Fishermen in the very upper reaches of the Chesapeake, the lower Susquehanna and Elk Rivers continue to find a few striped bass along channel edges by jigging with soft plastic jigs and trolling with crankbaits such as Rat-L-Traps. Fishermen are reporting that the size of the striped bass they are catching has been steadily improving with cooler water temperatures.
Fishermen are finding good fishing for striped bass in the Pooles Island area by casting and jigging soft plastic jigs and metal along channels and live lining eels. Trolling with umbrella rigs and tandem bucktails and parachutes in the general area is also producing fish this week. A number of fishermen are saying that the best results are occurring close to the bottom and chartreuse tends to be the winning color.
Fishermen have been experiencing good fishing for striped bass this week at the mouth of the Patapsco and the knoll areas between the Craighill and Brewerton Channels for a mix of striped bass and white perch. Fishermen are jigging to concentrations of fish holding close to the bottom or trolling with umbrella rigs trailing Storms or parachutes. The hard edge off Podickory Point and the west and east rock piles at the Bay Bridge have also been good places to look for large white perch and striped bass this week. Jigging with metal and a dropper fly is the most popular method and fishermen have been loading up on big white perch at times.
Encountering breaking fish and diving birds is a very real possibility this week in the upper bay region most often during a good tide. Some of the best places are often where bait is being swept along by strong currents near channel edges and points. The bluefish are now gone for the most part and fishermen can now concentrate on striped bass; some which have been rather large this week.
Mid Bay Region:
Now that water temperatures have dropped into the mid 50’s the fishing action has really begun to take off in the middle bay region. Fishermen are finding fat striped bass up to 36” long chasing juvenile menhaden throughout the region and are either pushing them to the surface where diving sea gulls join in or balling them up deep below the surface. A good depth finder is an essential tool for this type of fishing; single hooks on metal jigs and braided line help make fishing more enjoyable. The action starts just below the Bay Bridge and extends south through the entire region. Little Noah Genovese has his hands full with this nice striped bass he caught while jigging in the Severn River with his friends over the weekend.
A lot of fishermen have switched to trolling now since the bluefish have departed and it is safe once again to troll with umbrellas rigs festooned with sassy shads. Most fishermen are using parachutes or bucktails dressed with a sassy shad or a Storm shad as a trailer. Trolling with parachutes, bucktails and swimming shads in tandem has also been effective. Many fishermen reported that some of the best catches came off umbrella rigs trolled close to the bottom near channel edges and ballast stone piles; others reported catching fish closer to the surface. Richie Torro sent in this report for us and a picture. It was a cold morning Saturday November 1st 2008, but it was hot!!! From Bloody Point to the Hill and by Poplar Island; we hooked up on our first fish around 10:15am and it was a lunker, a 32" rockfish that was caught using a white umbrella rig with parachutes. Then around 10:30am two more knock downs and here come a 27" and a 24". What a gorgeous day it was and while we were pulling the rods off of the planer boards, we hooked up on our 4th and final fish; another 24" rockfish.
Fishermen reported this week that the mouth of the Choptank River all the way up to Oxford has been finally turning on with striped bass chasing small menhaden off the sides of the channel. The water temperature has dropped to 54-degrees and striped bass from 18” to 30” have moved in to take advantage of the plentiful bait. The best action has been occurring on a good strong tide and jigging with bucktails, soft plastics and metal have been very effective. Trolling with sassy shad umbrella rigs and tandem bucktails and parachutes has also been equally effective. The best action for the last couple of days has been in about 25’ of water off the main channel and the striped bass being caught are fat and heavy shouldered.
The shipping channel edge from Breezy Point south has been getting some attention from boats trolling this week but catches have been reported to be modest but fishermen are finding diving birds and breaking fish in the area at times; especially during a strong running tide.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen are finding wonderful fishing opportunities this week for striped bass throughout the region; whether they are jigging to deep fish, casting to surface breaking fish or trolling. There is a wide range of sizes available this week with a relatively low percentage of throwback sized striped bass. Most of the school sized striped bass being caught this week are heavy shouldered, fat and ranging from 18” to 26” in size. Let there be no doubt that strong northeast winds have hampered fishing this week and may continue to do so the next couple of days but when fishermen do get out they are finding good fishing. Often one can find a nice lee in the one of the regions tidal rivers and find good fishing there for striped bass and white perch. This happy group of friends from St. Mary’s College enjoyed a great time catching their striped bass on light tackle.
The water temperature at the mouth of the Potomac is still running in the high 50’s at this week but in the low 50’s across the bay in the Crisfield area. The cooler waters are causing striped bass to school up and as juvenile menhaden try to move out of the tidal river and head south down the bay there is a recipe for mayhem. Often the surface action is a frothing mass of striped bass, diving sea gulls and panicked menhaden and at other times the bait can be seen on depth finders being herded into balls. Which ever type of action you find it can cause the most steadfast soul to become excited. Most fishermen are using metal jigs with single hooks such as Crippled Herrings but others have been opting for 6” BKD’s and similar soft plastic jigs in the hope of hooking up with one of the fall migrant striped bass that have been slowly moving into the region.
Everyday a couple of big fish are being reported at the docks of the busier marinas and most are being caught on large parachutes or bucktails behind umbrella rigs along the shipping channel from Hooper’s Island Light south to Smith Point.
Fishermen have been stocking up on white perch fillets recently by jigging in some of the deeper holes in many of the tidal rivers. Others have been using bottom rigs baited with bloodworms and fishing from shore at fishing piers and deep water points.
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