Fishermen are reporting that the hickory shad fishery at Deer Creek is just about over and the few fish they are catching and releasing are small bucks. The fishing is a little better below the Conowingo Dam but again most of the hickory shad being caught are small males. There is a lot of wood debris floating in the river so fishermen need to be cautious. No one is talking much about American shad this year; a few were caught but the run did not amount to much. Fishermen are reporting that the lower Susquehanna River seems to be paved with white perch; state electro-fishing crews reported large numbers of white perch turning up in their shad survey work yesterday.
The upper bay waters are stained from the recent rainfall runoff but fishermen are still catching a few large striped bass at locations such as the Triple Buoys, the edge at Love Point and the Dumping Grounds. Most of the post-spawn striped bass have moved through the area but there are always a few late fish. Chartreuse parachutes and bucktails tend to edge out white in the stained waters but fishermen report that they are still pulling a few white lures as well as spoons and catching fish on them. Alan Nelson of Malvern, PA caught this nice fish on a white sassy shad behind an umbrella rig north of the bridge while fishing with his dad and friends this past Sunday.
Upper bay fishermen will be looking forward to this Saturday, May 16th when they will be able to keep striped bass less than 28”. Those that are out trolling this Saturday will be running small bucktails along with the larger offerings. Light tackle fishermen will also be getting into the action by casting jigs and crankbaits near channels in the Susquehanna Flats area as well as shoreline structure in the Baltimore Harbor area. The Bay Bridge piers, the sewer piper and shoal edges will also be good places to try a little jigging for school sized striped bass.
Middle Bay Region
The spring striped bass season is winding down this week as most of the post-spawn striped bass have moved through Maryland waters. A number of large fish are still being caught this week though on large chartreuse or white parachutes and bucktails being trolled in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Spoons have also been working well and should be a part of everyone’s array. Fishermen will start to mix medium sized lures into their spread this weekend as striped bass below 28” in length will be fair game starting on Saturday May 16th. The middle bay region’s waters are stained from all the runoff of recent rains and will certainly play a factor in fishing this week. Chartreuse is often the “go to” color for stained water but don’t count out white.
The western side of the shipping channel continues to be the place to go this week as the southbound fish seem to prefer this channel edge for the last week or so. Rich Watts reported they found fish recently about a mile south of Thomas Point in the 30’ to 40’ edge. The channel edge from Breezy Point south and especially near the Radar Towers and Parkers Creek area have been a very good place to troll. Three generations of the Hammond family fished out of Breezy Point recently to help celebrate John Hammond Sr. on his 80th birthday. Everyone caught fish and John Sr. caught this 38” fish to celebrate his birthday.
Starting Saturday fishermen will start to look for medium sized striped bass by trolling over ballast stone piles and any kind of structure they can locate out in the bay. The first croakers are beginning to show up in area pound nets and fishermen will start to find them at traditional locations such as shoal edges near deep water. White perch are moving into the lower estuary areas of the regions tidal rivers and can be caught on small lures such as jigs and beetle spins as well as grass shrimp and bloodworms.
Recreational crabbers were out last weekend and they tried a number of favorite locations with varied success. The reports from the creeks around Kent Island such as Thompson’s and Cox’s were spotty with crabbers reporting a couple of dozen heavy crabs in an outing with trotlines and collapsible traps. Crabbers in the upper Tred Avon and Slaughter Creek areas did better with a few reporting a full bushel of crabs in an outing. Commercial crabbers are out in force every morning running trotlines in the rivers and creeks and they are catching crabs. Commercial crab potters are catching crabs in their deep water pots off Kent Island.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen in the lower bay region are working the western side of the shipping channel and still catching a few large striped bass this week. The eastern edge around Buoy 72 has also been productive as well as the channel edges in the mouth of the Potomac River. There is no question that the season is winding down but there is enough action out there to entice fishermen to keep trying. Steve Harlacher was trolling with friends near Cedar Point when he caught this nice striped bass.
Starting this Saturday May 16th fishermen will be able to keep striped bass under the 28” mark so many will be placing medium sized lures in their trolling spreads. Fishermen will find light tackle jigging to be an option at traditional locations such as Cedar Point and anywhere a school of striped bass can be found working on bait. Water temperatures are now around 65-degrees at the mouth of the Potomac so conditions are near ideal for striped bass.
Croakers are being caught over a wider area this week; the mouth of the Wicomico River on the lower Potomac is still an excellent place to catch large croakers; but many other locations are also providing croakers. Shore bound fishermen are catching croaker on both sides of the mouth of the Patuxent as well as the Point Lookout area and prominent points in the Tangier Sound area. Bloodworms, squid and shrimp all are reported to be good baits to use this week. Boaters are reporting croakers in the Middle Grounds area near the Target Ship and Buoy 72; as well as Tangier and Pocomoke Sound. These are the season’s first croakers so catches can be hit or miss.
Recreational crabbers reported catching crabs this week in a number of the regions tidal rivers and creeks. Commercial trot liners have been at it for a couple of weeks now but it took the weekend’s sunny weather to bring recreational crabbers out in force. Favorite tidal rivers and creeks in the Somerset County area as well as the Crisfield area proved productive. Western shore crabbers found crabs in the lower Patuxent and Point Lookout area creeks.
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