Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | August 21, 2013

As we move into the last two weeks of August it would appear by the traffic that families are trying to get in a vacation before the month is over and school begins. It's coming, drive by any high school and you will see the next season's budding gridiron football team on the practice field and discount department stores are flooded with school supplies. It always does my heart good to see fishing rods and crab nets lashed to the roof of the family vehicle with all the other vacation gear. Make fishing part of your vacation plans.

Fishermen are reporting some exciting fishing opportunities this week in the lower Susquehanna River and the channels in and around the Susquehanna Flats for Striped Bass. It is reported that a good portion of the fish are sub-legal in size but there has been plenty of fun topwater action and fishermen are able to catch Striped Bass greater than 18". Fishermen have been picking away at Smallmouth Bass and Walleye in the lower Susquehanna River and Largemouth Bass on the flats for a while now so this is a welcomed addition to the action. Rick Drummond reported in an angler's log that he not only caught this beautiful 20" Smallmouth Bass in the lower Susquehanna but also had some exciting Striped Bass fishing as well.

Courtesy of Rick Drummond

There has been plenty of good Striped Bass fishing in the area of Swan Point, Love Point and Podickory Point in the upper bay. Fishermen are having good success by chumming, live lining, trolling and jigging over suspended fish. Fishermen that are trolling, are now using spoons behind inline weights since Bluefish are now in the area.; a few fishermen even reported catching and releasing some large Red Drum. The Bay Bridge has been a good place to look for Striped Bass; the piers, rock piles and the sewer pipe have been all holding fish. Fishermen have been drifting back live Spot or jigging near the bridge piers. A mix of Striped Bass and Bluefish have been breaking water lately and I personally passed acres of breaking fish on the southeast side of the bridge Tuesday morning at a little before 7am and not a boat was to be seen anywhere. Jay Fleming was out in his kayak jigging near the bridge piers recently and shows off a nice Striped Bass he caught.

Photo by Jim Thompson

There are plenty of White Perch in the upper bay and fishermen are finding them near shoreline structure by casting beetle spins, spinners, small jigs or fishing grass shrimp close to old piers, docks, fallen tree tops and rocks. Out in the bay on many of the shoal areas between Rock Hall and Baltimore; fishermen are either jigging or fishing bait such as bloodworms to catch White Perch and Spot.

The middle bay area from the mouth of the Choptank to the Bay Bridge continues to be the place to find the most consistent Striped Bass action. There is some evidence that the concentration of fish that have been holding at the Hill are moving about as evidenced by the good fishing north at the Love Point area and south to below the Choptank. Live lining Spot on the edges of the Hill is still the hottest ticket in town but there is plenty of good fishing for Striped Bass to be found along channel edges in the middle bay region... Bluefish are in town and are making short work of live Spot where and when fishermen send them down to 30' channel edges. Trolling has been a good option in the middle bay area for a mix of Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel and Striped Bass. Most fishermen are using small Drone spoons but Clark, Crippled Alewife and Tony spoons will work also when trolled behind inline weights. Breaking fish are being spotted chasing Bay Anchovies throughout the region and fishermen are casting to a surface melee of Striped Bass and Bluefish. Most of the Striped Bass on top tend to be small but quite often larger Striped Bass can be found deep by jigging.

Water temperatures in the middle bay region are around 76-degrees this week and fishing the shallower waters of the bay and tidal rivers remains good in the early morning and late evening hours. Fishermen are casting smaller lures such as spinners, spinnerbaits and jigs for White Perch with good success. Topwater lures and swim shads are working well for a mix of Red Drum, Speckled Trout and Striped Bass. Don Webster sent in this nice picture of a Choptank Red Drum he caught while light tackle fishing.

Photo by Don Webster

Bottom fishing for a mix of Croakers, Spot, White Perch, Bluefish and the occasional Red Drum or Speckled Trout has been good in the tidal rivers and bay areas in the middle bay region. Baits of peeler crab, shrimp and bloodworms have been working well on bottom rigs.

Lower bay region fishermen are encountering a wide variety of fishing opportunities now that Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are so common. Boats that are trolling are catching a mix and fishermen chumming in the lower Potomac and areas such as the Middle Grounds are catching a lot of Bluefish up to 4lbs in size. Spoons are the favorite offering while trolling and occasionally large Red Drum are being caught and released. Striped Bass can be caught along channel edges in about 30' of water on live spot and jigging over suspended fish holding on steep edges near points and channels has been productive.

The shallow water light tackle fishery along the lower eastern shore has been very good for a mix of Speckled Trout, Red Drum, Striped Bass and Bluefish. Topwater lures are perhaps the most fun but Gulp Mullet swim shads are a very good choice also. Some fishermen are also drifting large pieces of peeler or soft crab in fast running current emptying out of the marshes and catching a mix of Red Drum, Speckled Trout, Flounder and Striped Bass. Bottom fishermen are finding good fishing for a mix of Croaker, Spot, White Perch, Speckled Trout, Kingfish and Bluefish in the Tangier Sound area and flounder fishing has been showing improvement along channel edges. In the lower Potomac besides the mix of Spot, Croaker and White Perch; fishermen are also catching a lot of medium-sized Blue Catfish.

Recreational crabbing continues to provide fair catches of crabs in the middle and lower bay regions. Most recreational crabbers are reporting it is tough to put together a half bushel together per outing. Razor clams are just about impossible to obtain for bait so most everyone recreational and commercial are using menhaden or chicken necks for bait. A few recreational crabbers feel that fresh White Perch makes the best bait in their collapsible crab traps. Prices for a bushel of large or jumbo male crabs are approaching the $200 mark in many areas so that tells you something; so be happy with a half bushel or so for your efforts and if you manage to catch a bushel you can really boast.

