There’s been a strong tuna bite at the Hot Dog and lots of boats have been getting in the outstanding action. Excellent flounder fishing has been reported in Ocean City. Concerning rockfish, as Captain Richie Gaines puts it, “It’s been a totally different year.” However, there has been a recent improvement in striper action, as liveliners, chummers and trollers report catching more nicer fish recently. While not available in great numbers, or even strong numbers, anglers have been surprised to hook a few seatrout this season. Typical summertime croaker action is underway at many, many Chesapeake Bay locations.
(Photo: Tidal Fish subscriber AYLA LAX GUNNER reports that they “Left the dock around 6:30 and planning on livelining. When we got there mlag was there and gave us a couple spot which we needed because we only had a dozen. Fished for awhile but the current was slack. So went east a little because we saw some breakers but they were all dink fish. So went back and the current picked up and then the line went zinnnngg so my brother reels it in.” The fish had sores so it was released, but less than a minute after dropping another spot in the water they were hooked up again, this time with a nice 25 incher that had no sores. “I think I have finally learned how to liveline.”)
2nd Annual Buck Wild Outdoors Expo
Washington County AG Center
7313 Sharpsburg, Pike, Boonsboro, MD 21713
MSSA Beach ‘n Boat Flounder Tournament
Saturday, August 25, in the Atlantic Ocean by boat, beach, bridge or jetty
$1,000 top prize for largest flounder checked in
Registration from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. at AKE Marine, captain’s meeting at 8:30 a.m., fishing 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weigh-in 3 to 5 p.m.
6th Annual Buck Wild Outdoors Expo
Charles County Fairgrounds
8440 Fairgrounds Rd, La Plata, MD
Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports:
Captain Richie Gaines at Angler’s Connection Guide Service:
Captain Richie reported terrific action around the Fourth of July, with lots of breaking rockfish, many of them nice 28 inchers, between the mouth of Eastern Bay and Poplar Island. Then hundreds of boats, including dozens of hook-and-line fishermen, started putting pressure on them, and the breaking fish gradually disappeared. Since then it’s been difficult to catch keeper rockfish. Captain Richie said he looks for fish on his depthfinder and when they’re spotted his anglers drop down and jig them with Bass Kandy Delight (BKD) plastics. Live spot have also been productive baits. Most of the rockfish have been found in 16 to 25 feet of water over hard bottom. Small, 10-inch rockfish have been plentiful, but keepers have been challenging to find. Captain Richie also reported very few blues and no Spanish mackerel as of earlier this week. It’s been a “totally different year,” Richie said.
Anglers Fishing Center near Annapolis:
Good livelining and chumming action with 17- to 28-inch rockfish has been reported. Hacketts, Tolly, Podickory, and Love Point were some of the hot spots. Anglers trolling with small Drone and Tony Accetta spoons also enjoyed rockfish action. Rockfish were also hooked by anglers jigging with 5- to 7-inch Bass Kandy Delight (BKD) plastics at the Bay Bridge. White perch fishermen were hooking up with spinners, grass shrimp and bloodworms.
Captain Hank DeVito on the Afternoon Delight at Breezy Point Marina:
Captain Hank said rockfish action is improving. He has caught rockfish to 34 inches on live spot. While many of the spot that have been available have been very small, they have been plentiful. Captain Hank said a key has been to catch more spot than you’ll need, and then change baits frequently to make sure there are always fresh spot in the water when fishing them for rockfish. Trollers pulling hoses, #2 Drone spoons, and 15 and 17 Tony spoons have caught rockfish of 13 to 36. Three- to 5-pound blues made an exciting appearance recently, but then they disappeared. No Spanish mackerel had been reported yet, but they are expected at any time, especially considering how hot and dry it’s been so far this summer. Only a few small flounder have been reported.
Captain Walt at Light Tackle Charters in Crisfield reports:
Speckled trout and flounder are this week’s big news from Captain Walt. “I remain completely amazed that we are still catching speckled trout to 4 pounds in the Chesapeake. And not just a few, but 20 to 40 per day with some days close to 50! June was an incredible month for specks and I expected that to cease in July, but it hasn't. In addition we're now catching flounder to 24 inches in the mix with specks. On calm seaside days out of Chincoteague, we're catching cobia to 52 inches and when the water is a bit too rough on the seaside we're going back to the Chesapeake side where we're catching specks and flounder. I've been at this a long time and don't ever remember catching cobia on the seaside in the same week we're catching specks on the bayside. Not complaining at all, just pleasantly surprised!”
