“It was a keeper”; that is what many fishermen said about the past Memorial Day weekend. The persistent cool weather and rain finally broke for a textbook gorgeous weekend. There was a bit of wind at times that caused a little discomfort on some of the more open waters but there were few complaints from anyone who was outside.
Fishermen in the Susquehanna Catch & Release area have been delighted with the good fishing that has returned there for striped bass in the below 32” size class; with many being in the 18” to 26” slot size. The cool spring weather and heavy rain fall has a number of traditional fishery events a little behind schedule this week but warmer weather will do much to hurry things along. The traditional horseshoe crab spawn on the last full moon in May did not go off in full force, the clamworm swarming or May worm swarms as many call them in the Chesapeake seems to be a little late this year. The croakers are held up in the lower bay region most likely due to lower salinities and cooler than normal water temperatures farther up the bay; but the bluefish showed up in earnest this past weekend in the lower bay. This past Saturday even a few smaller sized striped bass could be seem flopping in the upper Choptank spawning. May rock as they are called is a typical happening ever year; the tail end Charlie’s sort of speak, first time spawners that don’t quite have it all figured out yet.
Middle bay region fishermen continue to troll for their striped bass although most fishermen are now targeting school-sized striped bass. Christian Norris was fishing with family this past weekend in the False Channel area when he got the opportunity to catch his first striped bass ever and also proved that there are still some big ones out there to be caught.
A number of fishermen have started to chum for their striped bass in the Chesapeake with good results at times and light tackle jigging for striped bass is also becoming a very productive method for putting a catch together. Bluefish have swarmed into the lower bay area and soft plastic swim shads and sassy shads are now in peril of being bitten off. Fishermen will also soon be thinking of live lining spot for their striped bass but recent inspection of a number of striped bass caught from the Herrington Harbor area for research purposes area shows that they are feeding on white perch so there is no need to wait for the arrival of spot for live lining.
Fishermen in the lower bay/Tangier Sound region have been enjoying good croaker fishing in the lower Potomac River, the Middle Grounds and several locations in Tangier/Pocomoke Sound. The lower sections of the tidal rivers will open for striped bass fishing after June 1st and the traditional shallow water fishery will begin in earnest; which is one of the fishing treasures on the Chesapeake.
Freshwater fishermen are experiencing good fishing for smallmouth bass in the western and central regions of the state. Jayda Plater hold up a real nice Deep Creek Lake smallmouth bass for the camera before releasing it back into the lake.
Trout fishermen are also enjoying good fishing in the western and central regions whether one is fly fishing in some of the premier catch and release areas or fishing in some of the put and take waters. Largemouth bass fishing continues to be good in all areas of the state; there is some late season spawning going on in some of the colder waters and post spawn largemouth are on the prowl to build up there body stores after spawning in many other areas.
Ocean City anglers enjoyed good flounder fishing in the back bay areas of Ocean City and Assateague Island this past weekend and tautog and striped bass fishing in the inlet area continues to be good. Surf fishermen are still catching the large striped bass that are migrating north along the beaches. The boats headed out to the wreck sites are reporting fair to good catches of sea bass and tautog. Dave Howard caught this beautiful 6lb+ sea bass while fishing on an Ocean City party boat at the Eastern Reef.
The first yellowfin tuna and dolphin were landed in Ocean City this past weekend by a charter boat fishing in the Norfolk Canyon and a thresher shark was brought in from a location southeast of the Jackspot.
The Maryland Fishing Challenge continues through this month and until September 1st. Fishermen are encouraged to register any fish they catch that meets the minimum size criteria at a Citation Center to be in the drawing for a number of prizes which include a new 4x4 Tundra pickup truck, a boat, motor and trailer outfit and thousands of dollars in prizes. Information concerning rules and where you can register your fish can be found at the following website link: www.dnr.state.md.us/fishingchallenge/
Quote of the Week:
"When the logic of history hungers for bread and we hand out a stone, we are at pains to explain how much the stone resembles bread."
Aldo Leopold, Substitutes for a Land Ethic
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 (8 photos).
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm.
A Couple of Closing Notes...
Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent
fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the
following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be
in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file
size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical
handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please
reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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