4. It’s a great opportunity for someone to try the sport without buying a license.
The main Chesapeake Bay water temperatures have reached the upper 70s as a result of warm and sunny conditions. You can expect the hot, sunny weather to continue to push water temperatures toward the low 80s. These warmer temperatures will result in rockfish seeking cooler, deeper waters with adequate oxygen levels.
Last weekend striped bass in the upper bay moved in mass to an area between the Baltimore and Sandy Point lights along a 15 to 28-foot channel edge. The action tended to last throughout the day and most would agree that the last hour of a tide offered the best fishing.
The chumming action at Hacketts seems to have fallen off, but there has been some action at the edge of Thomas Point. Trolling a mix of bucktails dressed with a sassy shad or twistertails, gold spoons, surgical tube lures, and crankbaits have been luring some fish.
The shallow water rockfish fishery is alive and well, but with water temperatures in the upper 70s, it’s usually a very early morning bite and to a lesser extent a late evening affair. Topwater lures are in order for this fun light-tackle action. Casting skipping bugs with a 7-weight fly rod with a floating line or casting poppers with a spinning rod offer the most exciting action. Dark-colored lures tend to work the best in subdued light.
Fishing for white perch in the upper and middle bay continues to offer plenty of good opportunities. Large white perch can be caught in deeper waters on bottom rigs baited with bloodworms or grass shrimp. Casting small spinnerbaits or jigs with light tackle is a fun way to fish shoreline structure in the morning or evening hours.
Farther south, the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative recently sank a barge at the Tangier reef site near Fox Island Light, which will help provide more structure and habitat for fish. If the cobia show up, they may hold close to such the structure. Tautog have been documented on this reef site that includes concrete slabs from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which were deployed in 2007.
Recreational crabbing continues to improve, so catching a full bushel of crabs per outing in the middle and lower bay is now becoming more of a reality. The crabs tend to be shallow; using razor clams will greatly improve catches.
On the Atlantic Coast, the kingfish seem to have moved on from our beaches; they are still being caught, but not to the degree they were a week or two ago. Bloodworms, squid and small strips of cut bait have been a good choice for the kingfish and a mix of blowfish and flounder. A few large stripers are being caught, but those fishing with large cut baits are mostly catching skates, stingrays, and small inshore sharks.
At the inlet, sheepshead are becoming more common and are being caught on sand fleas at the South Jetty. Flounder are being caught and a few legal-sized stripers in the early morning and evening hours by casting bucktails and swimshads or by drifting fresh cut baits or live eels.
Sea bass fishing at the offshore wreck and reef sites has been good and captains report that flounder are beginning to be a larger portion of the catch. Sites farther offshore have been producing the largest sea bass.
Fishing for a mix of offshore pelagic species has kicked into gear for Ocean City anglers. Limits of yellowfin tuna and a mix of bluefin tuna, bigeye tuna, dolphin-fish, and white marlin are being caught at Poorman’s, Baltimore, Wilmington, and Norfolk canyons. *** Duck blind know-it-all Fireflies, the angler fish, and some jellyfish produce light without generating heat. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at firstname.lastname@example.org