The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing Report

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LAST UPDATED May 19, 2004 NEXT SCHEDULED UPDATE May 26, 2004

Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries Fishing Reports:
 

Note: Keith is on holiday this week so we have asked long-time contributor to the Fishing Report, Marty Gary, to step in and be a "guest author". We would like to extend our thanks for his efforts. Look for Keith to return next week. With Keith's return, we hope to do the Fisheries Photo Gallery again.

Tumbnail of Upper-Bay Fishing SpotsUpper Bay:

The peak of the American shad run is now past, but anglers that fish below Conowingo Dam this week will still experience good fishing for shad up to 6 pounds (catch and release only). The fish lift at Conowingo reached a milestone this past week when it passed the millionth shad of its operation since 1991 (East lift). Also in the river, smallmouth bass are very active, along with a few walleye and white perch. On the Susquehanna Flats, largemouth bass have been active in the slowly emerging vegetation along the western margin, including the Fishing Battery. Try spinner baits and small crankbaits. Some nice white perch have been reported from Charlestown, Carpenter Point and off the VA Hospital. A couple of big channel cats were caught off Perry Point on cut baits this past weekend. largemouth bass fishing has been fairly productive on woody structure in the Sassafras, Gunpowder and Bush Rivers on spinner and jerk baits. Striper fishing was slow above the Bay Bridges the past few days. Trollers pick up a few large fish to 34 inches on bucktails and parachutes. A few anglers that chummed reported spotty catches at Love Point and Belvedere Shoals. Only a couple of reports of white perch on the shell bottoms off the Magothy and the hard bottom south of Eastern Neck Island in the Chester River should also produce white perch. Kent Narrows is seeing fair numbers of small stripers (14 to 18 inches) on the bulkheads and the bridge pilings.


Thumbnail of Mid-Bay Fishing SoptsMid Bay Region:

Catches of migrant stripers hung on stubbornly for fishermen that were willing to put in some hours. Fish up to 34 inches were still being reported from Bloody Point down to Little Cove Point, but the best catches were to the south. Many boats switched to smaller presentations and were rewarded with resident stripers (17 to 26 inches) along the 30 to 45 foot contour. Croaker reports were spotty, with confirmed catches on the hard bottom from Thomas Point Light to Hackett's, better catches off Sharps Island and Breezy Point and a few fish on Cooks Point and Castle Haven. Rob Purdy of Silver Spring, MD submitted the photo at left and this account of big, early season croaker:

angler with croaker"Just wanted to submit this photo of a very nice croaker I caught Thursday, May 6 near the second green buoy heading out from the South River. We were drift fishing with cut squid and this is the only fish we caught that day. I figure the croaker must have been at least 18" because that's the span of my shoulders and he matches that, maybe beats it a little. Hope to see it on the Fishing Report and keep up the great work!"

White perch have been reported on shell and hard mud bottoms at Hacketts, the Matapeake Pier, Holland Point Bar, and three legged buoy at the mouth of the Severn. A few black drum were reported from the pound nets off Hooper's Island, and with numbers of black drum in Virginia looking good, hopefully our fishermen will have a good season in the coming weeks.

Thumbnail of Lower-Bay Fishing SpotsLower Bay:

As one might have guessed, the best remaining bite for large, migrant stripers has been from Buoy #76 south, with the eastern edge most productive along the 40-60 foot contour. Still, the best boats are getting 3 or 4 fish, often after having put in a long day. Keith Bream of Baltimore caught thischesapeake striper beauty of striped bass near Buoy #76 on a charter out of Solomons. A few boats have worked the eastern edge from Buoy #72A south to the Target ship chumming for smaller striped bass. Success was fair for 16 to 24 inch fish. Croaker continue to move into deeper waters daily and both sides of the channel have produced fish to 18 inches. 25 to 40 depths have been most productive using shrimp and razor clams. A couple of weakfish have been caught near the American Mariner. No sign of bluefish as yet. The Point Lookout Pier was reporting a few croaker in the morning and late afternoon. Cornfield Harbor saw catches of croaker in 20 to 35 foot depths. Scattered catches of croaker have been reported as far upriver as St. George's Island. Over in Tangier Sound, not much has been reported. Bottom fishermen have caught a few croaker near Puppy Hole and to the east of Kedge's Straits.
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TANGIER SOUND MAP -
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We have added a new link to some very valuable information for Chesapeake Bay Anglers. DNR's "Eyes on the Bay" website has data coming in from remote sensing stations in the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. It is well worth checking this out. Click on the map below.

Thumbnail of Weather tracking Stations in the Chesapeake Bay

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