*** Fishing report Hickor y shad catch-andrelease action has been excellent on the upper Tuckahoe, Choptank, and Nanticoke Rivers. Marshyhope Creek saw lots of shad with anglers reporting catches of dozens of the feisty fish.
The catch-and-release fishery for striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area is in full swing with good water quality, light winds, and water temperatures in the low 50’s. Soft plastic jigs, paddle-tail swimbaits, and silver spoons have been favorite lures to catch and release some of the large striped bass in the area. Please keep your camera ready ahead of time for a quick and efficient release.
The opening weekend of the trophy striped bass season tended to be a bit slow in the upper bay. A few fish were caught early in the mornings along the channel edge near Sandy Point and the eastern channel edge just above the Bay Bridge. White parachutes and large bucktails were the choice for many due to sunny skies and relatively clear water. Tandem rigs were run off of planer boards and umbrella rigs on flat lines. A few boats tried chumming off the steep edges of Love Point and Sandy Point and a few fish were caught.
Land-based anglers tried their luck at the tidal rip at the tip of Sandy Point and the fishing piers at Matapeake and Romancoke. Many anglers used bottom rigs baited with bloodworms or fresh cut menhaden and a few were successful with catching fish over the 35-inch minimum, but most reported catching undersized fish.
The Boatyard Bar & Grill 15th annual opening day catch-and-release tournament was another success with a big party at the base of operations in Eastport. A total of 705 anglers fished on 150 boats, and 60 fish were “measured-in” (photographed, measured, documented, and released), with 28 fish over 40 inches and 19 over 30 inches. Paul Mellin released the biggest fish, which was just under 47 inches. The two youth winners were Will Muscatello, 13, and Robert Smack, 6, with two fish over 40 inches. Most of the tournament boats fished the middle bay, south of the Bay Bridge.
On the freshwater scene, fishing for largemouth bass has improved as water temperatures rise to conditions more to the liking of pre-spawn bass. The males will be back up on shallow spawning areas, and covering a lot of water with spinnerbaits or shallow crankbaits is a good tactic. Northern snakeheads will also be found in the shallower areas and backwaters of Dorchester County.
Crappie are active again now and can be found schooling up near deep water bridge and dock piers, fallen tree tops, and sunken wood. Small jigs, tubes, or minnows under a slip bobber are a good way to catch them. Bluegills are very active this time of the year and are also in a pre-spawn mode of behavior like the largemouth bass. Channel catfish can be caught in most of the tidal rivers and creeks feeding into the Chesapeake and they also are very active now.
*** Duck blind know-it-all A 405-year-old clam found alive in 2007 was living when Shakespeare was writing Macbeth.
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