The fishing for striped bass in the lower Susquehanna remains good this week for fishermen casting crankbaits or jigging with soft plastic jigs. The water temperature at the mouth of the Susquehanna is down to about 53-degrees now so smallmouth bass and walleye are very active and fishermen may find that all three species are prone to strike their lures. Brad Meadows was casting a Rapala lure recently in the lower Susquehanna and reported that he managed to catch a smallmouth bass, walleye and this nice striped bass on the same lure.
Farther down the bay fishermen are finding plenty of action around Pooles Island, Hart-Miller Island, the Baltimore Harbor area and many traditional locations such as the mouth of the Magothy River. Striped bass are schooling up and either pushing bait to the surface where diving sea gulls join in or holding deep near structure. Depth finders are a valuable tool this time of the year to help fishermen spot fish holding near shoals or channel edges. Light tackle jigging continues to be a popular way to fish but increasing numbers of fishermen are switching to trolling. Most are trolling a spread of medium sized bucktails dressed with sassy shads, Storm lures and spoons; often deep. The bucktails and Storms are being trolled in tandem or as a trailer behind an umbrella rig. It is also a good idea to put a couple of large parachutes or similar large lures out in the spread now that the first of the large fall migrant striped bass have arrived. Phil Johnson was trolling a swim shad along the 22” edge of the 7” Knoll when he caught this nice striped bass.
White perch fishing continues to be good as the perch are schooling up in deeper waters over hard bottom. Jigging is a very popular way to catch up a mess of perch and many fishermen are remarking that many of the perch they are catching are large. The channels between Turkey Point and Havre de Grace have been holding a lot of nice white perch as has the lower Patapsco, Magothy and Chester Rivers. The rock piles at the Bay Bridge are also an excellent place to jig for white perch.
Middle Bay Region
Lately the weather has been tugging back and forth and although Saturday it blew; Sunday and Monday were just about near perfect. Fishermen took full advantage of it and were out in force early in the morning and were able to fish all day long with near slick water conditions. Striped bass were found under birds or holding deep close to the bottom throughout the region and fishermen were busy either jigging or trolling for their striped bass. This is a shot of just part of the gang working fish in the Choptank River Sunday morning.
Striped bass are being found in the tidal rivers of the middle bay region and out in the open waters of the bay. Water temperatures are now down into the mid 50-degree range and some of the school-sized striped bass are becoming a little sluggish at times. Fishermen are finding the fishing busting loose at times and then just as quickly turn off and are complaining that they can just about hit fish on the head with jigs and they won’t bite. Most fishermen are jigging with metal jigs, bucktails and soft plastic jigs when breaking fish are spotted or revealed on depth finders; but an increasing number are switching to trolling. Large fall migrant striped bass were caught throughout the entire region over the weekend and it would seem that the fall trolling season is swinging into full gear. Large fish were caught off of Bloody Point Light and all along the shipping channel edges south into the lower bay region. Trolling umbrella rigs with parachutes, swim shads or bucktails as trailers or in tandem have been the most productive; usually at 25’ to 35’ deep. Emil Baley holds up a nice striped bass he caught while trolling along the south edge of the Summer Gooses.
Fishing for white perch continues to be very good this week in the lower sections of many of the region’s tidal rivers. The perch are holding deep over bottom structure such as oyster bars. Jigging with a dropper fly is a very popular way to catch them but a bottom rig baited with grass shrimp or bloodworms will also do the trick.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen in the lower bay region have been chasing school sized striped bass all over the lower bay and Tangier Sound region by jigging and trolling. They have been finding them holding over structure such as channel edges and points and out in the open waters of the bay and tidal rivers. They now have something else to fish for and that are the large fall
migrant striped bass that have arrived in force over the weekend. Sunday and Monday were good days to fish with calm conditions and warm temperatures and large fish were caught up and down the edges of the shipping channel. Large parachutes, swim shads and bucktails trolled in tandem or behind umbrella rigs trolled at depths from 20’ to 35’ from the surface seemed to be the magic spot. There was plenty of whooping and hollering in the cockpits of boats and at the docks and hopefully this will continue throughout this month and next. Giovanny Mercelo is certainly happy with this whopper he caught while trolling outside of the Gas Docks. Fishermen casting from some of the prominent shore points have also been able to get in on the action recently casting lures and baits from spots such as the mouth of the Patuxent River and Point Lookout. Water temperatures are now well below 60-degrees in the lower bay and striped bass are moving freely through the shallows during low light conditions and especially at night. Anyone who takes a quick look at the water will also notice very quickly how clear the water is and terminal tackle may become a factor in angler success; it sure never hurts to break out the fluorocarbon leaders.
White perch fishing could hardly be better this time of the year as white perch school up in some of the deeper areas in the lower sections of the regions tidal rivers. A good depth finder will be a real asset when looking for the perch holding over oyster bars or similar hard bottom. Jigging is a common way to catch really large white perch but bottom rigs baited with grass shrimp or bloodworms will do the trick also.
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