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Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | June 9, 2010

Photo Courtesy Alan Kober, click to enlarge.

Chesapeake Bay

Striped bass fishing in the Maryland is entering a phase that will entertain fishermen until the cooling waters in the fall change feeding and schooling habits of the fish. Trolling umbrella rigs and tandem rigged bucktails, swim shads or spoons will be the mainstay for many fishermen through the summer months. The western side of the shipping channel near the mouth of Parker’s Creek has been a good place to troll lately. This happy group of fishermen traveled from Pennsylvania to troll on a charter boat out of Tilghman Island and it would seem by the picture that they had a good time.

The 2010 Maryland Fishing Challenge Featuring Diamond Jim will continue through Labor Day, this is a free, year-round tournament sponsored by the Maryland DNR Fisheries Service, 27 recreational fishing organizations, and generous donors across the state. The purpose of the event is to promote the Free State’s excellent fishing opportunities and the importance of kids in the outdoors as the essential key to future environmental stewardship. Visit the Fishing Challenge website to learn more about the Maryland Fishing Challenge featuring Diamond Jim and other great prizes!

Chumming is a popular option and reports of good fishing are coming from upper bay locations such as Love Point, Triple Buoys and Podickory Point. Good reports are coming from the north edge of the Hill and Hackett’s Bar for the middle bay region as are Buoy 72 and the north side of the channel in the lower Potomac near Cornfield Harbor in the lower bay. Light tackle jigging over structure or suspended fish is always a favorite method of fishing for light tackle fishermen and as more bait moves into the Maryland portion of the bay this type of fishing becomes a popular option. Steep channel edges, prominent points and structure such a bridge piers are all good places to look for striped bass holding in swift currents waiting for a meal to be swept by. The channels leading out of the inner harbor at Baltimore, the mouth of the Chester River and the mouth of the Magothy are always good places to scan with depth finders for fish holding in the currents close to edges. Points such as the north edge of the Hill in the mouth of Eastern Bay, Thomas Point, Cove Point and Cedar Point are other popular locations to look for fish holding.

The shallow water fishing for striped bass is on and casting surface lures is one of the more fun ways to entice some action. This type of fishing calls for an early start if one is going to fish in the morning since once the sun cracks the horizon the best fishing is usually over. Evening fishing can offer a more forgiving schedule in regards to sleep and just remember to have good lights on your small craft and stealth is very important. Tide is important for all types of fishing so be sure to check out the tide tables so you don’t get caught at slack tide when you want to be fishing. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/tides/index.asp

Bottom fishing for croakers has been good in the Tangier Sound/Pocomoke Sound area this week, the lower Potomac River has been very good and the croakers are as far north as Eastern Bay. A few spot are being found in some of the tidal creeks and rivers and fishermen are certainly looking forward to another season of live lining spot along the channel edges for striped bass. Flounder fishing is improving as the bay water temperatures warm and fishermen are now catching them along hard shoals near channels in the Tangier Sound area and near Point Lookout.

There are plenty of nice white perch to be caught in the tidal creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake along marsh edges, cuts, shallows and piers. Small spinners, beetle spins or bait such as grass shrimp are good choices to catch them. Recreational crabbing is good and most crabbers can put together a good catch of a ˝ bushel or more. The crabs tend to running just over 5” but are reported to be heavy.

Photo Courtesy John Mullican, click to enlarge.

Freshwater

Fisheries biologist John Mullican reports that fishing has been good for smallmouth bass in the upper Potomac River this week. John reported that he has had the best action with smallmouth bass by casting pumpkinseed tubes/grubs and suspending jerkbaits while fishing the pockets and current breaks in the fast flowing riffle areas. Most bass are running between 9 and 14 inches so it must have been a surprise to John when he hooked up with this 36” tiger musky. Check out his full report in the Angler's Log here.

Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be good this week and fishermen are reporting some very exciting topwater action. Most fishermen like to retrieve poppers or frogs over grass or along the edges to entice surface strikes from largemouth bass. This seems to be one of the favorite haunts of large post-spawn female largemouth. If you’re fishing on the tidal Potomac these thick grass beds are also the place where snakeheads lurk and some of them are pushing 10lbs or more. They must be dispatched quickly by cutting off the head by law and they sure do make some fine eating.

Trout fishing in the western region continues to be good, especially for fly fishermen. The put and take waters of the central region are beginning to warm up making for more difficult fishing but in some selected waters such as the Gunpowder trout fair much better through the summer months.

Ocean

Fishermen in the Ocean City area are starting to see a shift in fishing from a spring to a summer fishery. Water temperatures along the beaches are now close to 70-degrees and summer species such as small bluefish, croakers and kingfish are beginning to arrive. Flounder fishing continues to be good in the back bay areas and near the inlet. A lot of small bluefish have been moving into the inlet at night and fishermen have been catching them on Got-Cha lures. There is also plenty of tautog in the inlet area and a few striped bass are being caught at night. Surf fishermen are catching a mix of inshore sharks, cow-nosed rays and small bluefish. The boats heading out to the wreck sites are reporting good catches of sea bass and tautog. Mako sharks and a few threshers are being caught at traditional locations such as the Fingers, Sausages, Jackspot and the Parking Lot.

The Maryland Hot Spot map has been updated to show MARI Artificial Reefs and historic fishing grounds. View it here.


“The take instantly validates our efforts, conferring a measure of definitiveness and closure to an enterprise otherwise riddled with uncertainly and inconclusiveness. Few things in life, I think, have this to offer.”

-- Ted Leeson

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