As would be expected the Conowingo Dam had a water release on Saturday but except for that one event there has been no appreciable water releases from the dam for many days and the trend seems to continue. Fishermen are catching a few striped bass near the dam hole and cooler sections of the river. The action should pick up in the next couple of weeks as water temperatures cool. Fishing for channel catfish and white perch remains good in the lower Susquehanna and Elk Rivers and the channel areas in the upper bay. Underwater photographer Michael Eversmier, sent us this wonderful picture of striped bass, suckers and walleye all hanging out together on the bottom of the Susquehanna River.
Fishermen reported good fishing on Sunday and Monday for bluefish and striped bass in most traditional locations in the upper bay. The action picked right up on Sunday after the winds had calmed down. Trolling small umbrella rigs or tandem bucktails and Storms have been working well despite bluefish biting short on the soft plastics. Spoons and surge tube lures have also been effective; especially on the bluefish. Fishermen continue to report no trouble finding spot in the shallower waters for live lining. The live lining action continues to be good at steep channel edges such as the edge from Baltimore Light south to Sandy Point Light. The Love Point area as well as Pooles Island and Swan Point have also been good places to live line spot or chum.
A mix of bluefish and striped bass will continue to chase bait in the upper bay area and fishermen may find greater concentrations of bait on the western side of the bay early on this week due to the strong winds pushing bait schools to the west. Most of the action will occur near channel edges and knolls and shoal areas and fishermen will also find some nice white perch in these areas also that can be caught on jigs or bait. The East Rock Pile at the Bay Bridge is also reported to be holding a lot of good sized white perch at the moment.
Recreational crabbing should still be good; no reports came in since Friday but the rain on Saturday should not have had much effect. The eastern shore tidal rivers received little rain and the western shore only 3” to 4”.
Mid Bay Region:
Fishermen in the middle bay region jumped right back into fishing on Sunday after the blow and found the fishing continues to be as good as it was before Hanna. Fishermen that went out found striped bass and bluefish spread from the Bay Bridge south to the power plant. The Spanish mackerel action picks up around Poplar Island south. Fishermen are having good luck live lining spot at steep channel edges from the Gum Thickets south on both sides of the bay. The spot are still plentiful in the shallows and no one at the moment seems to have trouble picking up all they need.
Fishermen are finding a mix of bluefish and striped bass throughout the region often chasing bait on the surface or balling up bait beneath the surface where surface slicks or depth finders reveal the fish’s presence. Vertical jigging with soft plastic jigs or metal have been the methods employed when coming upon this kind of situation. Trolling has also been very successful for fishermen looking for striped bass or bluefish when using surge tube lures or tandem rigged bucktails. Faster speeds and small spoons continue to work well for the Spanish mackerel that are spread out through the region often mixed in with the bluefish. There are a lot of bluefish in the middle bay and fishermen report having no problem catching all they want. Angelina Watts was out fishing with her dad trolling green surge tubes for some bluefish and holds one up for the camera.
Croakers are still being caught during the day in the deeper portions of the bay and at night along the channel edges and adjacent ledges and shoals. Water temperatures are now holding below 80-degrees and will continue to drop slowly. At some time in the near future, croakers and spot will begin to school up for their southward migration down the bay. White perch are also starting to congregate on oyster bars and deep structure such as large piers and boat houses on the creeks and rivers. This time of the year can be a fine time to catch up some large white perch and stock up the freezer. White perch hold up well in the freezer and can be a welcomed treat in the upcoming winter months.
Recreational crabbers are enjoying the best crabbing to be seen for the 2008 season right now as slightly cooler water temperatures cause crabs to be more active. Greg Falter sent in this picture of an impending crab feast that came from Thompson’s Creek on the south side of Kent Island.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishing in the lower bay picked right up where it left off before Saturday’s visit from the remnants of Hanna. Fishermen did report on Sunday that they thought a lot of the bait schools had been blown over to the western side of the bay from the strong winds. Fishermen found a mix of bluefish, striped bass and Spanish mackerel spread out over a wide area of the lower bay. Spot continue to be plentiful in the lower Patuxent River and other shallower areas of the bay so live lining spot at steep channel edges such as outside the Gas Docks continues to be very popular with fishermen.
A number of charter boats are chumming for a mix of striped bass and bluefish at the channel edges in the lower Potomac and the Southwest Middle Grounds. Fishermen do report that the bluefish tend to dominate the chum slicks at times. Bluefish are also relatively easy to catch by trolling spoons and surge tube lures or by jigging and casting to breaking fish. The Spanish mackerel are still in residence and are being caught mostly by trolling small Clark or Drone spoons or by casting to breaking fish. It’s anybody’s guess how long they are going to stick around but as we approach the middle of September one wouldn’t bet on them sticking around much longer.
Large spot have been sparse in a few areas of the lower bay; especially on the eastern side of the bay but they show signs of schooling up before their departure and fishing has been good in the lower Tangier Sound area and near the mouth of the Patuxent River. Croakers are still being caught in the deeper areas of lower Tangier Sound and the lower bay during daylight hours and adjacent shoal areas at night. Water temperatures have dipped to below the 80-degree mark now and will continue to slowly drop. These water temperature changes will begin to signal croakers, spot, Spanish mackerel and finally bluefish and flounder that it is time to start thinking about heading south. The croakers are also feeling the urge to spawn later on this fall so they’ll be heading out into the ocean off northern Virginia.
Flounder fishing continues to be quite good along the channel edges of Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds; as well as Locations like Cornfield Harbor, Point Lookout and various shoal areas along the shipping channel. The fishermen who seek out speckled sea trout along the marshes, islands and cuts of the eastern shore are finding their quarry with good regularity and enjoying a mix of striped bass, bluefish and large croakers as part of the catch. Recreational crabbers are reporting the best crabbing opportunities of the season to catch large and heavy crabs in the tidal creeks and rivers.
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