Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
September 21st, 2018
Well folks, Fall is officially here tomorrow! It’s been a hot, crazy summer and many are looking forward to cooler temps and Fall fishing patterns. The good news is that Bay water temps have been dropping the entire month and fishing has been fantastic! If you haven’t stopped into the shop lately, you should. We’ve had a TON of new and exciting gear hitting the shelves the last couple weeks and we’re ready for Fall!
Fishing for Rockfish in the upper bay has been great the past week. Chumming/Chunking/Live-lining have all been working really well. Focus on the typical hot spots like Swan Point, Love Point and Podickory Point. Some other good areas to try are the Key Bridge, mouth of the Magothy and the Bay Bridge. If you’re fishing bait on the bottom, look to use Fresh Alewife or cut Soft Crab. Live-lining Spot or small Perch will give you the best chance to find the big Rockfish.
There are more and more breaking fish in these areas so the Fall pattern has definitely begun. Target schools of breaking fish with either topwater, jigs or casting lures like Rattletraps or metal jigs like Sting Silvers. Good areas to target are going to be the bridge pilings at the Key and Bay Bridges, the Triple Buoys near Love Point, the mouth of the Magothy and further south around the mouth of the Eastern Bay and Thomas Point Lighthouse. Hot colors have been Chartreuse, Alewife and White.
Plenty of schoolie sized fish are being caught in the tidal creeks and rivers. Fishing around shallow structure with spinnerbaits, swimbaits, rattletraps and topwater early in the morning will work well. Time this with a transitioning tide and you should be good to catch a few! Remember legal limit is 2 19″ fish per person with one allowed to be over 28″.
Plenty of White Perch are being caught all over the Bay. Find them around shallow structure in the creeks and rivers, as well as in deeper water on hard bottom or near structure in the main bay. Casting small spinnerbaits or tandem shad dart rigs at shallow structure can catch a ton in a short amount of time. Look for a transitioning tide from high to low or low to high and hope you’re in the right spot! In deep water, look to use either top & bottom rigs or sabiki rigs baited with either Bloodworms, Razor Clams or bits of Soft Crab on hard bottom.
Spot can be caught in 15′ of water near the mouths of the rivers around the area. They can also be found on the western side of the Bay Bridge and in random spots around Hacketts Point and Eastern Bay. You can catch these with Top & Bottom or Sabiki rigs tipped with Bloodworms.
With the heavy flow from the Connowingo continuing into this week, there have been more and more reports of Catfish being caught in this area. Many anglers are catching them on cut Alewife in their chum slicks. This will continue for weeks to come. Some of the more productive places have been Love Point and tidal creeks and rivers in 10′ of water or less. You can pretty much use anything for bait to catch them. Nightcrawlers, Bloodworms, Perch, Spot, Alewife, Soft Crab…they all catch Catfish. Use a fish finder rig with a 6/0 circle hook on 25lb fluorocarbon leader to land these suckers!
Many of the lakes and ponds are full of oxygen-rich, cool, clear water. With the cooler temps, many of the freshwater species are actively feeding and prepping for the winter to come. This offers the best opportunity to land some nice Largemouth, Smallmouth, Bluegill, Crappie and other freshwater species.
Largemouth Bass can be found near shallow structure early in the morning and topwater is going to be the best way to catch them. As the day progresses, look to use either crankbaits, spinnerbaits or jigs with soft plastic trailers worked parallel to shore or near deeper structure.
Smallmouth are being caught with crankbaits, craw imitators or little swimbaits worked along rocky transition areas. You can catch nice bluegill with a bobber and a hook with Nightcrawlers along the banks near structure. Crappie are being caught with spinnerbaits, swimbaits and some topwater baits worked slow.
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