Upper Bay Region:
Water flows from the Conowingo Dam continue to be moderate; therefore the water clarity of the lower Susquehanna River and Flats improving and water temperatures are rising slowly. Current watertemperatures are in the 46-degree range so we’re getting very close to the 50-degree mark which usually gets the ball rolling. At present fishermen are having the best success by fishing fresh cut herring on the bottom with circle hooks. Fishermen have been finding striped bass willing to pick up a bait in a number of locations including the stone barge mooring area and other good channel edges. Jeff Bowers of Joppa was fishing with his buddy Jeff Huntsman when they both caught and released several nice striped bass while fishing with cut herring recently.
Fishermen continue to see the hickory shad catch and release fishery at the mouth of Deer Creek improve as water temperatures continue to climb. Fishermen are also reporting excellent fishing for white perch and channel catfish in the Susquehanna.
The NOAA Buoy at the mouth of the Patapsco River seems to be working again and is currently showing a water temperature of just over 46-degrees. Fishermen have reported finding a few school-sized striped bass around the warm water discharges at the power plant and a few factory discharges in the harbor. Warmer water temperatures will improve this fishery in the near future. Farther down the bay fishermen have been trolling along the shipping channels down to the Bay Bridge with spotty results. Most are trolling with umbrella rigs at various depths and a few fish are being caught and released. Rick Martignetti managed to find this beautiful 40” striped bass just north of the bridge on a white umbrella rig and hold it for the camera before sliding it back into the bay.
Fishermen began to show up in earnest this past weekend at Sandy Point State Park to test their surf fishing gear and their luck with some catch and release fishing for striped bass. A number of fishermen spent the days bundled up watching their rigs stuck in surf spikes. Heavy tackle, bottom rigs with 4ozs or more of sinker and circle hooks baited with cut herring or blood worms is the name of the game at this location. Fishermen have also been fishing off some of the fishing piers and prominent docks in the region such as the Matapeake Fishing Pier and catching and releasing some nice striped bass.
Mid Bay Region:
Fishermen in the middle bay region have been trolling along the edges of the shipping channels with the same gear they will be using in a little more than two weeks for the Trophy Season. The action has been very good lately and fishermen are catch and releasing large striped bass over a wide area. The typical steep edges that will work so well later on in the month have been a favorite target for fishermen this past week. The shipping channel edge from Buoy 86 down to Bloody Point to 84 and the Gas Buoy has been very productive this past week. On the western side of the bay Breezy Point south has also been an excellent place to troll; especially when it tends to be the leeward side of the bay.
Fishermen have been reporting seeing gannets in the region diving on schools of bait and often are reporting multiple knock downs when trolling near by. The warm water discharge at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant continues to produce fish and greater numbers of fishermen have been showing up to drift and jig there. This location gets a lot of attention this time of the year so cool heads and lot’s of patience are in order.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region
Fishermen are gearing up in the lower bay for the season opener on April 19th as boats begin to be festooned with all manner of chartreuse and white sassy shads. A number of fishermen have been trolling along the shipping channel edges practicing catch and release and working the bugs out of their tackle. Most are having good luck in many of the traditional locations where the shipping channel tends to have steep edges.
John Valliant wrote in this week about reading the rumors about a few croaker showing up in the lower bay in last weeks fishing report. John mentioned that he actually caught a skinny one while fishing for white perch in the lower Nanticoke River. He also mentioned that the white perch fishing was excellent there.