Water temperatures continue to drop and are holding at 37-degrees at the moment. Fishermen are still casting for walleyes in the lower Susquehanna River and catch and releasing a few striped bass. Yellow perch should start to show up in the lower part of the Susquehanna and Northeast Rivers in the next month or so. Fishermen looking for a little catch and release striped bass angling will be trying jigging at their favorite warm water discharges from power plants and industries in the Baltimore area throughout the winter months.
Upper bay fishermen enjoyed a pretty good fishing season this past year. The waters at the mouth of the Susquehanna River were fairly clear during the Catch and Release Season and most fishermen enjoyed good fishing. The hickory shad, yellow perch and white perch showed up on time for some spring fishing. Fishermen trolling the shipping channel had a good trophy season and when the season settled into summer and fall; jigging, live lining spot, trolling and chumming all produced striped bass for area fishermen. Croakers, spot and even a few flounder and Spanish mackerel made forays into the upper bay during the summer. Small bluefish moved into the upper bay region early on in the summer and decided to stay and fatten up through the fall months. Blue crabs seemed a little tardy in arriving into the upper bay tidal rivers and creeks but once they arrived by mid-summer recreational crabbers enjoyed good crabbing until the middle of fall.
Middle Bay Region
Fishermen finished out the last days of the 2009 Striped bass season trolling the shipping channel for what would perhaps be their last striped bass of the 2009 season. Although the season for large fall migrants began to slow down after Thanksgiving it would hard to find a disappointed fishermen; a lot of amazingly large fish were caught.
Fishermen in the middle bay region enjoy a variety of good fishing opportunities this past year and it all began with an outstanding Spring Trophy Season. The fishing for school sized striped bass provided plenty of action for anglers who either trolled for them, live lined spot, chummed, jigged or cast lures in the early morning or evening hours in the shallow waters of the bay. It did not take long for the bluefish to move into the middle bay region and they just became more numerous and larger as the season progressed. They chewed up fishermen’s live spot baits meant for striped bass and most anything else that resembled food. Fishermen often got a big surprise this past season when trolling spoons in their trolling spreads in the form of large red drum that put a lot of smiles on fishermen even though they had to be released.
Croakers and spot moved into the region on cue and provided good fishing throughout the summer months. Large numbers of good sized flounder were a welcomed surprise for middle bay fishermen who reported some of the best flounder fishing they’d ever experienced in the bay. The late summer run of Spanish mackerel was much anticipated and when the fish arrived, fishermen enjoyed a very good season. The Spanish mackerel began mixing it up with the large numbers of bluefish in the region and made life miserable for the local schools of bay anchovies. Recreational crabbing had its ups and downs but generally everyone was able to catch a bushel of nice crabs per outing.
As the region began to transition into the typical fall fishery; fishermen focused on jigging for striped bass in many of the regions tidal rivers and open waters of the bay. The mouth of Eastern Bay, the Severn River and the Choptank River offered some very exciting fishing opportunities for fishermen. Jigging for white perch at the Bay Bridge and deep shoal areas in the lower sections of the regions tidal rivers also provided good fishing in October. The news spread fast when the first large fall migrant striped bass began to show up along the edges of the shipping in October and November proved to be a stellar month for catching these beautiful fish if one could get out between the repeated northeasters that pounded the state.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen were out in force this past week right up to the closing bell of the 2009 striped bass season trolling the shipping channel depths for large fall migrant striped bass. The action was not what it was in November but fishermen did catch some nice fish.
Most of the 2009 fishing season is now a memory for low bay region fishermen but it is a good memory. There were plenty of large striped bass caught during the spring fishery and school sized striped bass kept fishermen busy during the summer/fall fishery. Live lining spot was once again a very popular method for striped bass fishing and the channel edge in front of the Gas Docks seemed to be ground zero. Large red drum once again frequented the region and fishermen enjoyed the thrill of catching and releasing one of the giants. Bluefish moved into the region early on and certainly made their presence known and each year it seems they become larger. This year 6lb bluefish were common throughout much of the region.
Croakers and spot moved into the region and provided wonderful bottom fishing opportunities for fishermen. Flounder fishing was a real highlight this year as the flatties set up residence throughout the lower bay and Tangier Sound regions shallow water fishermen got to enjoy their speckled trout fishing on the eastern side of the bay along with a mix of striped bass, bluefish and large croakers.
The Spanish mackerel did not disappoint fishermen this summer when they showed up in large numbers throughout much of the lower bay region. They were caught by casting into a mix of bluefish and Spanish that were chasing bait or by trolling small spoons deep. Recreational crabbers had a good season that lasted into the fall.
Please check out the following link to a page of some of the young happy faces that came to the fishing reports this past year. May they warm your heart during this chilly season.
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm