Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | July 25, 2012
This past Sunday evening I was reminded of how much fun it can be to enjoy some of the simpler but wonderful things that are around us each day. Often exotic locations and adventurous fishing experiences beckon to our senses but often the simpler things around us offer so much to our spirits and they exist for all of us no matter where you live. It could be a quiet summer evening on the water, the fragrance of pines in the wind, wildlife, a beautiful sunset or enjoying fishing for some fish species often passed by such as white perch or bluegills. Fishing tends to often slow us down and clears our senses to enjoy many of the wonderful things nature has to offer. Each day we are given a gift of time and it is up to us to spend it wisely, for at the end of the day it is gone and can not be saved or hoarded.
Photo Courtesy of Matt Mahoney
Fishermen are still enjoying some striped bass action in the dam pool at the Conowingo Dam and are catching white perch and channel catfish farther down the Susquehanna River below the dam. The striped bass action picks up again around the Rock Hall region with Swan Point and Love Point being popular places to chum for striped bass lately. Captains report a high throwback ratio of small striped bass during the day and the best grade of fish occurring early in the morning and close to the bottom. The channel edge near Sandy Point Light and Podickory Point has also been a good place to chum, chunk or live line spot recently. Trolling a mix of bucktails and spoons has also been productive for striped bass along the channel edges and generally produces a better grade of fish. Fishermen have also been finding striped bass holding suspended near the piers of the Bay Bridge and catching them by live lining spot or jigging with soft plastics. Greg Perron sent in this picture of a school of small striped bass chasing bait off of Eastern Neck Island.
Photo Courtesy of Greg Perron
The area around Hackett's Bar, Tolley's Point, Thomas Point and the Hill continue to be productive places to live line spot and to watch for breaking fish. Light tackle fishermen have been finding breaking fish at times that are often striped bass under 18" in length but are also finding larger fish underneath by jigging. Small bluefish are becoming more common in the fray and for many fishermen are a welcomed addition to what comes home for dinner. Trolling a mix of bucktails and spoons along channel edges will also put striped bass and bluefish in the boat.
Fishermen looking for striped bass action in the lower bay region continue to find it by live lining spot out on the 35' channel edge in front of the Gas Docks. Other likely looking channel edges are also holding striped bass and fishermen are taking a quick "look see" to mark fish and then set up on them; so check out prominent points and good structure and you might find good fishing and a little more elbow room. The mouth of the Potomac and the Middle Grounds are traditional places for chumming striped bass and bluefish and the boats fishing there are catching fish. Some of the bluefish showing up this week can push 4lbs or more. A few cobia are also nosing into chum slicks and others are being found near buoys. A spot and stalk strategy on cobia holding near buoys is usually done with live bait but lures will work also if they are hungry enough. Most of the cobia being caught measure less than 48" this week.
The shallow water speckled trout fishing continues to be a real bonus to Tangier Sound area fishermen and flounder fishing has improved along shoal edges adjacent to channels. Tangier Sound bottom fishermen are catching larger spot now and a mix of croaker, white perch, small bluefish and flounder. Fishermen are reporting large croaker in the lower Potomac and especially the St. Mary's River. Large spot are also becoming more common in the lower Patuxent River.
Recreational crabbers are reporting good catches of nice crabs in most all areas of the bay. Crabbing in the upper bay continues to improve as the summer progresses and crabbing in the middle and lower bay regions is good to excellent in most tidal rivers and creeks. High throwback ratios of undersized and female crabs can be pesky at times but better to see them than not.
Freshwater fishermen in the western region of the state are enjoying good fly fishing opportunities in many of the regions trout waters. Water conditions are skinny in many rivers and streams and most fishermen would agree these trout are not your opening day version so they offer a good and exciting challenge. Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are enjoying a typical summer mix of fishing for smallmouth bass along deep grass lines and near docks. There are walleye and yellow perch along with bluegills to be found and some nice trout are being caught down by the dam by drifting or slow trolling nightcrawlers or minnows down deep. Fishermen in the upper Potomac River are finding low water but are still enjoying good fishing for smallmouth bass in the early morning hours and fishing for channel catfish has been very good.
Most fishermen in the other regions of the state tend to focus on largemouth bass this time of the year in the lakes, reservoirs and tidal waters of the state. The largemouth bass are in a typical summer mode of moving into shallow waters during the night looking for an easy meal near or in grass and similar cover. Topwater lures such as plastic frogs at dawn or late evening are a good choice over or near grass. Senko type worms or similar soft plastics are working well later in the mornings in the grass and near or under docks and fallen tree tops. Deeper waters can be fished with crankbaits and soft plastic jigs for largemouth bass lurking near the cool bottom. Bluegills can offer a lot of fun on a quiet summer evening and it can be a great introduction to fly fishing using floating rubber-legged bugs. Feldy Suwito caught this nice largemouth bass recently at the Black Hills Regional Park while casting from shore.
Photo Courtesy of Feldy Suwito
Ocean City fishermen have been enjoying a wide variety of fishing opportunities this week and the action should continue. Flounder fishing has been very good in the back bay channel areas, around the inlet and shoal and reef sites out in the ocean. Many fishermen are using live spot for bait and catching larger flounder. A mix of croakers, small bluefish and small sea bass are also biting inside of the inlet. Along the surf, fishermen are catching a mix of small summer species early in the mornings and there are also various inshore shark species and rays for a little extra pull. In and around the inlet fishermen are catching small bluefish and a few striped bass at night and sheepshead and a few trigger fish around the rocks during the day.
Offshore out at the Hot Dog the Ocean City fleet has been gathering for the last week chunking for yellowfin tuna; often with very good results. The word is out and talk was that there may have been as many as 80 boats on site Sunday. As of yesterday the bite was still on. Farther offshore in the canyon areas a mix of white and blue marlin are being caught as well as dolphin and a few bigeye tuna. Deep drop fishermen are catching tilefish and snowy grouper along the canyon edges. The boats heading out to the wreck sites for sea bass report good fishing for sea bass and flounder around the wreck and reef sites.
"Fishing is a very flexible sport. You can make of it almost anything you will, from a considerable athletic effort to a quiet mood of observations and introspection. You can even combine these extremes and at the same time enjoy many of the graduations between them, such as delight in the streams, lakes and saltwater, joy in recognition of birds and other wildlife or the wonder at the beauty of the fish themselves and the intricate mysteries of their ways. " The Man Behind the Rod, Roderick Haig-Brown