Fishermen are reporting striped bass action in the lower third of the upper bay region and most of that action is occurring below the Brewerton Channel. Water temperatures in the upper bay region have taken a nose dive in the last week and are now in the low 40’s. The breaking fish and diving birds action is beginning to slow down in the upper bay but fishermen are still encountering breaking fish here and there; especially in the afternoon. The mouths of the Chester and Magothy Rivers as well as the area around Love and Podickory Points have been providing some of the better light tackle jigging. More than a few fishermen reported thought that many of the striped bass were under 18-inches and that they had to move on to another pod of fish to find larger fish.
Many fishermen are now trolling medium and large sized bucktails and parachutes for school sized striped bass and the occasional large fish. Most are working their favorite locations often near channel edges and high spots such as shoals and points. Umbrella rigs with parachutes, Storms or bucktails are popular choices but some fishermen have also had good success with spoons. White continues to be the top choice this week for lure color and will most likely remain so as long as water clarity is good.
White perch can be found out in the bay and some of the deeper holes in the mouths of some of the major tidal rivers in the region. Most fishermen have been catching some of the largest white perch while jigging for striped bass with metal jigs but other anglers that are targeting white perch have been using bottom rigs baited with bloodworms. Keith Tiedemann sent us this report from the lower Susquehanna River. Perch fishing has been great in the lower Susquehanna in the past week. Catching 20-30 a day has not been uncommon. Bill Reiber of Perryville caught and released a number of these yellow perch this past weekend. Last Sunday it was all yellow perch during the afternoon, Bill caught and released some nice white perch and 16-18" Rock during the week right before dark. We have been using 2.5" gulp minnows and 1" chartreuse or white bass assassins.
Mid Bay Region:
Sunday was a very busy day at boat ramps and marinas as fishermen finally got a break from the cold winds that have made it tough to fish out in the bay for the past week. Hopefully the weather and especially the wind will be more favorable this week. Water temperatures have taken a big drop and most areas in the middle bay are seeing water temperatures below 45-degrees; with the rivers even colder. Fishermen looking for light tackle jigging in the lower Choptank River will have a tough nut to crack this week based on last weeks reports. Fishermen have been finding school sized striped bass in the lower Choptank and Eastern Bay but often many are less than 18” in size. The better reports of finding schools of striped bass over 18” and less than 28” have been coming from the bay proper and some of the more reliable action tends to be in the afternoons or early evening.
Most fishermen have been switching to trolling due to the success of the fall fishery for large striped bass. Fishermen are enjoying excellent fishing for these large striped bass along the edges and out in the shipping channel itself. Planer boards are being used and white parachutes or bucktails that are dressed with a sassy shad have been the lures of choice; either single, tandem, behind a daisy chain or umbrella rig. When trolling most fishermen are able to also pull smaller bucktails and parachutes for striped bass under 28” in size and are complimenting their trophy sized fish with a schoolie. The area around Bloody Point Light the sharp channel edge along the western shore out in front of Breezy Point and south have been excellent places to troll lately. Fishermen are also seeing diving birds and breaking fish in these areas and either trolling along the edges of the action or jigging. D.A. Hinson traveled all the way up from Clearwater, Florida to go fishing with local friends and takes a good look at their trolling fortunes.
Many fishermen that have been jigging for striped bass in the Bloody Point area, the rock piles at the Bay Bridge or some of the deeper holes at the mouths of the regions tidal rivers have been catching large white perch. When located on a depth finder they can also be caught on a bottom rig baited with bloodworms.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
This week is shaping up to be more of the same excellent fishing for large fall migrant striped bass in the lower bay region. Fishermen are experiencing better wind conditions so far this week but it is still mighty cold out there in the mornings. This is definitely a good time of the year to have plenty of hull underneath you and a warm cabin to take refuge in. Many charter boats have a lot of open dates and if you get a group of friends together, the trip can be very affordable and comfortable. John Guinther was fishing on a charter boat off Point Lookout when he caught this 50lb striped bass.
The shipping channel and the channel in the lower Potomac River has been the big draw as these large fall migrant striped bass search out menhaden. Large parachutes and bucktails dressed with equally large sassy shads are the order of the day whether trolled as a single lure, in tandem or behind a daisy chain or umbrella rig. Most of the larger boats are deploying their planer boards and covering various depths. They are also running a few smaller bucktails to fill in a limit with a fish under 28” in size. Fishermen from the Crisfield and Deal Island area have also been finding a few large fish by trolling in the Tangier Sound’s deeper waters and Kedges Straits. This happy group shows off part of their catch from the channel off Winona.
There are still a lot of school sized striped bass in the lower bay, Potomac River and Tangier Sound areas and fishermen are often finding them under diving birds. Light tackle jigging with metal, bucktails of soft plastic jigs has been very popular this week but trolling is certainly equally popular; especially when one can wait out a strike in the warmth of a heated cabin. Again this is a good time of the year to have a lot of hull under you.
White perch are schooled up in the deeper holes in the lower tidal rivers on both sides of the bay and most fishermen who are targeting them are using bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworm.
We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, if you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we run this time year. Click here for
this week's gallery (11 photos).
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
The link below has some very valuable
information for Chesapeake Bay Anglers. DNR's "Eyes on the Bay" website
has data coming in from remote sensing stations in the Chesapeake Bay and
tributaries. It is well worth checking this out. Click on the map below.
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