Ocean City, Maryland, Fishing Reports:
The following report is from Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle:
“Flounder fishing was excellent again with lots of nice ones weighed in at Oyster Bay Tackle! More keeper seatrout were reported along with a cobia and even a dolphin reported at Indian River Inlet! A couple sheepshead were caught from the Oceanic Pier. The pier saw great flounder and spot fishing as well. Surf fishing was typical summer fishing with sharks, skates, rays and a few kingfish, spot, seatrout and snapper blues. Offshore fishing was good on tuna. Closer inshore, sea bass are biting offshore mixed with good catches of flounder. Croaker and flounder in the Delaware Bay.”
John Boyd e-mailed in his surf report to Oyster Bay: "I just finished a week of surf fishing at Fenwick Island and thought you might like a report: Early morning was the best action in the surf all week. I caught kingfish and bluefish every day on bottom rigs. Kingfish were taken on Fish Bites and also on cut fish. Caught two spot on Fish Bites and one was bitten in half before I could land it! Caught several bluefish each morning, all on cut fish. Highlight was a 3-1/2-foot long Atlantic Sharpnose Shark that hit cut fish. This shark is identified by its spots."
There's been lots of big rays in the surf.
According to Sue, “We had several reports of shark releases in the Ocean City area this week. One man caught one on a Hopkins Lure! Most were caught on some kind of cut bait, including mackerel, bunker, spot, kingfish head, cut bluefish - whatever you have or can buy that's oily. Teddy at the Oceanic Pier reports some of the best flounder fishing they have ever seen. One angler caught 32 flounder with 10 of them being keepers! He kept his three and released the rest. He was using chartreuse Gulp! on the incoming tide! Two sheepshead were caught this week and also a 20-inch sea trout.
Fishing off the Route 50 Bridge saw some snapper blues and flounder by day, and a few keeper stripers at night. Some blues and shad action is happening.
Captain Sean Welsh on the Restless Lady:
“Chunking is off the hook at the Hot Dog.” Recent trips have produced a 55-pound yellowfin and a 194-pound bigeye!
Fishing Reports provided by Charlie Taylor:
UPPER CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA – One to 3-pound bluefish are being caught in good numbers at Stone Rock, the Gooses and Claybanks. Breaking blues are also found off Chesapeake Beach. Seatrout catches are improving at Stone Rock and on rocks off James Island. Herring Bay, inside the Choptank River, is producing good catches of large white perch on peelers and grass shrimp. Spot are on the channel edges and over oyster bars. Large white perch are being found throughout the upper bay. The western side of the Bay Bridges, Baltimore Light area, Bodkin Point, Swan Point, Hart-Miller Island rocks, Tolchester pilings in the Patapsco River, and Key Bridge are all good areas. Breaking bluefish are available in the Chester River, near Love Point and Swan Point.
MIDDLE CHESAPEAKE BAY AREA - Excellent bottom fishing is available just off Hull Creek, where spot and large croaker are being caught. Spot and croaker are also available on the sound-side of Tangier Light. Trollers around Smith Point Light are taking limits of taylor blues daily. Good catches of 12- to 14-inch grey trout are being made early and late in the day at the Smith Point Light. Bottom fishermen are "loading their boats" with spot and croaker. Better areas are the channel edges in 30 feet of water, and particularly the SP buoy, Blackberry Hang and the Asphalt Pile located off the Great Wicomico River. Spanish mackerel are present at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. The area around Windmill Point continues to yield speckled trout early and late in the day. Spot and croaker are being caught off Gwynn Island and at Hole-in-the-Wall. Flounder fishing is excellent just east of buoy 42, with most of the fish in the 2- to 5-pound range. Good spot and croaker action is available on the hard bottom found at the Silos. Flounder are being caught around the White Stone Bridge on live minnows and cut bait. Bottom fishing for spot and croaker is also good at Bowlers Rock and Morattico Bar. Catfish are hitting cut bait fished around the Tappahannock Bridge.
