Trollers, live-liners and chummers have all enjoyed improved rockfish action in Chesapeake Bay. Many trollers have found that downsizing their baits has paid off in more bites and better catches.
More strong speckled trout action has been reported. Fishing the islands along Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, anglers with Captain Walt at Light Tackle Charters caught lots of nice specks last week, while an immense speck of at least 10 pounds was hooked, battled to boatside but eventually lost. Croaker action continues to come on. Along Maryland’s Atlantic coast, mako and thresher sharks have been reported.
(Photo: Tidal Fish commercial subscriber Captain Tom Hughes and Doug Schopman launched at Sandy Point State Park and started searching structure for active stripers. After several stops without much success, they headed back to the Western Shore. “The screen lit up on the 30-foot line first with a lot of baitfish and then some stripers. We were both using light spinning equipment and catching went on for about two hours. The fish were healthy and fat with the majority in the 24-inch range.” Doug claimed the day’s largest fish, a 28 incher that could not resist a Bass Kandy Delight that had been colored with a Spike-It Marker.)
Striped bass presentation:
CCA / Northern Virginia – June 13 at Grace Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA. 7 – 9 p.m.
Captain Tom Hughes on catching stripers in the mid-Chesapeake Bay.
Meeting is open to the public.
Maryland and northern Delaware :
C& D Crabbing provides the following information:
Christina River is yielding some nice-sized catfish at the boat ramp in Newport, also near the Kalmar Nyckel. Chicken liver and peelers are doing the best for the cats. The striper bite has been slow during the mid-day hours; better times are two hours before sunset until two hours after sunrise. Best baits for stripers are bloodworms, peelers and Rat-L-Traps. The stripers are below the 28-inch minimum, but some stripers up to 26 inches have been caught. Hot spots for the stripers seem to be the entrance to Churchman's Marsh, the confluence with the White Clay, the bridge next to BASF, and the Railroad bridge near 7th Street pier. Tons of small white perch infest the Christina as well. Nonesuch Creek has been producing crappie, largemouth, and even some bowfin. Crappie are being caught on minnows fished under a bobber while bass and bowfin are hitting spinnerbaits. The Brandywine River is producing rock bass all over the place, which are caught on jigs, minnows, or nightcrawlers. Smallmouth fishing is also very good with the better spots being the swinging bridge in Wilmington, and the holes near Alapocas. Smallies are being caught on minnows, night crawlers, and small jigs with twister tails. Delaware River is still giving up a few keeper stripers near 6R, the Bullpen, and Ship John Light. They are being caught on peelers with about 3 ounces of lead holding bottom; in stronger current 4 ounces will do the trick. Bucktails tipped with rubber worms are also producing stripers. Catfish are being caught in the C&D Canal on nightcrawlers, bloods, and chicken liver. They are also being caught at Augustine, and in the tidal creeks in the northern part of the state.
Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports:
Tyler’s Tackle Shop and Crab House in Chesapeake Beach tells us:
There’s been good rockfish trolling action between Breezy Point and the power plan in 30
to 45 feet of water. Most of the rock have come on small tandem-rigged bucktails dressed with 5- and 6-inch plastic shads. Small umbrella rigs adorned with 5- and 6-inch Storm lures have also triggered striper strikes. The livelining bite is improving, and anglers have been catching spot to use for bait between #9 buoy and Black Walnut Point in 16 feet of water around the pound nets. Spot are then livelined in about 38 feet of water off Chesapeake Beach in the False Channel around #4 buoy. White perch and croaker have been caught by bottom fishermen.
Breezy Point Marina reports:
Fishing for this week was wonderful if you ignored the weather! If the wind wasn’t blowing a gale, you were dealing with the heat. Despite that, you didn’t have to go far for keeper rockfish, just up to the radar towers or south to the silver ball. The bonus of small bluefish made the trips even better. Croaker and spot haven’t really picked up in general. Reports from a boat or two did well at Sharps Island Lighthouse in the evenings over the starting about 8 p.m. non-stop for three hours or so until the tide slacked. Caught their limit in croaker and rockfish and baitfish were everywhere.
