Largemouth bass are the main target for anglers on the Susquehanna Flats. Target structure near deeper water early in the morning, topwater, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are all catching fish – especially the Cecil County side. For anglers trying to catch a striped bass, focus on the Conowingo Dam during generation times. Swimming shad baits and live eels are your best bet.
Love Point and Swan Point are still producing lots of striped bass for anglers who are chumming, but many of them are sub-legal fish. The cooler then normal air temperatures aid in the successful release of smaller fish, as do circle hooks and gentle handling techniques by the angler. If you plan on releasing the fish, studies show that keeping the fish in the water while you de-hook it can greatly increase it’s chances of survival. Corey Bodnar of Severna Park and his father Rob caught several nice rockfish chumming at Love Point, the biggest was a 27.5 inch striper. Corey also caught and released this fish with a strange injury, which doesn’t appear to be affecting his appetite!
Middle Bay Region
Striper fishing remains good from Chesapeake Beach to Cove Point. Anglers have been successful finding breaking fish and casting swim shads, bucktails, and spoons to land enough for dinner. Jigging or live-lining spot near/under the breaking fish can produce larger fish. Trolling the 30-40 foot channel edges is another way to catch stray fish while looking for schools of breaking or suspended fish on the depth finder.
Croaker, bluefish, and flounder are also spread about and being caught at traditional summertime locations. Rich Watts took Tim Plavko and father Bob Plavko fishing in Eastern Bay and caught some whopper croaker, striped bass, and bluefish on small bucktails with gulp bloodworm strips.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
A lot of the boats coming out of the western ports have been motoring up to the Cove Point to Parkers Creek area to find their striped bass, usually breaking on the surface. Other fishermen are finding fish holding deep and vertical jigging to catch their fish. Others are having good success trolling umbrella rigs, chartreuse Drone spoons and tandem bucktails. Then there are those who are live lining spot along the 35’ channel edge to catch their limits of striped bass and lastly some fishermen are finding chumming to be successful in the same areas.
Bluefish are certainly in the region and are either being caught by those light tackle jigging or casting, chumming and unfortunately an increasing number of spot are coming up cut short. The Crisfield fleet has been chumming at the Middle Grounds area with good success for a mix of bluefish and striped bass. Some fishermen have also been targeting bluefish in that area and above the Target Ship by trolling spoons and hoses. A few large red drum also continue to be part of the mix when trolling spoons.
The croaker fishing in the lower bay region continues to very good in most all of the regions tidal rivers including the Potomac and Patuxent. The croakers in the tidal rivers are running a little smaller than those encountered out in the bay but there is plenty of action and the tidal rivers tend to offer wind protection if it is blowing hard. Spot and white perch are part of the mix in the tidal rivers with an increasing number of flounder and small bluefish being part of the mix. Out on the shoal areas of the bay near traditional places such as Buoy 72 and the Middle Grounds; boats are catching large croaker at dusk. Flounder are being caught throughout the region and many of them are over 20” in size, most hard bottomed shoals and channel edges are holding flounder at this time.
The Crisfield fleet has been fishing relatively deep for their croakers during the day in areas like the Puppy Hole and south near Fox and Tangier Island. Limits are common and fishermen are being treated to a wonderful mix of flounder, spot, speckled trout and small bluefish while fishing for croakers.
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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