Each day the mornings tend to have a little more nip in them; signs of seasonal change are all about us as arriving Canada geese bathe us in their calls, leaves begin to show signs of color change and evenings seem just a little more peaceful and quiet. Even if it is only for a ˝ hour or less get out and enjoy the tastes of fall if only to stop by a river crossing or shoreline to immerse oneself in the peace that water and sunsets seem to evoke.
Fishermen throughout all three regions of the Chesapeake Bay are seeing bluefish dominating the fishing scene in the bay proper this week. The bluefish are spread from the Rock Hall/ Baltimore area south to the Virginia Border. The smaller bluefish tend to be in the shallower waters and tidal rivers and the 18” to 22” bluefish are holding in the main portion of the bay. Schools of bay anchovies and small menhaden moving out of the tidal rivers are fueling this eating machine and many fishermen are adjusting to catching bluefish. The smaller ones are good to eat fresh and smoked bluefish in a Chesapeake Bay tradition. Alex Witt holds up a plump bluefish caught on a surge tube lure for the camera before it takes its place in the fish box.
It comes as no surprise to many veteran fishermen that larger bluefish play a little too rough for most striped bass so they seem to be making themselves scarce in some areas of the bay. It has been difficult for live
liners this week as bluefish have been making short work of live spot meant for striped bass. Striped bass are being caught along the shorelines of the bay by light tackle fishermen in the shallows and by boats trolling along the inside edges of the channels. Brad Woodhouse caught his nice striped bass while jigging in the mouth of the Chester River this past Saturday.Fishermen are still catching the last of the large spot that can be found in a number of areas in the bay and flounder fishing in the lower bay area remains good this week. Fishermen are also catching speckled trout and red drum in the shallower areas of the bay along the shorelines of the lower eastern shore and the Point Lookout area. White perch fishing continues to be good on many of the hard bottomed shoal areas in the upper bay, middle bay and the tidal creeks and rivers of the lower bay region. Recreational crabbers have been enjoying good catches of crabs this week in most tidal rivers and creeks. Ed Rosemary sits before a good old Chesapeake Bay crab feast caught in the Choptank River with his son this past weekend.
Fishermen are enjoying good trout fishing in many of the trout waters of the state this week as the fall trout stocking continues. Fisheries biologists are stocking some impressive numbers of large rainbow and brown trout throughout the state. Be sure to check the site link to check your favorite fishing waters. www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/indexinland.html.
Cooler water temperatures in our freshwater areas have numerous species of fish such as largemouth bass and smallmouth bass in an increased activity mode and therefore the fishing has been very good. Stephanie D’Anna was fishing in the lower Susquehanna River with her dad when she caught this beautiful 21-1/2” smallmouth bass.
Fishing in the coastal bay areas and the Atlantic are seeing better fishing conditions this week as weather conditions have settled down with lighter winds. Fishermen heading out the inlet still have to pick their days due to fall weather conditions but conditions have been much more forgiving recently. Flounder fishing near the Ocean City Inlet has been good this week and fishermen are also seeing more and larger tautog showing up at the inlet. A mix of striped bass, bluefish and puppy drum are being caught in the inlet area at night. Surf fishermen are seeing large numbers of small bluefish and a mix of large red drum, sharks and a few large striped bass in the surf this week. The boats headed out to the wreck sites are catching fait numbers of sea bass and a mix of tautog, flounder, bluefish and croakers. Offshore fishermen who ventured out to the canyon areas this past weekend encountered large numbers of wahoo and a mix of yellowfin tuna, dolphin, white marlin and even a few fish they didn’t count one. This crew wrestles with a sailfish caught by Steve Doctor to get a picture before releasing it
Quote of the Week:
Here lies poor Thompson, all alone,
As dead and cold as any stone.
In wading the river Nith,
He took a cold, which stopp’d his breath.
He fish’d the stream for ten years past,
Death caught him in his net at last.
Written on a tombstone in Dumphries, England
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm.
A Couple of Closing Notes...
Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent
fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the
following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be
in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file
size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical
handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please
reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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