Captain Sonney Forrest at Reel Relief Charters in Solomons:
Fishing in the Patuxent was good for perch, croaker and small stripers. We caught many stripers to get one keeper. Lots of small croaker to steal your bait, but the spot also took their share. I am trying hard to catch and collect what I can for live-lining trips coming up. But they are not here in great numbers of the size I want to use. Keeper stripers where caught at some of the shoreline locations early in the mornings. But weekends, well-known locations get hit hard by many anglers. I don’t try the better places unless I can do it without giving away the store. That is why weekdays work better for finding and catching more fish. A nice 27-inch rockfish hit a sub-surface rattle plug on an incoming tide near a rock pile. It took some time to get it back to the boat on six-pound test line. Live-lining over the reefs did not produce for us that morning, may have been the strong incoming current. When you see fish and they don’t want spot, move on. Which we did to more productive areas, like up river where we tried the bridge pilings for jigging, but got surprised by catching 10-inch and bigger perch, all while looking for stripers.
Captain Walt at Light Tackle Charters in Crisfield reports:
“Speckled trout Fishing has remained strong in the Smith Island - Tangier Island areas. We're still catching between 14 and 30 specks per day with some striped bass mixed in. Three to four specks per day are in the ‘above 5-pound range.’ I don't like talking about ‘the one that got away,’ but getting a bigger than 10-pound speck next to the boat twice without getting it in the net or boat was a recent occurrence this past week that will haunt me for months!” We're employing light 10- to 12-pound spinning gear and 7-weight fly gear and casting artificials into the shallows around grass banks, points and rocks to catch them.”
Ocean City, Maryland, Fishing Reports:
The following report is from Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle:
As striper fishing slows, shark fishing is starting to heat up with catches of makos and threshers reported. Sue said several shark fishing customers have been purchasing bunker. Frederick Weimert nailed a blue shark while chumming at the Ham Bone. While flounder fishermen reported rather slow action, Ocean City anglers have had a blast with bluefish and shad. As water temperatures in the surf continue to warm, Sue said get ready for summer fishing with spot and kingfish. Anglers on the Oceanic Pier have been hoisting up blues and shad along with a few legal seatrout. “After dark is always good but some days they bite just before dark too.” Spec rigs and Gotcha plugs have triggered strikes from blues and shad. Sue reminds us that “The Oceanic Pier is the one place in Ocean City you can fish without a fishing license.” The Route 50 Bridge has also featured bluefish and shad action. At times when the water has cleared, some flounder have been caught. A few flounder have been pulled from the inlet. Paul Coughlin told of a productive trip aboard the Morning Star which produced seven nice sea bass and a fat legal flounder.
Captain Monty Hawkins aboard the Morning Star:
Anglers on the Morning Star have been catching sea bass, although the “throwback ratio is high. I’d say our keeper average is in the lower/mid teens with some anglers better or worse, and an occasional limit too.” A few flounder have also been included in the catches.
Captain Sean Welsh on the Restless Lady:
A few nice yellowfin have been caught in the Baltimore.
Fishing Reports provided by Charlie Taylor:
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - The entire upper bay is awash with stripers, with the best area being from Love Point to Swan Point at the mouth of the Chester River. White perch fishing is improving off the mouth of the Magothy and in the Patapsco, while remaining very good in the Chester at the mouth of Grays Inn Creek, Copper Hill and the mouth of the Corsica River. Excellent catches of stripers are being made at the Diamonds, the Summer Gooses, off Buoy #1 at West River and the Wild Grounds. The croaker bite remains very good in the mouth of the Choptank and off the James Island stone piles, with the bite being better in the evenings. White perch fishing has been improving over the hard bottom in 25 to 35 feet of water from Thomas Point to Hacketts, with most in the 7- to 10-inch range. Black drum fishing remains spotty at best at Stone Rock, James Island Flats and Poplar Island.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Bottom fishing is excellent for croaker and pan trout in areas such as the Mud Leads, Blackberry Hang, the Asphalt Pile and the mouths of most local creeks. The largest croaker appear to be coming from the waters around buoy 62, Great Wicomico River and Smith Point Light. Taylor blues are putting in an appearance, as a huge school was surface feeding outside the mouth of Dividing Creek during the past week. Schools are also around Smith Point and chummers on the Southwest Middle Grounds are finding a few in the chum lines, along with the striped bass. Some cobia are also found in the chum lines. Charter boats are drifting for flounder and bottom fishing for whiting, spot, croaker and trout. The Southwest Middle Grounds are loaded with stripers and 1- to 3-pound bluefish, along with some Spanish mackerel. Three- to 5-pounds are available on the Tangier Target Ships, on peeler crab baits. Spadefish are at the Cell in force. Good catches of spot, croaker and flounder are being made off White Stone, near the bridge. These fish are also available at Bowlers Rock, Buoy 16 and on Morattico Bar. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are available throughout the area.
