The cool temperatures of the last couple of days have left little doubt to most outdoorsman that winter and colder temperatures are knocking on the door. Fishermen can be seen now wearing hunting coats and other warm clothing when out fishing. Most of our summer migrant species of marine fish have already left and those that are still here are not far behind them. Freshwater fish are definitely feeling a sense of urgency to fatten up for their winter period of decreased activity.
Fishermen in the upper and middle Chesapeake Bay regions are seeing better fishing for striped bass this week and the bluefish are beginning to retreat in a southerly direction. Many fishermen are light tackle jigging underneath breaking fish or to striped bass holding near deep structure. There are still some small spot to be found in the shallows and fishermen continue to live line them for striped bass at channel edges and the Bay Bridge. Other fishermen are trolling bucktails and spoons for a mix of striped bass and bluefish and in a week or so once the bluefish are finally gone they will be breaking out the umbrella rigs with sassy shads. Mitch Cratty was out fishing with his dad trolling when they caught this mix of bluefish and striped bass.
Fishermen in the lower bay region are enjoying an upswing in the striped bass fishing this week and report that despite southerly migrations they are up to their gunwales in bluefish. Fishermen are mostly chumming and trolling for the bluefish and either jigging or trolling for the striped bass. A few large striped bass over 40” were picked up this week by boats trolling large parachutes and bucktails along the shipping channel. The big news this week from the ASMFC is that they have struck an agreement to extend the Maryland 2008 striped bass season by 16 days to December 31st for fishermen.
There are still a number of flounder along channel edges in the middle and lower bay regions but the flounder season will come to a halt at 12:01 am on October 24th. The coastal areas will also be affected by this closure.
Freshwater fishermen are enjoying good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass this week along with walleye, yellow perch and crappie in the many lakes, reservoirs of the western region. Trout fishermen have been enjoying the rewards of a generous fall stocking of large rainbow and brown trout. Aaron Maisano cradles a beautiful rainbow trout before releasing it.
Fishermen in the central, southern and eastern regions are also experiencing excellent fishing for largemouth bass this week as cool water temperatures spur increased activity for freshwater fish.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area will see the last of their flounder fishing season this Friday but the excellent tautog fishing in the inlet area will certainly help ease the pain. Surf fishermen report being covered up with small bluefish this week in the Ocean City/Assateague surf. The boats headed out to the wreck sites report fair fish for a mix of sea bass and tautog and limits of flounder.
Quote of the Week:
The old man used to say that the best part of hunting and fishing was the thinking about going and the talking about it after you got back. You just had to have the middle as a basis of conversation and to put some meat in the pot.
Robert Ruark - The Old Man and the Boy
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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