Sunday August 2, 2009
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report - July 31, 2009

As usual striped bass tend to take center stage for fishermen in the Chesapeake and there are plenty of good opportunities to catch them this week. There continues to be a lot of action on the western side of the shipping channel from Chesapeake Beach south to the Gas Docks and also near Thomas Point and the Hill above Poplar Island. Most fishermen are live lining spot along the channel edges in about 35 of water. Success has been good although sometimes the fish are prone to move around a bit. Bluefish are in the area so coming up with half a spot is part of the game.

More than a few fishermen are finding that they are stopping short when they encounter schools of bluefish and striped bass pushing bait to the surface. This is one of the finest kinds of fishing and is a great time to cast surface lures or break out a fly rod. A mix of striped bass and bluefish are being reported throughout the region and can offer a lot of fun. Daniel Irons was out fishing with his dad in the Eastern Bay area where they found a mix of striped bass and small bluefish while live lining spot and casting to breaking bluefish.

Bottom fishing for a mix of croakers and large spot has been very good in most of the traditional spots in the middle bay region such as the lower Choptank River near Buoys #10 and #12 and inside of Black Walnut Point. The best time for large croakers has been in the evening on the channel edges in the mouth of Eastern Bay, near the Sharps Island Flats and similar areas. During the day the large croakers are deep and the Airplane Wreck in the lower Choptank is a prime location to check out. It has been interesting to hear fishermen complaining that many of the spot they are catching are too large to use for live lining bait. They make very good eating if filleted and fried in Panko crumbs, tempura or your favorite batter mix. Kids usually eat them up faster then you can cool them off on paper towels.

Recreational crabbers are reporting fair to good catches this week in most of the regions tidal rivers and creeks. Observations are noting a lot of small crabs and a substantial percentage of light crabs. Jim Livingston sent in this picture of a nice mess of crabs he caught in the West River with collapsible traps.

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