Jul 24 2010
There is not much more to say about the weather we have been having Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay the last few weeks other then, its’ stinking HOT. The water temperature at Thomas Point Lighthouse registered at 84.0 degrees as I write this, that’s some warm water folks. Despite the heat anglers have been getting out on the water and having decent catches of striped bass, croaker, some large perch, spot and in the lower Maryland Chesapeake Bay reports of some nice sized red drum caught by light tackle, bait and trolling anglers. Read the full Maryland fishing report for details.
On the fisheries front this past week we had a joint meeting of the Sport Fish Advisory Commission and Tidal Fish Advisory Commission. There were not that many hot topics brought up other then the issue of spot traps in the bay which have gained popularity over the last few years as live lining has come into vogue. Nothing was decided at the meeting, but a committee of members of both commissions will convene and develop recommendations to be made to the Department of Natural Resources. The commissions take off the month of August and reconvene in September.
Also this past week was an ASMFC hearing in Annapolis on the topic of increasing the commercial catch of striped bass along the Atlantic coast. Recreational anglers came out in full force opposing any increase in the commercial catch. Many recreational anglers as well as groups like the Maryland Saltwater Sportsman Association (MSSA), Coastal Conservation Association of MD (CCA), Maryland Charter Boat Association (MCBA) turned out and testified against the increase as well. Reasons cited were numerous and hard to ignore. The fact that its been estimated that over 75% of striped bass in the Chesapeake have mycobacterium (often called myco) which essentially has 100% mortality is a hard thing to dismiss; it essentially makes these fish walking dead, it’s not if they will die it’s when. (if you are interested in learning more check the VIMS site on myco.
Also noted was the trending decrease in the young of the year index. The increase in pollution in our coastal waters and of immediate concern of the unknown effects that the oil spill in the Gulf will have on our coastal fish populations. Poaching by all groups, both commercial and recreational not being taken into account. The wide unknown how many fish are harvested in the Virginia winter recreational fishery, estimated to be between 200,000 – 800,000 fish, basically we have no grip on the real number. The large Virginia winter commercial striped bass fishery that intercepts the large breeding striped bass on their way to the breeding grounds in the upper Chesapeake Bay. And the effect that Shifting Baseline Syndrome
is having on all our perceptions of what a healthy population of fish is and/or should be.
Hearings will continue in other coastal states over the next few months and feedback and analysis brought before the ASMFC in the Fall/Winter meetings.
Upcoming Fishing Events, Fishing Tournaments and Other Fishing Meetings
White Marlin Open
When: August 2nd-6th, 2010
Where; Ocean City, MD
More Information, Registration and Details
MSSA Fall Classic
When: Nov 20- 21st , 2010
Where: Maryland Chesapeake bay
More Information and Registration
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports
I have not heard much in the way of striped bass fishing for any keepers in and around the Susquehanna Flats and a few miles south. There are mixed results for live lining spot for striped bass in and around the Bay Bridge and Bay Bridge pilings. Spot have generally been on the smaller side and at times hard to catch. Some anglers fishing out of Sandy Point are heading to Hackets Bar outside the Severn River and catching their way though white perch to get some spot of size and then running back up to the Bay Bridge to dunk the spot on the pilings. With current you’re likely to find some keeper striped bass.
There have also been a few reports from in and around the Middle River, Knolls (6ft Knolls) area of lots of schoolie stripers and some smaller bluefish mixed in. Check your map for the lumps and humps in the Knolls area and with current drop some jigs.
Reports of jumbo white perch are available throughout the upper bay. Grass shrimp and bloodworms remain the bait of choice. Some of the better locations are the Bay Hackets Point, Bridge pilings, Magothy River mouth, Mountain Bar off Gibson Island, Key Bridge, Pooles Island, Swan Point Bar, Belvedere Shoals, Chester River and Corsica River.
