Tuesday September 15, 2009
Southern Maryland Fishing Report - September 9, 2009

Freshwater and saltwater fishing report for southern Maryland - September 9, 2009

A drop of almost 10-degrees in water temperatures in the bay in the last week is causing striped bass to become more active and larger fish are being caught by trolling and jigging this week. Spanish mackerel and bluefish are chasing bait throughout the middle and lower bay regions and striped bass are also part of that action.

Fishing for croakers and large spot continues to be very good this week in most areas of the bay. Fishing for spot has been particularly good in many of the tidal rivers. Flounder fishing seems to have reached its zenith with fishermen reporting double digit catch and release trips. The flounder season will unfortunately end this Sunday September 13th so all flounder fishing will be catch and release after that date. Recreational crabbers are reporting fair to poor catches in the upper bay and good crabbing in the middle and lower bay regions.

Cooler water temperatures are causing many freshwater fish species to begin to pull away from a summer pattern of behavior and become more active during day light hours; especially largemouth bass. Fishing for cold water loving fish such as trout, smallmouth bass and walleye will see a noticeable upswing in the upcoming weeks.

Freshwater Report

Freshwater fishermen are beginning to see very subtle changes to the freshwater fishing scene as September tends to tick along. Water temperatures are beginning to fall and are in the mid 70-degree range now. Although largemouth bass are still holding to a summer pattern of behavior they will begin to slowly break out of it and become more active for longer periods of time during the day. The reservoirs of the central region offer such fine fishing throughout the year but the early fall can present some of the finest fishing to be seen anywhere for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Eric Hammaker caught and released this nice smallmouth bass in the Conowingo Reservoir below the Maryland Line.

The tidal rivers are also cooling down and fishermen should begin to see largemouth bass moving more freely during day light hours as temperatures fall even more. Most of the regions tidal rivers and creeks are seeing water temperatures in the 75-degree range which will cause fish to be more active.

Chesapeake Report

The weatherman is calling for northeast winds this week but they may fall out by the weekend. There is plenty of good fishing; it is just a situation of figuring out what to focus on. The bottom fishing for spot is about as good as it can get; the spot are large and plentiful. There are several party boats taking fishermen from the south side of Kent Narrows and they are leaving the dock as much as an hour ahead of schedule because they are filled to capacity with anglers. That should tell you something. The boats are anchoring up in Eastern Bay and fishermen are walking off the boats with coolers full of large spot and a smattering of white perch and bluefish. The spot fishing is just as good in the mouth of the Choptank River and some of the tidal rivers on the western shore. Croakers are still in the mix from the mouth of Eastern Bay south and the croakers tend to be deep until the last light of day when they move up the channel edges for their nightly feeding forays in the shallower areas.

Spanish mackerel are still in the region and fishermen continue to catch a mess of them from the Bay Bridge south. Trolling has been the number one way to catch them; small spoons behind planers or inline weights at a fast clip along channel edges is the formula for success. The Spanish mackerel are of course mixing it up with bluefish and striped bass in making life miserable for the schools of bay anchovies in the region. Casting metal jigs and spoons has been the favorite choice of lures and fishermen will usually find one of this trio on the other end when cast into the melee of thrashing fish and diving birds.

Flounder fishing continues to be good in the region; hard bottom where the current sweeps across is the first place to try a drift. Points such as Thomas Point and those at the mouths of the tidal rivers are good places to try as are flats and shoals near channel edges where the current sweeps across. Recreational crabbers are catching plenty of crabs in the tidal rivers but good heavy ones will be a little hard to come by for another week or so due to the recent full moon shed.

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