Fishing reports from Maryland tidal water are rolling now with a variety of species avaiable for some fishing action. Striped Bass fishing around tidal Maryland Chesapeake waters has been good. Anglers are doing everything to catch them, light tackle fishing, trolling and scruming in the chum has begun with mixed results. Croakers are area, good White Perch action, Spot fishing is picking up, tailor blues are showing their teeth now and then.
I am short on time this week, but will follow up with a Sturgeon story to follow up from my previous fisheries news column.
Weekend Fishing Events
With summer upon us there is not much in the way of events going on this weekend other then you going fishing.
Upper Bay Region
The Conowingo Dam has been holding back their water releases to a great extent causing reduced flows in the Susquehanna River flow below the dam. Fishermen have been slow trolling crankbaits in the channel with some results but others seem to be doing better live lining small white perch or casting swimming shads and crankbaits for striped bass in the deeper pools. Most fishermen that are fishing the Susquehanna Flats have been focusing on Largemouth Bass in the extensive grass beds but report catching a striped bass now and then on the edges of the channels.
White perch can be found throughout the entire region. White perch have moved out onto many of the shoal and knoll areas that have hard bottoms.
Scrum in the chum has begun. Tidal Fishers have started to pick up fish at the Dumping Grounds, Love Point and Podickory Point. Action has been hit or miss, but with rising Chesapeake Bay temperatures it should begin to turn the bite on.
Captain Ron Jayne of the Rockoholic has not put away his trolling gear yet and reported: “Fishing has been good for the past two weeks. We’re catching the limit trolling the mouth of the Magothy to Sandy Point. All nice fish with some overs mixed in. We’ve found you have to be there when the fish are ready to bite. You can be riding over them all morning, then all of a sudden, every rod on the boat will hit at once. We’re catching on tandem rigs. BFGs and bucktails. But I’m seeing alot of storm lures and spoons working for others. Lure color makes a difference as well but it varies every day. We run a variety of colors so that we have the right color out when it counts.
We also start out at varying depths making adjustments as we see what is hitting best. Good luck to everyone with the summer trolling and have fun. Captain Ron Jayne”
Mid Bay Region:
The Tidal Fish light tackle armada is having little trouble locating good sized striped bass along deep drop offs and ledges. Jumbo1 reported a good trip this week fishing out of Eastern Bay in the Mid Bay area. His ticket was plastics sent to the bottom with a good jigging action. He reported fish up to 30 inches.
If you are looking to do some light tackle fishing look for any type of structure and take some time to look over the area keeping a close eye on your depth finder. Once you locate a ball of bait, usually will be suspended, you are close. Slow down and start a drift. Make sure to drop you jig all the way to the bottom and give your rod a sharp jig off the bottom. Try to keep tension on the line when the jig is falling, this is the primetime the fish usually strike.
If you are looking for some shallow water fishing, the top water bite has been good in the Miles, Eastern Bay, Choptank and main shores of the eastern and western shores of the main Chesapeake Bay. Early morning and late evening is the ticket. Anglers who are having success are keeping all noise quiet in the boat and doing a slow drift in 2-5 feet of water. Medium and large topwater poppers are the ticket.
Tidal Fisher TKSmitty reported that he hit the Bay Bridge area this week and had mixed success jigging the pilings with plastics and sting silvers. The tail end of the incoming only produced small striped bass, the once the tide turned around and the current picked up, the bigger fish showed up. He was rewarded for sticking it out with a 34” 18lb Striped Bass. Start jigging those pilings, the fish are there!
Trolling continues to be productive in the mid bay area. Most are trolling medium sized bucktails tipped with a sassy shad behind an umbrella rig also dressed with sassy shads. This set up has been very effective when trolled close to the surface along channel edges. Bluefish are in the mix and fishermen are coming up short at times with their sassy shads but this set up has been working well and is worth a few extra shads. Medium sized spoons such are also being used and medium sized diving plugs are effective.
Fishermen are also now finding small to medium sized spot in the middle bay region and a number of fishermen are live lining spot along channel edges and favorite structure with good results. Fishermen are also chumming for striped bass with some success along drop offs mostly but report a lot of small fish in the chum slicks. Most fishermen report that they have been watching depth finders and setting up on fish on a good running tide.
Tidal Fish Zam fished the mouth of the Pataspco this week and posted, “I was jigging a stingsilvers near the mouth of the Pataspco, the striper fishing hasn’t been very good yet, but this is the time of year when it usually gets better, I’ve been catching dinks and an occasional keeper striper, but the white perch fishing has been great, plenty of perch from 10 to 12″, I’ve also been jigging up some big spot.”
Croaker fishing has been good for the most part. The best time to fish for these guys is at dusk as the croakers move out of deeper water. Bait rigs with peeler crab, squid or artificial baits such as Gulp shrimp or crab have been fitting the bill. Shore line and pier fishermen have been catching their share of white perch and croakers towards the evening hours as well as a keeper striped bass now and then. Recreational crabbers have been reporting heavier crabs this week and they are enjoying good catches in most tidal rivers and creeks. The best reports have been coming from shallower areas and traps or trot lines have both been effective. The crabbing is reported to have taken a turn for the better on the Wye River lately.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen in the lower bay continue to report encouraging sights of bait, particularly menhaden in the region. Fishermen continue to troll for striped bass throughout the region but the western side of the shipping channel from Cove Point to Parker Creek seems to be getting most of the attention from fishermen. Medium sized bucktails and spoons have been popular usually close to the surface but far back. Bluefish are in the mix also wherever one goes. Chumming has really come into its own in the lower bay at the mouth of the Potomac River along the 30’ to 40’ channel edge and locations such as Buoy 72A. The fishing success at the Middle Grounds has been reported to be coming up short this week. Fishermen are reporting that some of the bluefish have been as large as 3 lbs this week.
Light tackle fishermen have been spotting breaking fish now and then throughout the region and enjoying some jigging action for striped bass, bluefish and a few sea trout. Shallow water anglers have been having good success along the shorelines of the region in particular the eastern side of the bay. Fishermen are finding a mix of striped bass, croakers and sea trout in the areas marsh edges, guts and points. Some are fishing baits but many are jigging soft plastics.
The croakers seem to be scattered throughout the region including the tidal rivers. They can be caught deep during the day and shallow in the evening hours. The Patuxent and Potomac Rivers, the Mud Leads, Middle Grounds are all good places to fish this week. The bottom fishing in the Tangier Sound region has really begun to hit its stride this past week. The Crisfield fleet has been finding good catches of croaker, sea trout, spot and an occasional bluefish and flounder during the day trips in 35’ of water.
Flounder fishing continues to improve in the region and those fishermen that target them are doing quite well at locations such as Cornfield Harbor the mouth of the Patuxent, Tangier Sound channel edges and Buoy 72. Every now and then fishermen are also encountering large red drum and cobia in the vicinity of the Mud Leads and Middle Grounds while bottom fishing. Recreational crabbers are reporting very good crabbing this week as the crabs become heavier from the last molt and warmer waters move crabs into shallower waters.
Until next week, good times and good fishing!
Chief Angler, TidalFish.com
Full report with pictures located at http://www.TidalFish.com