Officially the Susquehanna Flats Catch and Release Season is underway but with water temperatures hovering in the low 40ís and this only being the third week of March; prospects for catching and releasing large striped bass are pretty slim this week. A number of fishermen have been trying with circle hooks and frozen cut bait such as herring; fresh gizzard shad might be a good option. Large channel catfish seem to be the only takers at this time.
Anyone crossing the Bay Bridge may notice a few fishermen standing a lonely vigil at the point at Sandy Point State Park on the weekends. Fishermen have been soaking bloodworm baits at the race in hopes of connecting with a large striped bass passing close to shore. No takers yet but it is just a matter of time. If you give it a try just remember to be prepared before you start; wear knee boats so you donít have to drag a fish that is going to be released in the sand. Also circle hooks and stout tackle are a must.
Mid/Lower Bay Regions
When light winds and warm temperatures prevail a number of fishermen have been leaving their local ports to try out newly acquired fishing tackle out on the bay in preparation of the spring opener. Fishermen are becoming more acquainted with planer boards and multiple rod set ups and in the process are catching and releasing a few large striped bass. Most of the reported action is coming off of the planer boards relatively close to the surface of the water. Parachutes and large bucktails with sassy shads attached usually in chartreuse seem to be what is working best. The best areas to troll continue to be along the steeper edges of the shipping channel.
Fishermen can be found jigging in the warm water discharge at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant also this week. The word is that one of the reactors is off line so the discharge is somewhat diminished but striped bass are being caught there. Soft plastic jigs around ĺ of an ounce or butterfly jigs are the ticket while drifting in the discharge current.
White perch are entering the major tidal rivers and creeks and are holding in many of the deeper holes at the moment. Often they can be located with a depth finder and bloodworms on a bottom rig are the usual offering. Many old timers will also cut up a few nightcrawlers with the bloodworms and let them soak in the bloodworm juice. The perch seem to be fooled and doing this helps stretch those expensive bloodworms a little farther.
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