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Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | June 2, 2010

Welcome to June and the beginning of a summer of fishing fun. The tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay are now open to striped bass fishing and fishermen will be enjoying more traditional fishing through the summer and fall months. Many of the group 1 delayed harvest trout areas are now open to trout possession and anglers will are enjoying taking some trout home.

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood, click to enlarge.

Maryland Fishing Challenge Featuring Diamond Jim

Last Thursday the first of this years Diamond Jim striped bass were tagged in the Chesapeake Bay for the June segment of the contest. The Fisheries Service biologists tagged the striped bass with light green colored tags, so keep an eye out for them when fishing for you may catch Diamond Jim who will be worth $10,000 this month. Entries continue to pour in for the Maryland Fishing Challenge and those qualifying fish will be eligible for the September 11th drawing for prizes that include a boat, motor and trailer from Bass Pro Shops. Visit the Fishing Challenge website to learn more about Diamond Jim and the Fishing Challenge. Cameron Chance of Easton assisted in the hard work of catching the striped bass to be tagged for the June round of Diamond Jim and he just may be holding Diamond Jim before releasing him into the bay off of Chesapeake Beach.

Chesapeake

Chesapeake Bay water temperatures are now above 75-degrees in many areas and fishermen are finding striped bass spread out over a wide area from the upper bay regions to the lower bay. The school-sized striped bass have been feeding on May worms for the last month and most of the fish are fat with heavy shoulders. Small bait such as juvenile menhaden are now what is on the menu for the striped bass and fishermen have been watching for birds, slicks and breaking fish. Fishermen that are trolling, are doing so with umbrella rigs, tandem rigged bucktails with sassy shads or Storms and have been catching fish in a variety of traditional locations such as channel edges. They are also reporting bait along the channel edges that can be seen on depth recorders or noticed when lines drag through a school of bait.

Jigging to fish suspended over structure or bait is a very good option now and traditional locations such as the bay bridge piers and steep channel edges are good places to check out. Breaking fish are being reported throughout the bay so keep those binoculars handy. Many fishermen have started chumming in upper bay locations such as Love Point and Podickory Point south to the lower Potomac River. Captains report plenty of action and even a few bluefish are showing up in the southern region chum slicks.

Photo Courtesy Eric Oliver, click to enlarge.

Now that the summer striped bass season is here fishermen can now fish the shallow waters of the lower rivers with topwater lures and fly tackle. The shallows also hold plenty of white perch and croakers in the early morning and evening hours. In the southern regions of the bay and Tangier Sound spotted sea trout are being caught. Eric Oliver caught this whopper of a spotted trout near Ragged Point this past Monday.

Fishing for croakers continues to improve this week in the middle and lower regions of the bay. Fishermen are reporting catching croakers and a few spot in waters such as the lower Choptank and Eastern Bay. The lower Potomac and Tangier Sound are producing good croaker fishing and fishermen are starting to fish the evenings on shoal areas near places like Buoy 72 with good results. Flounder are being caught for those fishermen who target them along channel edges in Tangier Sound and edges near Point Lookout.

Recreational crabbers are doing well in most tributaries of the middle and lower bay regions. Catches have been a half bushel to a full bushel per outing for most crabbers. Based on the reported number of medium and small sized crabs that are being released by crabbers, everyone is looking forward to a very good crab season this summer.

Freshwater

Photo Courtesy Matt Kelly, click to enlarge.

Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be very good this week throughout the states tidal and non-tidal waters. The bass are aggressively feeding and topwater baits are a real fun way to fish for them this time of the year. Grass beds are filling out and casting frogs, buzzbaits and poppers over or near grass can offer some exciting strikes. Creek mouths, sunken wood or docks offer great places to cast soft plastics or spinnerbaits. Patrick Kelly spent the day fishing with his dad on Loch Raven Reservoir catching and releasing largemouth bass and holds up this nice one before returning it to the water.

Fisheries biologists Alan Klotz and Don Cosden sent in reports to the Angler’s Log recently on the wonderful fishing for smallmouth bass and a mix of largemouth bass, walleyes and rock bass at Deep Creek Lake. Check out their reports.

Ocean

Fishermen at Ocean City have been busy this week fishing for a variety of fish from the back bay areas to the offshore canyons. Flounder fishing in the back bays has been good when water clarity cooperates and fishermen are still picking away at a few striped bass behind Assateague Island. Small bluefish continue to move inside the inlet/Route 50 Bridge area, especially at night. Fishing for tautog at the inlet bulkheads and jetties is good, flounder are being caught in the channel areas and striped bass continue to be caught at night.

Surf fishermen are reporting that the action for large striped bass is beginning to slow down and bluefish and large sharks are filling in behind them. Quite a few mako sharks were caught over the weekend from the canyons to the Jackspot and a 525lb thresher shark was brought to the docks as well as a bluefin tuna. Sea bass fishing has been very good at many of the wreck sites.

The Maryland's Junior Anglers webpage has been updated. Check it out here.


“How like fish we are: ready, nay eager, to seize upon whatever new thing some wind of circumstance shakes down upon the river of time! And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook.”

-- Aldo Leopold

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Keith Lockwood
-- Fisheries Biologist