OCEAN CITY - Flounder to 2 pounds are being caught around high tide on shiners. The Route 50 Bridge and the Thoroughfare are good areas. Grey trout are being taken in the evenings in the inlet. Surf anglers are taking a few bluefish, kingfish and flounder on cut squid and mullet. Offshore, white marlin are being caught and blue marlin are being sighted daily. Shark fishing is excellent. Yellowfin tuna and dolphin are available at Poor Man's Canyon. Sea bass and tautog fishing is good on the wrecks.
Potomac River Fishing Reports:
Potomac River and freshwater reports from Captain Ken Penrod:
Bass fishing was very good in the early week but became poor by week’s end as big tides and clear skies simply hurt our efforts. For the most part, the south Potomac has been better than the north. You will see many dead fish, mostly carp, in the river but blame commercial watermen because they call that by-catch.
WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE: Bass fishing in this area has been “tough.” We catch a few in Penrod Cove, Smoot Bay, Belle Haven Cove, Broad Creek wood cover, and Piscataway Creek drop-offs. Grass beds in Pomonkey Bay, Pohick Bay and main river are OK. Case Magic Stiks, Penrod Special spinnerbaits by Big Mouth Lures and Mizmo tubes are tough to beat.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: This area just fishes better than the rest of the river but major tournament traffic keeps most of us away from those launch sites that we paid for. Yet, cast 6-inch Case Magic Stiks to the edges of milfoil beds and you will catch lots of bass. The trouble this week was coastal flooding from onshore wind. We did OK in Chickamuxen Creek grass-beds, Mallows Bay, and grass-beds between Chopawamsic Creek and Aquia. Warning: stay away from Marine base restricted areas. No sense of humor at all.
POCOMOKE RIVER: Bass fishing was tough this week due to on-shore winds that caused flooding. Same story for all Eastern Shore rivers.
SUSQUEHANNA & JUNIATA RIVERS: Closed bass season until June 16.
More Potomac River reports:
POTOMAC RIVER, D.C. - Fletcher's Boathouse reports that bass and carp are being caught in the C&O Canal, under the mulberry trees. Nightcrawlers and minnows are taking their toll. Washington Channel's War College grass-bed is producing some good fish on buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Rattling crankbaits are taking fish when worked along the outside edges of the grass beds. Blue Plains outfall is giving up some bass and catfish, along with a few stripers, to anglers fishing crankbaits and plastic baits around the grass-beds and pilings. Most of the bass are being caught along the grass-bed that extends from Blue Plains to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Primary baits are buzz baits, plastic jerk baits, small spinnerbaits and plastic worms. Try Mann's Baby One Minus crankbaits on high tides. A few bass are being caught in Oxon Cove and the Spoils. Catfish are thick around main river bridge pilings. Clam snouts, cut shad or perch, nightcrawlers and crab baits will entice these fish.
POTOMAC RIVER, BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - Most of the largemouth bass are orienting to the grass-beds, either in the creeks or on the main river, from Broad Creek to Nanjemoy Creek. Topwater lures, early and late in the day, will draw exciting strikes from bass feeding in the beds. Plastic frogs, floating worms, Senkos and Zoom Super Flukes, worked through the grass when the sun is up, will draw strikes on falling tides. As the tide rises, slow the retrieve and work the lures deeper into the grass. Plastic creature baits, with up to 1-ounce weights, and heavy jigs will get down to the fish. This technique produces the larger fish. Rattling crankbaits and Chatterbaits, worked parallel to the outside edge of the grass and across deep points, will also take good fish. Catfish are available on almost any shallow flat adjacent to a channel drop-off. Cut bait and clam snouts are the top choices for bait. White and yellow perch are still being caught throughout the river. Most of the yellow perch are being taken from the grass-beds on 1/8-ounce beetlespins. Catalpa appears to be the most productive color. White perch are to be found around boat docks and pilings on the main river.
That’s it for this week’s fishing report, have a great fishing week!
You can get daily updated Maryland Chesapeake fishing reports on TidalFish.com's Maryland fishing forum by clicking here , Ocean City, MD Offshore Fishing Reports on the Mid Atlantic Offshore Fishing Forum and Ocean City inshore fishing reports on the Mid Atlantic Inshore Fishing Forum.