Freshwater fishermen in the western region of the state have been enjoying the cooler weather that has translated into cooler water and better fishing. Trout fishermen are finding good trout fishing in many of the special management waters within the region. There is good fishing for Smallmouth Bass and Walleye in Deep Creek Lake and the upper Potomac. Jeston Clopein holds up a big 28" Walleye that he recently caught in the upper Potomac.

Courtesy of Jeston Clopein

Largemouth Bass fishing in all regions of the state has been good this week. The fish are still holding to a summer pattern but cooler water has definitely put them in a more active mood. Fishermen are also starting to notice that sunrise is a little later in the morning and water surface mist and fog is becoming more common place as waters cool. Fishermen are reporting very good opportunities near shallow grass and cover in all regions of the state. A mix of soft plastics, frogs, poppers is a fun and exciting way to catch Largemouth Bass. As the fish retreat to the shade under grass, old docks, fallen tree tops or lily pads casting weighted plastics is a good way to target these areas. In the tidal Potomac and its feeder creeks, Snakeheads are a big part of the action and fishermen have been catching some big ones.

Bluegills always provide a lot of fun action in the summer months and in some areas they can become quite large. Small jigs, surface poppers and even various types of flies work well to put a bend in light tackle. There are plenty of Channel Catfish in many of the states tidal and non-tidal rivers, as well as lakes and reservoirs. Sitting bank side in the shade watching a rod in a forked stick seems to be a pleasant way to spend part of a summer day.

Ocean City area fishermen continue to enjoy a nice mix of summer fish species in the surf; Kingfish, Spot, small Bluefish, Croaker and a few Sea Trout are being caught. In the evenings inshore sharks and sting rays can provide some fun catch and release action. In and around the inlet fishermen are catching large Flounder on live Spot during the day and a few Triggerfish and Sheepshead on sand fleas. At night the action switches to a mix of Bluefish, Sea Trout and the occasional Striped Bass. In the back bay areas Flounder are being caught in the channels and edges, with some of the larger Flounder being caught on live Spot and Gulp baits. Ken Kopro holds up a Bluefish he caught at the inlet recently.

Courtesy of Ken Kopro

Out at the wreck sites fishermen are experiencing fair to good fishing for Sea Bass and Triggerfish and usually good fishing for Flounder. At some of the traditional 30-fathom line locations fishermen are catching some Yellowfin Tuna and Dolphin. Out at the canyons there is a mix of White and Blue Marlin, Wahoo, Dolphin, Yellowfin Tuna and the occasional Bigeye Tuna.

"It is a favorite opinion of ours that nothing in the "fish line" ever comes easy and that only by long patience and endless endurance do we ever get results. We have had good luck at times, of course, but we have always been hard luck fishermen. And sometimes it goes against the grain. " - Zane Grey


Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Latest Angler's Log Reports

Wayne Young
Recreational Angler
Annadale, VA
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Calvert Cliff Speckled Trout

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid-Bay
Location: Breezy Pt south to Calvert Cliffs
Tags: spotted seatrout, speckled trout, striped bass

Monday, 12-15-14

20' Walkaround

Nature blessed the last day of striper season with a flat calm, making a nice day for me and my two guests. I planned to try deep trolling in 50-65 feet of water through some holes on the west side of the channel. We marked a few fish at 55-60 foot depths, but were unable to work the deep holes because several watermen were set up there. It appeared that they had crab pots set deep right in the holes and were standing by to retrieve them. Trolling east of the pots in 70 feet, we marked a few more fish deep, but no takers.

There was a fleet over behind Summer Gooses, but after moving over that way for a look see we found they were watermen, maybe mechanical oyster dredge rigs. I picked up gear in time to try the Calvert Cliffs power plant warm water discharge an hour before the predicted ebb. We marked many baitfish and eventually my Dragonfly downvision marked a school of fish on the bottom to no more than 3' off the bottom about 600-700 yards east of the discharge in about 20-25' of water. By this time, we had an 18" speckled trout on a 7" yellow hot-rodded Hogy bait, and a 15" speckled trout and a 17-1/2" striper (released) on a purple 6" BKD (blue and sliver BKD covered in red garlic dye) with a hot-rodded 1-1/2 oz jig head. A light southerly breeze had picked up creating a rip on the south side of the stream, and the fish we caught were generally over on that side of the stream. The school we marked was probably specs given fishing results. Several other boats were fishing the discharge stream with no luck.

Thanks again to Shawn Kembro's light tackle fishing tips (new book is great!) and also Walleye Pete Dahlberg for teaching me how to fish the discharge stream. Shawn's and Pete's tips made the difference today. I was using my left-handed baitcaster with braid and a short shock leader, thinking down the line technique wise. The left-handed baitcaster feels natural to this righthander after years of using spinning reels.


Caz Kenny
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Bite Out of Control on the Gunpowder

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Gunpowder
Tags: largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill

So the bite is incredibly out of control on the Gunpowder...I took two friends out today and we absolutely hammered the fish...we caught easily over 300 fish between us...bass...crappie...yellow perch...bluegill...the fish are smoking our baits...small jigs under a float are the ticket...every single place we fished held fish...the fish are healthy and fat...the water temp is a measly 38 degrees...and they are biting like piranhas...this has been an exceptional year for all places I've had the opportunity to fish...I love fishing in Maryland!


David Carrodine
Recreational Angler
Annapolis, MD
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

My Big Catch

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid Bay
Location: Gum Thicket
Tags: striped bass

42" rockfish caught on 4 arm umbrella rig, trolling east side of the shipping channel - Gum Thickets- in 80 feet of water. Rainy days are better! Caught around 1:30 pm on Sat Dec 6.