Here we are into the third full week of November; western Maryland is under a blanket of snow and the rest of the state is shivering under a cold front that has a grip on all. Warmer clothes are moving to the more prominent places in closets and finally a nick is starting to show in the seasons firewood stack. Many boats now stand idle and shrink wrapped; waders and fishing rods hung up and put to sleep till next spring and many fair weather fishermen have done the same with their aspirations of fishing their favorite waters. Those who understand the rewards of cold mornings and stiff icy winds find they have plenty of room to fish and plenty of fish to reward them for their efforts this week.
Fishermen in the three regions of the Chesapeake Bay celebrated the large influx of fall migrant striped bass this past weekend with early catches of striped bass in the 34 to 42 size range and a number of fish even larger than that while trolling large bucktails and parachutes. More than a few captains of charter boats reported limit catches in the middle and lower bay regions within an hour of clearing port. The highest concentration of large fish tends to be in the lower and middle regions of the bay but increasing numbers are also being caught in the upper bay. Steve Leith of Glen Burnie caught this 46 whopper while fishing on a charter boat out of Chesapeake Beach this past weekend.
Fishermen are also experiencing good fishing for striped bass under 28 in all three regions of the Chesapeake; often near the mouths of tidal rivers. Many fishermen are trolling medium sized bucktails and parachutes but light tackle jigging to breaking fish or fish holding deep has also been very productive.
Freshwater fishermen are seeing water temperatures quickly dropping to the low 50s in many areas and many fish such as largemouth bass are holding in deeper waters and hunkering down for the winter. Other fish such as walleye, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel are very active in a number of freshwater impoundments and rivers. Large blue catfish have been active in the tidal Potomac River and fishermen have been using fresh gizzard shad to catch them. Cpl. Charles Moore got an invite to go fishing with members of the Catfish Nation fishing club recently and caught and released this 49-1/2lb blue catfish.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area are enjoying good fishing for tautog this week at the inlet area as well as striped bass. Surf fishermen saw an influx of large bluefish into the surf this past weekend and the fishing for these bluefish and large striped bass should be good this week. Sea bass and tautog are being caught out at the wreck and artificial reef sites and large bluefish can be found roaming off the beaches.
Quote of the Week:
A late autumn day is a wonderful thing, all by itself;
the ground gets grey, cold and hard in the late afternoon and you find your fingers stiffen from about three-thirty until you go home to the fire. All lonesome sounds start earlier in the late fall: the scattered quail trying to call each other back into a covey; a cow bellowing sad and hopeless away over yonder; even a crows caw sounding wistful instead of ornery.
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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