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports
Breaking striped bass has been the name of the game in the evenings in and around the mouth of Eastern Bay and over the last few days more in the Bloody Point area. Light tackle anglers have had the best luck with poppers while trolling anglers have had good luck with 15 and 17 Tony Accetta spoons.
Charlie S from TidalFish.com’s Maryland fishing forum filed this report from Thursday: We left Tilghman at 5:30am with intentions of drowning some spot down at the Gas Docks. Some last minute intel changed our minds and we went out into the “Hook” to look for some breakers. WE went from the So. end of Poplar all the way to Stone Rock without marking anything worth working over. Reversed course and headed north with the idea to look at E bay and see what was happening up there. Almost to 84 and there they were, dead ahead! Large area of breaking fish and only one other boat to share it with. Fish started flying and I had a hard time sifting thru them to get the throwbacks back in.
Our crew today were complete beginners and had never been on a large boat before. There was a Couple with their son and his brother with his sons. 3 adults and 5 boys. They didn’t know a Blue from a Rock so I had my hands full, trying to help them and not get all the gear twisted Everyone learned pretty quick and we did real well on that first flurry and then settled down to try and find them again. We had 11 rock and 8 blues in the box and we resumed our E bay trip.
Got to Eastern Bay and found a knot of boats by the “Hill” so we decided to mosey on over and give a look- see. AS we approached them the water erupted right in front of us and it was “game on ” again. This time we had a better grade of fish from 20 to 27″. They were moving fast so it wasn’t as fast as usual but it was a steady pick. We finally got a nice 16 rock limit and 13 blues thrown in. These folks will have some nice filets to take back to Va. and So. Carolina.
All fish were caught Trolling our usual spread of 15 & 17 Tonys off spreader bars. Today, not all the fish were deep, quite a few nice ones were up higher than in recent days.
The Calvert Cliffs area including the Power Plant and Gas Docks has been holding keeper rockfish for those live lining. Early morning and evening have been the ticket; key to success has been hitting it with good current. Some light tackle anglers have also done well early morning and evening with top water plugs.
On the Bluefish front, bluefish 1-4 pounds, are scattered over the Gooses, Radar, Sharps Island, Stone Rock, and Poplar Island areas.
Oyster bars in the mouth of the Choptank River are still producing spot and white perch on bloodworms and grass shrimp
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports
Captain Pete from Four Seasons Guide Service reported that he has done a few trips to the Middle Grounds in the last week and done well jigging some nice sized bluefish as well as some really nice red drum. He said he has been getting the red drum jigging, but added that some anglers have also had success trolling for them.
Christy from Buzzs Marina reported that anglers fishing out of Buzzs have been putting a whooping on big croaker at the Middle Grounds and during the day and evenings been doing well on some larger bluefish both for trolling, jigging and bait anglers. She also mentioned the good red drum bite that Capt. Pete reported.
Charlie sent us this report for the area: Croaker and pan trout are thick throughout the area. The fish are located in 30 feet of water on the inside of the channel, off Smith Point. Best action is after dark. Some flounder are mixed in the catches. Taylor blues are all over the area, and anglers fishing for trout, are advised to reel the fish in quickly to avoid have them become food for the bluefish. Some Spanish mackerel are showing at the C-73 buoy, the Great Wicomico Light and from Windmill Point to Gwynn Island. Best success is to be
had by trolling Drone or Clark spoons on long leaders, pulled behind a planer. Some of the feeding schools are marked by gulls. Excellent bottom fishing at the mouth of Dividing Creek, Blackberry Hang and at the N-2 buoy. Speckled trout have moved into the grass beds at Dameron Marsh and are taking grubs and live minnows, fished below popping corks at Windmill Point. Fair numbers of flounder are available around the mouth of the Little Wicomico River and at the Cell. Schools of spadefish are found at the Cell and Wolftrap Light.
Bottom fishermen are catching spot and croaker on the lower Rappahannock River, along with a mix of spot, croaker, white perch and catfish between the power lines and Bowlers Rock.
