This past Monday marked the official first day of the fall season and the beginning of a very exciting part of the fishermen’s season. Cooler water temperatures are beginning to have a dramatic effect on fish behavior in the freshwater, Chesapeake Bay and ocean waters of Maryland. The fish populations are breaking the restricting bonds of warm water conditions and becoming increasing active in their feeding activities. Many summer migrants in the marine and Chesapeake Bay waters are beginning to head south for warmer waters and fishing for striped bass will come to the forefront for Maryland fishermen.
Fishermen in the upper bay region are enjoying good fishing for striped bass and small bluefish from the Rock Hall area south to the Bay Bridge. Many fishermen continue to live line spot for the largest striped bass as well as troll and jig near concentrations of fish chasing bait.
Middle bay region fishermen are also seeing good to excellent fishing for striped bass but are also seeing a lot more hungry bluefish that tend to make short work of live spot intended for striped bass. A mix of striped bass and bluefish are chasing bait throughout the region and fishermen are encountering breaking fish in many locations. Most fishermen are jigging underneath the breaking fish for a larger grade of striped bass and others are trolling around the edges. Dave Faircloth and Rob Leone both from Shadyside hold up a pair of nice striped bass caught off the Gum Thickets on live spot.
Fishermen in the lower bay region are seeing the same kind of action for a mix of bluefish and striped bass throughout the region. Most fishermen are either live lining spot or trolling and jigging for their striped bass and bluefish. The croakers have just about left the lower bay region and the best catches at the moment are coming from the Middle Grounds area at night. The flounder fishing continues to be very strong in the lower bay region and good in the middle bay region. White perch fishing is very good in all three regions of the Chesapeake and crabbing is good in most areas with the male crabs being heavy and large. Fishermen are also seeing the last of the Spanish mackerel for this year in the lower bay region and both puppy drum and large red drum continue to be mixing it up with fishermen in the lower bay/Tangier Sound regions. Larry Chesnick of Fredrick holds up a nice red drum he caught and released while fishing on a local charter boat near the Mud Leads.
Freshwater fishermen are seeing increased activity by most species of fish and particular smallmouth and largemouth bass. Kris Flaherty holds up a nice upper Potomac River smallmouth for the camera before releasing it back into the river recently.
Oceanside fishermen have been hampered by strong northeasterly winds this week making it tough for flounder fishermen in the back bay areas and for surf fishermen. The fall run of large red drum is occurring this week along the beaches and increasing numbers of larger striped bass are showing up along the beaches and inside the Ocean City Inlet. The fishing for large croakers is very strong right now off the beaches and is making up the bulk of the catch for the party boat fleet.
Quote of the Week:
...left to his own natural instincts and his common sense, any man of reasonable intelligence and sensibility is likely to favor bottom fishing above all other forms.
Louis D. Rubin Jr.
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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