The recent hot weather has done a lot to make up for lagging water temperatures in the Susquehanna/upper bay region. Water temperatures are now in the range of 61-64- degrees in the general area and fish are certainly responding to that change. Hickory shad are pouring into the Susquehanna River and Deer Creek in particular. Michael Eversmier sent this interesting fish eye view of him releasing a hickory shad at Deer Creek.
Striped bass have been showing signs of spawning activity below Elk Neck to the mouth of the Sassafras for some time now and catch and release fishing in and around the flats began to decline last week. Fishermen are still catching and releasing a few striped bass but overall numbers will continue to drop off.
White perch are more in a mood for feeding this week and fishermen can expect to catch good numbers of fat perch in some of the deeper areas of the Susquehanna and channel areas of the upper bay. Channel catfish can certainly be found ready to take various cut baits and American shad as well as hickory shad are being caught and released in the waters below the Conowingo Dam.
The bay waters just above the Bay Bridge continue to be a good location to troll for striped bass and fishermen have been catching them along the western edge of the shipping channel between Sandy Point Light and Baltimore Light, the channel edge at Love Point, Swan Point and the Dumping Grounds. Chartreuse and white parachutes in tandem or behind an umbrella rig continue to be very popular but spoons are a good option also. Ralph Patton caught this nice 40” striped bass while trolling with his friends near Swan Point. Ralph mentioned that he and his three friends limited in an hour and a half and were back at Rock Hall by 9:30am.
Middle Bay Region
The post spawn striped bass began pouring out of the Choptank River this past weekend and fishermen who have been anxiously waiting for such an event were waiting for them in the False Channel area. Reports of good fishing in that area continue this week and should last for another week or so. There was a big spawn on the upper Choptank during the weekend of the 18th and with water temperatures in the spawning reach now in the high 60’s most spawning is over. Striped bass will certainly continue periodic spawning into early May but the bulk of it seems to be over. This is good news for middle and lower bay fishermen. Paul McClain came all the way from Michigan to fish with his brother Ron and based on the smile on his face it would be safe to say he really enjoyed himself fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.
The shipping channel edges near Bloody Point and Thomas Point continue to be a good location to troll this week as well as Buoy 83 and the west side of the shipping channel from Breezy Point south. Most fishermen are using a combination of white and chartreuse parachutes and bucktails; all dressed with big sassy shads and are pulling them behind umbrella rigs of in tandem. Large spoons have also been a good choice lately and a number of fishermen are finding them to be a good addition to their spread behind the boat. A number of fishermen have been noticing winter jellyfish fouling their lines recently; these are a different jellyfish than sea nettles and only occur in the bay from late fall to early spring.
The white perch continue to be somewhat elusive this week in the tidal rivers but should be moving down the rivers to spread out in the lower regions of the rivers by the first week of May.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
It was a very good weekend for striped bass trolling with plenty of fish, warm weather and light winds. There is a cool front moving in today let us hope that the winds stay calm. The striped bass are out there using the shipping channel edges as a highway to the mouth of the bay. Most of the spawning in the middle and lower bay tidal rivers has taken place so there will be a lot of big post spawn striped bass moving through the region this week. Chartreuse seems to be edging out white this week when it comes to Parachutes and bucktails but most everyone knows it is wise to mix them up in your trolling spread. Jason Moore was out fishing with friends on a Solomon’s charter boat when he caught this fine looking striped bass.
The area of the Potomac where striped bass spawn is currently showing water temperatures of 70-degrees so the spawning activity is about over. Fishermen near the mouth of the Potomac are catching these migrating post spawn fish along the edges of the channel in the St. Georges Island to Smith Point area while trolling. Lower bay boats have been working all of the traditional channel edges this week with good catches in the early morning and evening. The bright sun this week during the day tends to put the fish down and in less of a feeding mood. When boats get on fish early in the morning they are often limited out in an hour or so; which is good for charter boat captains. This is their chance to get the books into the black for a change. The east side of the shipping channel from the CP Buoy south to 68 has been a good place to troll as have the channel areas around Tangier Light and of course the shipping channel edge from Breezy Point south to Point No Point. Scott Bruther checked in this whopping 55-1/2”, 55lb striped bass at JJ’s Tackle Shop that he caught near Buoy 77.
Bottom fishermen have been enjoying great fishing for croakers at the mouth of the Wicomico River on the lower Potomac and several shoreline locations such as PAX Naval Air Station, Point Lookout Pier and causeway.
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