Maryland Fishing Reports sponsored by Solomon's Charter Captain's Association and Tri State Marine.
Exciting action has been reported in the Crisfield area where speckled trout and stripers have been chasing bait along jetties, points and grassy banks. Speckled trout to 9 pounds, croaker to 14 inches, red drum and plenty of kingfish have been reported in Crisfield. Striped bass were caught in the Maryland and Delaware surf last week before big winds made for very difficult fishing conditions. Captain Richie Gaines and others are perplexed by a lack of striped bass in Eastern Bay and other locations. Richie said rockfish are “doing something different this year” and have failed to show up at many of their typical haunts. Yellowfin and bigeyes have been reported by offshore anglers.
(Photo: New Tidal Fish poster Crisfield Angler along with Chris and Mike made a trip to Tangier Sound, and while they had to battle very windy conditions, they did manage to catch fish. “Chris and Mike are great light-tackle anglers and are very competent with a fly rod. This was their first time fishing the Tangier Sound area. We really had to play the wind and place ourselves on the leeward sections of shoreline. The line between dirty and clean water was the obvious location to fish.” They all managed to hook up with schoolie stripers to 23 inches.”All in all, a challenging but rewarding light-tackle outing with a mix of fly and spin casting.”)
Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports:
This report provided by Captain Richie Gaines at Angler’s Connection Guide Service:
“It’s a totally different year.” Captain Richie said the oyster bars and humps in Eastern Bay that are typically covered by rockfish have been barren. “The fish have gone someplace else this year.” Richie said resident rockfish usually spawn in the upper bay then typically trickle down the Chesapeake to locations such as Eastern Bay. He believes one possibility is that instead of coming down the bay, resident striped bass headed out of the Chesapeake through the C & D Canal, because Richie has received reports that Delaware Bay is full of stripers this spring. Richie will be turning his attention to tangling with tuna and fishing for sea bass.
This report from Buzz’s Marina:
The Hwong family enjoyed outstanding speckled trout action with Captain Walleye Pete at Four Seasons Guide Service.
Captain Gregory Buckner on the Miss Susie out of Solomons:
Anglers aboard the Miss Susie have had very good rockfish chumming action.
Captain Curtis Johns provides this report from the helm of the Karen Ray in Crisfield:
Rockfish action has been improving with anglers catching “overs” and “unders.” Bottom fishermen have been scoring with big numbers of kingfish (sea mullet). Croaker have been caught, and while it’s been mostly smaller fish during the day, bigger 13- to 14-inch croaker, including doubleheaders, have been hooked in the evenings in shallow water. Crisfield-area anglers have also enjoyed action with speckled trout to 9 pounds and red drum.
Captain Walt at Light Tackle Charters in Crisfield reports:
Speckled trout fishing has really turned on in the mid to lower Chesapeake Bay regions. Specks to 6 pounds with rockfish to 30 inches mixed in as the "bycatch". We're casting various lures (Storms, Jigs tipped with plastics, and stickbaits) at jetties, points, grassy banks and submerged grass beds using 10- to 15-pound. Finding clear water on the above mentioned target areas has been the key. Most of the fish are spitting up small crabs when we get them to the boat. Often while we're motoring along the target areas we'll see baitfish jumping out of the water, sometimes right up onto the grass flats, trying to escape the marauding specks and stripers. When we see that, needless to say we're casting right to that activity and hooking up immediately. This fishing should remain good well into June.
Ocean City, Maryland, Fishing Reports:
The following report is from Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle:
Windy and rainy weather were a problem for coastal anglers last week, as unfavorable conditions some days limited the number of fishermen who ventured out. Assateague, and the Delaware beaches, have been productive locations for striped bass surf fishing action. Anglers often have to fish through a considerable number of skates before they hook stripers. Thomas Godusky pulled a dandy 19-pound, 14-ounce, 40-inch striped bass from the Fenwick surf on a clam bait. Striped bass in the surf have also had a hankering for bunker baits, which have produced stripers to 25 pounds. Sue Foster reported that “Mike Griffith caught and released a nice sand tiger shark from the beach on Ocean City.”
Fishing Reports provided by Charlie Taylor:
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Striped bass are thick in the upper bay. Good numbers are being taken around Thomas Point. Anglers at the Point are also taking a mixed bag of spot, croaker, speckled trout and flounder. Choptank River piers are reporting white perch being caught on grass shrimp. Bottom anglers are taking a mix of spot, croaker, flounder and speckled trout. Trollers are taking some chopper blues near Cove Point.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - The cool, rainy spring has caused trophy stripers to linger in the middle bay area. These fish may still be caught trolling in the familiar early spring areas. A few schools of large black drum are present in the area as well. "Croaker are about to take over" at Kruse's Wharf, which noted that the biggest fish are found in the shallows along the shorelines. Croaker to 24 inches are being caught in 20 to 25 feet of water around Blackberry Hang. Some spot have also moved in. Good numbers of striped bass are available throughout the area, with only a scattering of taylor blues. Speckled trout continue to show at Dameron Marsh. Grey trout, 16- to 18 inches, are available just southeast of Buoy 62. Speckled trout and large croaker are being caught by casters working the Hole-in-the-Wall and around the Piankatank River Oyster Reef. Flounder are providing decent action off Mosquito Point and Smith Point Jetty.
