Image: Left: Jake Schroll and his friends caught three Spanish Mackerel and a 20″ Rockfish trolling spoons in the Severn River! Right: Katie Haley caught a Spanish Mackerel on a Kastmaster Spoon and a 20″ Rockfish on a Popa Dog lure while fishing in the mid-bay!
Rockfish: The fall bite is hot all over the Bay! Reports are great inside of all of the rivers and south of the bridge from Tolly Point down to Tilghman Island, but the best bite continues to be from the Bay Bridge north. The pilings have been a productive spot for jigging, bait fishing with soft crab and live-lining eels. The action continues up past the mouth of the Patapsco to the Seven Foot Knoll and Poole’s Island. In addition to jigging and bait fishing, trolling light tandems or spoons is a fantastic way to catch fish and it allows you to cover some ground. The fish will generally be feeding in the upper portion of the water column, but have extra in-line sinkers on hand in case you mark them deeper. Troll channel edges and look for an outgoing tide when the bait fish will be pushed to the mouths of the rivers. The top water bite in shallow water is especially hot in the morning and evening hours. Also try fishing paddletails in shallow water and around structure.
Mackerel: While most of the Mackerel seem to have moved south, we are still consistently getting reports of “stragglers” being caught all the way up to the Severn River and Hackett Point. Don’t hesitate to vary your speed when trolling spoons. You’ll be likely to catch one if you are going 6-7 mph. Also keep a rod rigged with a metal jig or casting spoon in case you see them jumping!
Bluefish: Nice sized bluefish are still all over the bay from the bridge south. Trolling spoons or casting metal jigs is a fantastic way to catch them as well!
Perch: Perch fishing is a great option for windier days, because they are in all of the sheltered areas of the rivers and creeks. Use spinners such as Rooster Tails! You can also catch nice sized perch bottom fishing over submerged structure or humps like at Six Foot Knoll and Belvedere Shoals.
Cobia: We are still getting some reports of Cobia being caught around the Target Ship, but the majority of them have moved south into Virginia waters. Trolling big surgical hoses and large spoons is the best way to target them right now! On a calm day you can also sight cast bucktails or live eels.
Snakehead: The fall Snakehead bite is starting to turn on! As water temperatures cool down, you’ll want to fish your lures a bit slower, and submerged baits will be more productive than topwater. Try a small paddletail rigged weedless or a fluke. White is still their favorite color!!