Cover Image: Left: Alyssa Kisner caught this nice 22″ Mackerel trolling spoons between Chesapeake Beach and Breezy Point on Sunday! Right: Anglers owner Mike caught several rockfish up to 25″ in the Magothy River using a blue tsunami paddletail on a 1.5 oz G-Eye Jigs jig head!
Rockfish: Fall rockfish fishing is really heating up all over the bay. Trolling is becomes more and more productive this time of year. Right now you want to continue to troll smaller sized tandems and umbrellas. Spoons and Spoonbrellas work too! As we progress into the fall, we will start to upsize those lures, but it’s not quite that time yet. Troll the mouths of the rivers both above and below the bridge. Try to hit either an incoming or outgoing tide, as this is when both bait and fish will be moving in and out of the rivers. Fishing inside the rivers, from the Severn, Magothy and South to the Patapsco and the Chester has also been productive. Topwater fishing in early morning or evening is always a favorite this time of year, but you can also use jerk baits and paddletails in all of those rivers too. Target points and rocky shoreline. We are still seeing a lot of success with bait fishing too. Soft Crab and Live Spot are still working well around the Bay Bridge, any of the lighthouses and from shore! Jigging will work in any of these areas too!
Perch: White perch are still in the rivers where you can catch them with spinner baits, but they are also moving to deeper water in the main bay over hard bottom. A Chesapeake Sabiki Rig tipped with fish bites or small pieces of razor clams or soft crabs is the way to go!
Bluefish and Mackerel: Mackerel are pushing back south in the bay, but can still be caught up to Chesapeake Beach. If you’re willing to travel down to Solomons Island or Poplar Island, there are some really nice sized mackerel being caught in that lower area of the bay! Bluefish are still plentiful further up in the bay, to the Poplar Island area. Troll spoons on number one or two planers, or look for breaking fish and cast metal jigs!
Redfish: The lower part of the bay, anywhere from the mouth of the Choptank and Breezy Point south , is still holding some very nice slot redfish and bull red drum! You can catch the bull red by trolling planers with large spoons. You can also mark them on your fish finder and use 1.5 oz jig head and 8″ plastics to jig them up. You can also jig for them on the bottom underneath of schools of breaking fish. The fall redfish bite from shore at Assateague has also kicked into gear! Use cut bait such as mullet or spot.
Snakehead: Cooler mornings and evenings mean that snakehead fishing is heating up! We’re getting great reports from Blackwater and all of it’s surrounding tributaries, along with many of the Western Shore rivers such as the Patuxent, Severn and Magothy. This time of year, your best bet will be to fish in late afternoon and look for snakehead in shallow water that has been warmed by the sun. Many anglers are having success with chatterbaits and shallow swimming jerk baits. Minnows are always a good bet too!
Crabbing: This is the time of year when we can look forward to catching nice big, full crabs! We are getting good reports from western shore rivers and from the eastern shore and the Chester River! Traps are typically your best bet this time of year because in colder weather crabs are less likely to hold on to a trotline or handline. Use razor clams or chicken necks!