Anglers fishing deeper now in Bay, on Coast
The Dorchester Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association will host its annual Kids Fishing Derby from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 5, at Long Wharf Park in Cambridge.
The free derby is open to kids ages 5 to 12 accompanied by a guardian. Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, Aug. 2. You can email each participant’s name to email@example.com with the subject line: Kids Fishing Derby, or call Bob at 443225-6440.
Bait and tackle will be provided, but feel free to bring your own rod and reel. Water and hot dogs will be available for the kids. All registered kids receive a packaged lure and a certificate of participation.
First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for the largest striped bass, white perch, catfish, spot, and croaker.
A big thanks to sponsors R&D Boat Supply, Island Tackle, and the City of Cambridge.
Registration is closed now for the first Little Bobbers Fishing Derby, Aug. 12, hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville. The derby has reached its full capacity of 100 kids. Special thanks to Bass Pro Shops and Shore Tackle & Custom Rods for sponsoring the event. There should be a lot of bass and bluegill caught that day. I’ll be there helping out. Bug spray is recommended.
* * * Good places to fish
The Department of Natural Resources has a new online tool, “Click Before You Cast,” which is designed to help anglers identify the best places to fish based on scientific data points. Those data points include water clarity, habitat, oxygen levels, and salinity.
Maryland and partner agencies collect, analyze, and post a lot of environmental monitoring data to aid in the protection and restoration of natural resources. This data now can also be used by anglers as they prepare for a fishing trip.
“When this goldmine of data and monitoring information is combined and distilled, it can provide anglers with a powerful new tool to avoid unproductive waters, save fuel, and increase the chances of fishing success,” said Tom Parham of the department’s Resource Assessment Service.
* * * Fishing report Chesapeake Bay surface and upper water column temperatures are in the low 80s with numerous rivers showing higher water temperatures. Larger striped bass prefer cooler water temperatures and will avoid temperature above 84 degrees. Fortunately, there are lots of Maryland waters that have adequate oxygen from surface to bottom, so the focus is on deeper waters that will provide the best combination of cool water and adequate oxygen.
The Bay Bridge area up to Rock Hall at depths down to about 30 feet has a good combination of cool water with adequate oxygen. The best fishing areas can be refined by intersecting these prime areas with under water points, dropoffs, schools of baitfish, and moving water.
Swan Point, the Love Point area, which includes the Triple Buoys, the Mud Flats, and Podickory Point are still good locations to find fish. Anglers are chumming or chunking with success along the channel edges, and live-lining spot is becoming increasingly popular. Fish are also being caught by jigging under surface action or trolling in the vicinity. Metal jigs and large soft plastics work for those jigging and small spoons, red surgical tube lures, and bucktails have been good trolling lures. Inline weights and planers are in order to help get trolling lures down to where the larger striped bass are holding.
There continues to be some trolling action along the steeper channel edges of the shipping channel on the western side of the bay from Chesapeake Beach south.
Generally, because of the warm temperatures, it’s too warm to catch stripers over the legal limit in shallow water these days. Even white perch are finding the shallows a bit toasty and the larger fish tend to be holding deeper now.
Farther south, Spanish mackerel are starting to be more common and they are mixing it up with bluefish and striped bass chasing bay anchovies. Trolling a mix of small spoons, hoses, and bucktails have been successful. When targeting mackerel, small spoons behind inline weights or planers and kicking up the speed works well. Cobia are steadily becoming more common around the Middle Grounds and the Target Ship areas. There continues to be good fishing for speckled trout on our side of the bay along sedge marsh edges and small creeks running out of the marshes.
On the freshwater scene, largemouth bass fishing is solidly in a summer pattern. The bass are feeding at night in the shallower areas of lakes, ponds, and tidal rivers and retreating to cool shade during the hotter daytime hours. That shade can come in the form of overhead cover such as docks, fallen treetops, or thick floating grass. Usually, when they are holding in the shade, they will subtly pick up baits such as whacky-rigged stick worms. Late in the evening or early morning hours will find them shallow and topwater lures such as chatterbaits, buzzbaits, frogs, and poppers are all good choices.
On the Atlantic Coast, surf anglers are catching a summer mix of kingfish, croaker, flounder, and small bluefish. The early morning and late evening hours tend to offer the best opportunities and an incoming tide helps. Flounder are being caught in inlet during the day on squid and some larger flounder are coming to net for those drifting live spot.
Flounder are also being found on some of the nearshore shoal areas and out at the wreck and reef sites for those fishing for sea bass.
* * * Duck blind know-it-all The person who invented the Frisbee was cremated when he died and made into Frisbees.
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Bayside Breeze center fielder Kennedy Warren makes the catch Thursday in the USSSA World Series.