OCEAN CITY - Spot are found everywhere in the back bays. Flounder catches are fair. Trout are being found at high tide, near the south jetty of the Inlet, on bucktails and live spot. Surf anglers are taking snapper bluefish and kingfish on mullet, squid and bloodworms. Offshore, good catches of dolphin are being made, along with good numbers of white marlin. Headboats are finding ling cod, sea bass and occasional tautog over the wrecks. Bluefish of to 10 pounds are also caught in good numbers.
Potomac River Fishing Reports:
Potomac River and freshwater reports from Captain Ken Penrod:
On the tidal Potomac, the heat and drought are taking a toll but bass fishing remains very good in many areas of the river. The algae blooms are disheartening but not so bad as on the free-flowing rivers. Snakehead fishing is red-hot in the tributaries and grass beds. Big catfish are munching filets between Fort Washington and the WW Bridge.
WASHINGTON D.C.: Spend some time in the Washington Channel and even though it takes a lot of time, idle to the back end and fish the cover. Bridge foundations on the main stem are still productive and despite some pretty sour water coming from upriver, smallmouth bass are eating tubes between Key Bridge and Fletchers.
WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE VICINITY: Fox Ferry Point, South Point, Belle Haven Cove and Hog Island are holding nice bass best taken with DT crankbaits and Mizmo tubes. Between Piscataway Creek and Pomonkey, try Greenway Flats, southern side of Gunston Cove, Hallowing Point creeks and Pomonkey Creek. Captain Keith Barker has been working this area and finds that Mizmo tubes are best. I like Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Magic Stiks.
MATTAWOMAN VICINITY: Remains best, although algae in the creeks is alarming. The grass beds between the state park and main stem have been solid and Case Stiks are the deal if frogs aren’t. Main stem grass beds south of Powells Creek and the vegetation in Chickamuxen are worthy. There is a nice launch in Mallows Bay and the fishing is pretty good.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: Fishing has been better this week reports LOU guide Captain Brent Nelson. Brent has his clients casting Rapala Skitter Props in the morning for smallmouth bass. Later in the day, it’s usually Case plastics cast to grass and boat docks.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER, PA: Algae has been a problem, and the river is too low for us to guide the sectors we favor, but John Cunningham at Riverfront Campground tells me that some of his “river-rats” and those that he shuttles upriver for floats are still banging good bass in the mornings and afternoons. Best lures have been Big Mouth Spinnerbaits, Rattlin’ Rapala, Campground Special tubes and Case Magic Stiks. The blue-green algae on the main stem and the river snot on the bottom of the Juniata are horrible.
More Potomac River reports:
POTOMAC RIVER - D.C. - Bass are being taken on crankbaits and topwater lures along the Virginia shoreline from Key Bridge to Chain Bridge, while channel and blue catfish are taking cut bait, clam snouts and live perch on the bottom. Downriver, bass are holding on drop-offs, bridge pilings and grass beds. Buzzbaits and Baby Torpedoes are working well early and late in the day, while spinnerbaits and Berkley Power Worms are the better choice later. Jig 'n pig baits are preferred for working drop-offs in swift moving tides. Better areas include the Virginia shoreline from National Airport to Memorial Bridge, the War College Wall in Washington Channel and the grass beds outside Oxon Cove and the Spoils. Nightcrawlers fished on the bottom around the Woodrow Wilson Bridge can result in bushel baskets of catfish in a few hours.
POTOMAC RIVER - BELOW WOODROW WILSON BRIDGE - On the main river, bass are orienting to bottom structure, grass beds and wood cover. Lots of 2- to 4-pound bass are taking crankbaits, plastic worms, jig 'n pigs and topwater baits. In the creeks, bass are orienting to grass beds, lily pad fields, drop-offs and submerged wood. Falling tides are finding the fish aggressive, taking chartreuse or shad-colored crankbaits, while rising tides find them with their noses buried in the bark of submerged wood or slowly cruising submerged grass. Flippin' plastic worms and jig 'n pig baits is the better method then. Below Mattawoman Creek, the main river grass beds are holding plenty of quality bass. Topwater lures on high tides and plastic jerkbaits and worms on lower tides are taking the fish. Catfish action is excellent, with the fish taking cut bait, clam snouts and crab.