OCEAN CITY - A few flounder are reported, caught on squid and shiners on flood tides. In the surf, blowfish and skates are the main catch, while offshore, bluefish are showing at the First Lump and the Bass Grounds. Party boats are doing well on sea bass and ling cod.
Potomac River Fishing Reports:
Potomac River and freshwater reports from Captain Ken Penrod:
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER: Bass fishing was “off-the-chart as far as I’m concerned. This was a good “tide” week and winds were not so punishing. As a matter of fact, some wind across some grass beds was a big-time plus if you used it correctly. Interestingly enough, there was no single major pattern because I was on four solid plans.
WASHINGTON D.C.: It was crowded, very crowded; one of the two FLW events was restricted to waters above the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. That water stained-up some due to upper Potomac rises. Washington Channel received the most attention and for good reason. Some impressive stringers came from that sector. In the Woodrow Wilson Bridge vicinity, some of the best fishing was “off-limits” to tournament anglers so if you could find a place to launch you had Smoot bay all to yourself. Nearby Penrod Cove had “bunches” of bass in the area I call the Incubator. The south point of Smoot Bay, Hog Island, Charlie’s Cove and Piscataway coves were rich with bass. Best baits include Case Magic Stiks, Penrod Special spinnerbaits and Rapala DT-06 crankbaits.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: We just kicked-butt and took names, so to speak, and that means that we caught a lot. Most of the tournament boats were in southern Potomac sectors but we didn’t see a single boat up close. We caught some bass in the 6-mile per hour zone but we caught big-time numbers of fish between the state park and the river on Case Magic Stiks on milfoil beds. Nearby Chickamuxen Creek and coves to the south were fruitful, but it’s really a shame about the traffic in Belmont Bay.
POCOMOKE RIVER: Bass fishing has been almost dependent on a falling tide but that’s not so unusual since bass and baitfish have so much cover. We like the areas between Shad Landing and Dividing Creek, especially where small tidal guts dump into the river, spatterdock and wood cover. Same can be said about Nassawango Creek and above Snow Hill if you can get a bridge opening. We like Big Mouth spinnerbaits around spatterdock edges as well as Case magic Stiks. Always toss a Mizmo tube or Rapala DT-4 or 6 to cypress knees, and the outside edge of Pocomoke pad fields are unlike any in the bay system because of the depth. Try deep- diving crankbaits, especially the Luhr-Jensen Hot Lips in the Firetiger pattern.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: LOU guide and VP of Deep Creek Operations, Brent Nelson, reports good fishing for spawning bass in May of the coves and rocky points. This lake is primarily a vacation destination but it is also a major bass fishery, with benefits such as walleye, trout, toothy fish and panfish.
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS, PA: Black bass season is closed, and walleye and musky catches are scarce.
LAKE ERIE, PA: LOU guide Mike Breeding spent the week on the lake and was disappointed because the big girls had spawned and moved off. His “numbers” were off-the-chart but no 5-pounds and better bass. It’s a tube thing here, for the most part. A quality Lowrance HDS with StructureScan is a major benefit. We have been considering a May opportunity for our clients, especially since the Susquehanna shuts down the end of April. We need to have a certain number of clientele though to make this work. We have top-notch smallmouth guides with access to local experts so if you are interested, let me know.
More Potomac River reports:
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Small stripers and large catfish are the fare at Fletcher's Boathouse, where cut gizzard shad chunks are taking the fish. Downstream, bass are hugging the rip-rap above Columbia Island, main river bridge pilings, and rocky points. Catfish are available to anglers fishing flats adjacent to the channel, on chicken livers, cut bait and clam snouts. Grass beds above the Wilson Bridge are producing bass on Slug-Gos, buzzbaits, Pop-R’s, jig 'n pigs and plastic worms. The Spoils is still producing quality bass on plastic tubes and creature baits. Lots of bass are being taken from the War College Wall in Washington Channel on Rat-L-Traps, plastic creature baits, spinnerbaits and topwater baits.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Outgoing tides are producing bass for persistent anglers fishing baits very slowly in the shallow, main river grass beds. Incoming tides find the milfoil beds producing well on buzzbaits and Johnson Silver Minnows tipped with twin-tail grubs. Buzzbaits and Zoom Horny Toads in the lily pads, early and late in the day, are producing some good fish. Flipping jigs and worms, tight to cover, is also responsible for lots of fish, while fishing shallow flats adjacent to drop-offs can result in good catches. Patience is the answer, as the creeks are just chock full of herring and shad fry. Everywhere you look, there are huge schools of baitfish rippling the surface. This is the clue to downsize bait offerings and slow the presentation. Catfish anglers are filling boats with the tasty bottom feeders throughout the river system. Cut gizzard shad and clam snouts are the better choices for bait.
That’s it for this week’s fishing report, have a great fishing week!
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