You know its November when you see fishermen trading light clothing for their duck hunting clothing and swapping sneakers for knee boots or hunting boots. It’s November out there and old man winter is knocking on the door telling everyone he will be taking over soon. In most areas near the Chesapeake Bay watersheds the fall foliage is just about a full peak this week and the colors are real eye candy while casting lures or soaking a bait.
Fishermen in all three regions of the Chesapeake Bay are experiencing some exciting fishing for striped bass this week as cooler water temperatures have the fish schooling up near the mouths of tidal rivers and feeding on migrating juvenile menhaden. Often the feeding fish can be spotted when they drive the bait to the surface and diving sea gulls move in. Other times fishermen anxiously watch the screens of their depth finders like they would watch a bird dog work at field. The payoff is big time when fishermen can catch the action which usually occurs during a strong tide and fishing quickly turns to catch and release. Mary Mahoney caught this fine looking Choptank River striped bass while fishing with her husband and decided to take this one home to serve for dinner.
Water temperatures are dipping into the low 50’s in many areas of the bay and now that the bluefish are gone, fishermen now feel safe to troll with umbrella rigs festooned with sassy shads with a parachute, bucktail or swimming shad as a trailer. Trolling has been very productive this week in a number of traditional locations for not only school-sized striped bass but also the much anticipated influx of fall migrant striped bass. Catches have been sparse lately but the next two weeks should see this fishery begin to really kick into gear. Ralph Smith reported that his son Anthony Smith is home on a two week leave from the Air Force in Alaska and they got to go fishing near the mouth of the Choptank together on Monday. They were trolling a parachute when Anthony caught this nice 35” striped bass.
Freshwater fishermen are enjoying a wide variety of fishing this week; including good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass at Deep Creek Lake as well as walleyes and yellow perch. Trout fishermen are enjoying good conditions for catch and release trout fishing in designated areas and “catch and keep” fishermen are reaping the rewards of a generous fall stocking program. Fishermen looking for action in the states many reservoirs, lakes and tidal rivers are finding good fishing this week for a multitude of species. Striped bass have been stocked in a number of freshwater impoundments within the central region. Liberty Reservoir is one of those impoundments and Mike Woodruff proves that you don’t have to fish in the Chesapeake Bay to catch a trophy-sized striped bass. Mike was fishing with his buddy David Kirk when he landed this 41-1/2”, 26.5 lb striped bass in Liberty Reservoir on a white bucktail.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area are enjoying good fishing this week for tautog in the Ocean City Inlet area and an increased limit of four tautog per day. Surf fishermen are catching small bluefish and a few large striped bass this week. The boats headed to the wreck sites are catching a mix of tautog and sea bass.
Quote of the Week:
“A sportsman is a gentleman first”; the old man said “but a sportsman basically is a man who kills what he needs, whether it’s a fish or a bird or an animal, or he wants for a special reason, but never kills anything just to kill it”. “He tries to preserve the very same thing that he kills a little bit of from time to time”.
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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