch fishing has slowed down in the rivers a little bit, but is still pretty good in the main bay! Cast spinners or small paddletails towards structure or rocky shoreline. You can also bait fish small pieces of soft crabs, razor clams or worms over hard bottom or structure, try the 6 foot knoll or 7 foot knoll! We also heard reports of yellow perch being caught in the Magothy! Try live minnows!
Bluefish: South of Thomas Point, you can still find schools of breaking bluefish with rockfish mixed in. There may be an occasional Mackerel, but we aren’t hearing as many reports of them anymore. When you find those breaking fish, cast a metal jig such as a rain minnow, an epoxy jig or a sting silver and burn it as fast as you can!
Red Drum/Cobia: Both Cobia and Big Bull Reds are still being caught as far north as Chesapeake Beach. Most are being caught trolling. Troll large surgical hoses (make sure that you twist them, click here for a how to video) and large spoons, and troll around 5 mph. Look for ledges and humps in the water and troll those areas. You can also search for them. Look for cobia on the surface and cast to them. Look for Bull Reds on your fish finder and side scan and use 1-1/2 oz jig heads with 7-10 inch plastics. You can also sometimes find bull reds underneath of those schools of breaking bluefish and rockfish, of you might get lucky and find a school of red drum breaking!!
Speckled Trout: The speckled trout bite has slowed down some, but is still on in the Tangier Sound. Fishing for them can be slow this time of year, and a popping cork can be a great way to entice a bite! Use a light jig head, 1/16-3/8 oz with a 3-4 oz paddletail and pop it over ledges and grass beds. Remember that you may also be able to find speckled trout deeper around structure. You can fish for smaller puppy red drum in the same way!