Water temperatures in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay are quickly climbing. At Thomas Point light the water temperature was 78.1 degrees. Along with the rising temperatures has come the increasing sightings of breaking fishing in the Maryland mid bay area. Croaker are starting to turn on, spot are prevalent and even some flounder have been reported (although very sparse) and our toothy bluefish friends have showed up in good numbers.
The hot trend this year has been live-lining and Tidal Fishers have been having great success with this technique through out the bay area for Striped Bass.
I have only managed to get out in the middle bay once in the last week and had mostly small stripers. I was light tackle and fly fishing. I marked some fish on the ledges in Eastern Bay, but the fish did not seem to want what I had to offer. All my fish were caught in shallow (less then 5 feet) of water.
Weekend/Upcoming Fishing Events
This weekend is the Wish a Fish event taking place at Sandy Point State Park. Check the Maryland Chesapeake Board for full details.
Upper Bay Region
White perch can still be found on hard bottomed shoals and reefs in the bay and are being caught on tandem jigs or bait. The following locations have been producing: Snake Reef, Man-O-War Shoals, Belvedere Shoals.. Striped Bass have also been lurking these areas; jigs and jigging spoons are your best bet if not using bait.
Below the Pooles Island area has been where most of the action is for Striped Bass. The best reports of striped bass catches are coming from the chumming fleets at locations such as Swan Point, Love Point (mouth of the Chester Rive), Triple Buoys, the Mud Flats, the Dumping Grounds, the Sewer Pipe and the channel edge from Podickory Point to Baltimore Light. While chumming has been the most preferred method in these locations, the live bait bug (using live spot and/or perch) has been catching on and anglers have been having good success.
Mid Bay Region
The Bay Bridge continues to be a hot area for a lot of jigging Tidal Fishers for nice sized white perch and some larger striped bass. If you catch a good while perch you might consider putting it on a bottom rig and dunking it back down to the bottom. Anglers have been having good success with this method and catching keeper sized rockfish. Some pilings product better then others, just work your way down them and you will surely find one that produces. Also, check the rock piles as they have been producing early and in the evenings with top water poppers.
Breaking striped bass with a mix of bluefish have been reported in the Eastern Bay, Popular Island, Stone Rock, Choptank River area. They have been breaking on both tides. Some Tidal Fishers have been able to pick off some nice fish by throwing poppers (top water plugs) around the edges of the breaking fish. Also, some anglers have been live lining the edges of these breaking fish and getting some striped bass in the 24-18 inch class.
Choptank River anglers are having a wild time live-lining spot for keeper striped bass in the Cooks Point (south side of the mouth of the Choptank River) area. Anglers are going in the river a bit, catching live spot, and then returning to the mouth of the river area as well as the False Channel area and dropping live spot down to the bottom. Fish have ranged in the upper 20 inchs. If you fish the area you will see the charter fleet, you do not need to be right on top of them, the striped bass are spread out all over the area.
The trolling anglers are still at it looking and finding striped bass along channel edges on both sides of the shipping channel. Most fishermen are pulling umbrella rigs loaded with sassy shads and trailing a 6” Storm shad.
Croaker fishing continues to pick up steam with the warming water temperatures. The croakers seem to be spread out over the entire region and holding along the edges of channels and holes during the day and moving up the edges of the channels towards evening. Most fishermen are using peeler crabs or shrimp for bait but some are using squid or artificial flavored baits.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region
Fishermen in the lower bay region continue to enjoy good fishing for striped bass, bluefish and croaker. Striped bass and bluefish are being found chumming around Buoys 72 and 72A, the Middle Grounds, the channel edges at the mouth of the Potomac and at times the rock piles north of Point Lookout.
Many fishermen have been finding a better grade of fish by trolling the shipping channel edges of locating striped bass near tide rips or when they’re chasing bait and jigging.
Bottom fishing for croaker and spot has been excellent this past week and the Crisfield boats have settled into good bottom fishing in the Tangier/Pocomoke Sound area. The croakers in the lower bay in general are spread out throughout the region. Fishermen are reporting that the croaker, white perch and spot are plentiful in the tidal rivers; but the croaker tend to be a little smaller in those areas. Fishermen are finding the larger croaker out in the bay and the best fishing has been in the afternoon and especially the evening hours.
Flounder are steadily moving into the region. Some of the better catches are being reported from the Cornfield Harbor area, the mouth of the Patuxent, and the flats behind the Hooper’s Island Light.
Ocean City Fishing Report
Ocean City Fishing Center reports
The “Fingers” and south seem to be the place to catch a few nice size Bluefins. Capt. Mark Radcliffe of the “Fish Bonz” came in with a 120 pounder and two other Bluefins just a bit smaller. Capt. DJ Churchill of the “That’s Right” caught and released many Bluefins, but came home with one. Capt. Greg Ignash of the “Reel Addiction” came in with 2 Bluefin Tuna as did Capt. Chris of the “Hot Rod” and Capt. Luke Blume of the “Press Time”. Capt. Steve Wheeler of the “Ranger” put his charter on a hot spot catching 3 Bluefin Tuna and releasing a few more. Capt. Todd Kurtz of the “Justified” came in with a 117 pound Bluefin, 2 Bluefish and a King Mackerel. The “Jade II” with Capt. Ed Kaufman also came in with Bluefish, 2 Bluefin and 1 Yellowfin tuna. Capt. Jeff Powell running the “Mak-Atak” brought to the dock 1 King Mackerel and 3 Bluefin Tuna. Capt. Rob Skillman on the “Endeavor” also came in with 3 Bluefin Tuna and released 4. The “Why Not” with Capt. Wade Lober also released many Bluefin but did bring on to the dock.
Oyster Bay Tackle’s Sue Foster gives us this report for the Maryland Ocean City and Delaware Beachs area:
Summer’s here! Fishing was good on flounder though a large percentage of them were small. The croaker are here, though not consistent or very big. Spot are definitely here. The surf saw some nice kingfish along with a scattering of snapper blues, spot, sharks, and rays. Offshore was just fair on seabass. Further offshore the tuna bite was on!
Assateague surf saw snapper blues up to 16-inches on cut bait and whole finger mullet on mullet rigs. On some days anglers did very well on kingfish, and on some days they were not there! One angler came into our store and said he and his daughter caught 14 one day this week. He was using Fishbite Bloodworm Alternative on the Sea Striker kingfish rig with gold
wide gap hooks. Anglers are also hooking real big rays in the surf and some sand sharks.
In Ocean City we had some reports of kingfish in the mornings along with skates, rays, sharks, and a few bluefish. Nothing great to write home about except when the anglers get into the kingfish or a school of bluefish.
I hope everyone has a great week and I look forward to reading everyone’s reports if you make it out on the Maryland Tidal Fish Chesapeake or the Tidal Fish Mid Atlantic Offshore Message Board.
Until next week, good times and good fishing!
You can read more fishing reports with pictures and articles at: http://www.TidalFish.com .