"They’re baaack"; perhaps some of you remember that famous line from the little girl Carol Anne in the movie Poltergeist II. Well sweeter words could not be heard up and down the Chesapeake Bay this past Sunday. Fishermen were out in droves due to the beautiful weather and the promise of catching striped bass. Most fishermen were jigging and some got quite a surprise when they found a 34” plus striped bass on the other end of their line. Others were locked and loaded with a spread of large parachutes and bucktails trailing behind their boats as they trolled the depths along the edges of the shipping channel. It was a marvelous day for family and friends and the action is expected to last into December so don’t miss out.
All it took was some nice weather to break and fishermen were out in droves this past Sunday jigging and trolling for striped bass in the lower sections of the bays tidal rivers and out in the bay. Cooler water temperatures are causing the school sized striped bass to be a little fickle and it is not uncommon for fishermen to be able to read striped bass holding close to the bottom and not be able to get them to bite. Often all it takes is a change of tide to turn things around. White perch are beginning to school up in deeper regions of the lower sections of the tidal rivers and out in the bay. Fishermen are enjoying catching large white perch by jigging or by using bottom rigs baited with grass shrimp or bloodworms.
Freshwater fishermen continue to enjoy the rewards of a generous fall trout stocking program in the many trout waters throughout the state. Largemouth bass are beginning to move to deeper waters as water temperatures cool. Fishermen are finding largemouth bass holding along channel edges in the tidal rivers and similar type drop-off edges in the many lakes, reservoirs and small ponds that dot the landscape of Maryland. Fishing for walleyes and smallmouth bass in the upper Potomac continues to be good as well as in Deep Creek Lake. The lower Susquehanna River has become a real hot spot for fishermen looking to catch large walleye and smallmouth bass lately. The fish are eagerly striking a variety of jigs and crankbaits.
Chesapeake Bay Report
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.
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.
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.
Perhaps some of the most exciting news we have to report this week is the exception smallmouth bass and walleye fishing in the lower Susquehanna River. Several reports and pictures have come in from fishermen enjoying catching rather large smallmouth bass and walleye in the river. Brad Meadows experienced some great fall action last weekend at the mouth of the Susquehanna River. I was able to pull of a Susky Grand Slam within a one hour period by catching smallmouth bass, walleye and striped bass by using Rapala plugs. Pictures of Brad’s fish are in the upper bay report and this week’s photo gallery. Paul Martin sent in a similar report about fishing with his brother. I had some great fishing on the Susky around Port Deposit this Saturday with my brother Steve Martin. We went up to the river look-n to catch some rockfish and we did get a few small ones but man we got into a school of smallmouth bass and it was crazy for about an hour or so. The dam was running a lot of water and it was roll-n drifting down the river throwing Rat-L- Trap baits. We caught and released almost a dozen smallmouth bass and all were big 20 inch plus fish in the 5 lb. class. Almost packed it in early the wind was blow-n and a going cold at the boat ramp at 6:00 it was 29 degrees; sure glad we stayed out.
Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be good this week in the two regions lakes, reservoirs and tidal rivers. Water temperatures are down into the low 50’s so a changing largemouth bass pattern is beginning to appear. The bulk of the bass are moving to drop-offs and holding rather deep. Deep diving crankbaits, grubs and soft craw jigs are all good choices for working these deep edges; whether one is fishing lake edges or channel edges of tidal creeks and rivers.
Grass is rapidly declining in many of the regions tidal river such as the tidal Potomac. What little grass there is can often be holding a few largemouth bass and slow rolled spinnerbaits is a good way to entice them into striking. Fishermen are reporting that the pick up is very subtle and they have to come fast before setting the hook.
Fishing for trout in many of the put and take trout waters within the two regions remains good; there are still plenty of trout from last months generous stockings. The water temperatures are cool and stream and river flows are good so the good fishing should continue for quite some time.