Potomac River Fishing Reports
Fletcher’s Boathouse reports lots of catfish action. A few rockfish are cooperating for those fishing large minnows. Bass are hanging around most every bridge piling in the city. These pilings concentrate the tidal current and provide shade and baitfish. Plastic grubs, small crankbaits and spinnerbaits will take these bass. Washington Channel boat docks and pilings are holding bass and crappie. The grass along the War College Wall is also holding fish. Pop-R’s, buzzbaits, plastic frogs and spinnerbaits are
taking bass here. Grassbeds below Blue Plains are giving up bass on buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and plastic frogs and worms.
Below Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Fish topwater baits around cover early and late in the day. Other times, small crankbaits, spinnerbaits, Senkos and plastic worms take the fish. The last two hours of the outgoing tide are the best time, but fish may be caught anytime the tide is moving. Further down the river, Wade’s Bay, Blue Banks, Mallows Bay, the mouths of Aquia and Potomac Creeks, and Nanjemoy Bay, are full of hydrilla, topping out on the surface at high tide. Lots of milfoil is mixed in with the hydrilla in some areas. Here, the floating worm is at it’s best. Rig the worm Texas Style and place a small swivel in the line, about 12 inches from the hook. Toss the worm out onto the grass and begin a slow, twitching retrieve across the top of the grass. When the strike comes, wait until you feel the weight of the fish on the line before setting the hook. The Zoom Horny Toad is catching fish like crazy. Rig it weedless, cast it onto a grassbed that has topped out and retrieve it just fast enough to keep the legs flapping. The bass will do the rest. Remember to wait until you feel the weight before setting the hook.
Catfish are cooperative all over the river. Fish clam snouts, nightcrawlers, cut bait or live minnows on flats adjacent to the river channel. These fish put up a great fight, so be prepared for good times. In the creeks, fish the lily pad fields with plastic worms and grass rats for bass.
Maryland Atlantic Inshore and Offshore Fishing Reports
In the bays, flounder are being found at the Thorofare, along the channels and off the Route 50 bridge, on minnows and squid. Sea bass are being caught from the Route 50 bridge. At the inlet, pan trout are being taken along the South jetty and from the pier on bloodworms and squid.
Offshore, dolphin are being found in large numbers near the canyons, while white marlin and yellowfin tuna catches have been good. Black sea bass and tautog fishing is good on the wrecks.
Ocean City Fishing Center reports: While weather conditions offshore were slightly less than favorable 12 boats in our fleet braved the waters today. On his normal vessel Captain Chad Meeks went 1 for 2 on white marlin today and saw a very nice sized mako, who was not very hungry. Returning to the helm from a day off Captain Willie Zimmerman on the “Playmate” had 3 extremely nice size yellowfin tuna. Captain Frank Pettolina on the “Last Call” released 2 white marlin today as well. “Why Not” with Captain Wade Lober also released 2 white marlin today and killed a yellowfin tuna. On the “Ranger” Captain Jason Norton released a white marlin slayed a few yellowfin tuna and some dolphin. A new addition to the fleet this year “Tail to Tale” with Captain Joel Wadkins killed a nice gaffer dolphin and 3 yellowfin tuna today. The boys on the “Tighten Up” with Captain Keith Robinson also had some nice looking dolphin today. Bay fishing has been extraordinary this past week, there are no shortages of throwbacks and keepers are appearing more often. Captain Bob Gowar on our bay fishing headboat the “Bay Bee” had 147 throwbacks between two trips today. Captain Nick Clemente on the “Get Sum” our private bay charter reports multiple throwbacks and plenty of crabs and clams.
UPDATE: The 2nd Annual Branch Kreppel Blue Marlin Memorial Tournament has been rescheduled for September 9-12, 2010. Events associated with the tournament will still continue at Sunset Marina, any further questions please call Sunset Marina.
If you are looking for daily fishing reports from Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, or along the Atlantic Coast tune into the fishing website TidalFish.com that has over 59,000 anglers talking fishing. Until next fishing report, good fishing and good times!
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