Fall is certainly in the air as our friends the Canada geese arrive and some types of vegetation such as poison ivy are beginning to show their fall colors. This is an exciting time for fishermen in Maryland. The striped bass and bluefish action in the Chesapeake can be at a frenzied pace at times as diving sea gulls attack bait from above and hungry bluefish and striped bass attack from below. At times anglers will just pause to absorb such a vivid example of the food chain in action before casting into the melee to participate themselves. Freshwater fish such as trout, walleyes, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass are all in an increased activity mode due to cooler water temperatures and are feeling the urgency to fatten up for the winter months ahead. Hopefully between our own sense of urgency to get the house painted or to get some other pending outdoor project done before cold weather sets in; we will all find time to enjoy the outdoor opportunities at our very backdoor. Blue crabs are about as fat and heavy as they can be this time of the year and Jim Livingston found some time this past Saturday to get out on the West River with his son and catch up some for some Maryland crab cakes.
Fishermen are finding a mix of striped bass and bluefish spread through all three regions of the bay and they are actively chasing bait. The striped bass and bluefish can vary from under 14” to 30” for the striped bass and nearly as large for the bluefish so fishermen often will be leaving schools of breaking fish that hold mostly small fish in search of larger ones off on the horizon. The best fishing for the fleeting schools of croakers and large spot are coming from the lower bay region and the largest bluefish are being caught there also.
Freshwater fishermen are finding exciting fishing for species of fish such as walleye, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass as well as trout greatly improving with cooler water temperatures. Few trout put on more a colorful show of fall colors then our native brook trout. Mark Hoekzema snapped a quick picture of this beauty before returning it to the north branch of the Potomac River.
Oceanside fishing is improving by the day for tautog in and around the Ocean City Inlet this week; surf fishermen are catching and releasing large red drum and there are plenty of bluefish in the area. Sea bass fishing on the wreck sites has improved enough that fishermen are coming off the boats with double digit catches of sea bass. Offshore the fishing for white marlin could hardly be better with boats catching and releasing a dozen or more per trip.
Quote of the Week:
You must indure worse luck sometime, or you will never make a good angler.
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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