Water temperatures in the upper bay region are now approaching the 40-degree mark in most areas and fishermen are reporting fewer opportunities of finding school sized striped bass in a feeding mode. Fishermen will certainly find breaking fish at times and jigging near river mouths continues to productive this week. There have been a few reports this week of fishermen catching striped bass at the mouth of the Susquehanna, Elk, Patapsco and Chester Rivers on soft plastic jigs and bucktails. Most of the striped bass being caught in this manner tend to be less than 18” but a fewer keepers are also being found.
Most fishermen are now trolling the upper bay for striped bass with medium sized bucktails, Storms and similar type lures behind umbrella rigs or as a single lure or in tandem. Channel edges, shoal areas and river mouths have been favorite locations this week for what most fishermen are calling a slow pick at striped bass.
White perch are schooled up in many of the deeper areas such as river mouth channels and the rock piles at the Bay Bridge. A number of them are being caught on small jigs but most fishermen who are serious about catching a mess of big perch are using bottom rigs baited with bloodworms.
Mid Bay Region:
Fishermen were out in force last week after Turkey Day to take advantage of good weather on Friday and put up with less favorable conditions through Monday. Once again boat ramps and prime fishing locations were a bit crowded on Friday but most fishermen found the rewards of catching a large striped bass well worth it. Chris Washington and his friends launched at Breezy Point and enjoyed catching some nice fish including this one held up high by Chris.
The traditional locations along the steeper edges of the shipping channel from the Bloody Point area south to the Gas Docks are where fishermen are concentrating their trolling efforts this week. Some of the classic locations such as Bloody Point Light, the western channel edges in front of Breezy Point, the Radar Towers to Parkers Creek have all been popular. Fishermen report that most fish are being caught over water depths of 50’ or more but are coming off the planer boards and not the deep lines. White still seems to be the color to use for parachutes, bucktails and sassy shads but of course chartreuse is catching fish as well as Stretch 25’s and other lures such as Tomics and Storms. Josh Windsor caught this one on the classic umbrellas sassy shad combo while fishing with his dad.
Fishermen who have been targeting white perch in some of the deeper waters at the mouth of Eastern Bay and Choptank Rivers are reporting good catches of fat white perch on bottom rigs baited with bloodworms.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen were out in force last Friday and Saturday and of course Friday produced the better wind conditions but fishermen caught a lot of big fish on both days. The excellent fishing opportunities for large fall migrant striped bass are expected to certainly continue through this week. The NOAA Buoy at the mouth of the Potomac River is showing a water temperature of 47-degrees this week. These cold water temperatures are beginning to slow down the smaller striped bass but the large fish will continue to actively feed to at least 40-degrees. Fishermen are reporting covering a wide area in the lower bay region and some report catching their fish shortly after leaving port and before all lines are deployed. Jeremy Dehn is all smiles about this fish he caught under the Solomons Bridge while putting out lines for his dad as they headed out into the bay.
Fishermen have been covering most of the popular locations that continue to produce when trolling for large fish. Umbrella rigs with parachutes or bucktails festooned with 9” sassy shads are the order of the day; white has tended to be the color of choice due to clear water conditions but chartreuse is of course always a popular choice. Recently a number of fishermen have been reporting that chartreuse has been out fishing white in the lower Potomac River. The best fishing success has been in water over 50’ deep but fishermen make a point that most fish are coming off the planer boards and at 25’ or less from the surface. Tiffany Cureau recently caught this 57-pound whopper while trolling on a charter boat out of the Solomons.
When the weather is favorable, a number of boats have been chumming for striped bass in the area of the Southwest Middle Grounds with good success. Fishermen are also finding breaking fish now and then and good opportunities for jigging school sized striped bass in a number of locations including Pocomoke Sound. White perch are also schooled up in some of the deeper areas in the lower sections of the regions tidal rivers. Bloodworms on a bottom rig have been the method of choice for putting a catch of fat white perch together.
We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, if you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we run this time year. Click here for this week's gallery (3 photos).
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
The link below has 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.
Service is pleased to have you visit. We want to make this
site as user friendly as possible, if you have any suggestions, please
mail them to