Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 29Update:
Anglers: with both sorrow and joy, we inform you of the departure of our Fishing Reports Editor Mollie Rudow. Mollie has begun a different chapter in her life with a new full-time job and will no longer be the driving force behind our angling intel. We wish her all the best, and thank her for four years of compiling the FishTalk fishing reports. We do have a new die-hard angler lined up to step in and fill the void – stay tuned for next week’s big announcement!
Monday’s the big day when rock come back in, so until then it’ll be catfish and perch for most anglers. The perch bite has picked up a bit in recent weeks particularly in the Bay, with Angler’s reporting the Bridge, Podickory, and Six Foot Knoll are all holding ‘em for those dropping Chesapeake Sabikis tipped with Fishbites or lugworm bits. We also had a reader report of good luck working docks in the Magothy with grass shrimp on darts. Angler’s also notes that croaker and spot are in the Sandy Point area. Despite these options, we spoke to a couple of Upper Bay anglers this week who opted to run south and look for blues, which have shown up in sufficient numbers to target them from about Eastern Bay down. We did hear about a couple caught all the way up at the bridge, but just a couple.
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 21 Update:
Options in the Upper Bay now seem fairly limited, with catfish and perch offering up the two main possibilities. Channel and blue catfish can be found throughout the tidal tribs and within the open Bay. They’re relatively easy to locate and catch, with plenty around. Generally, dropping down cut chicken liver, menhaden, clam snouts or shrimp does well for them. And even though many anglers would much rather be striped bass fishing now, the cats can be really exciting to catch. Many large blues extending into the 30-inch range have been reeled in recently.
White perch are another species getting additional attention now that stripers are shut down. Anglers dropping Chesapeake Sabikis tipped with bloodworm or Fishbites bits are picking up some perch along the west side Bay Bridge pilings, and a mix of perch, spot, and mini-croaker off Sandy Point. We heard from a reader dropping cut bait just above the Key Bridge that catfish in the five to 10 pound range are around in good numbers.
Crabbing Report: A reader let us know the crab population in the Magothy had improved, and his dock pots brought in over a dozen last week.
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 15Update:
Rockfish Alert: Remember folks, at the end of the day today rockfish are closed in all Maryland water of the Bay through the end of the month. That means the entire Bay from headwaters to mouth is officially shut down for stripers. Not only can’t ya keep them, you can’t legally target them for catch and release, either.
We checked in with Tochterman’s this week, who had some good advice on what to fish for during the striper closure. They reported that there’s been a good perch bite, often alongside spot in around eight- to 12 feet of water. These areas are ripe with fish once you find them and very productive. Setting down a bottom rig baited with bloodworm, FishBites, or grass shrimp is sure to get some hits. Tochterman’s also suggested fishing for catfish during the closure due to their abundance. As they put it, they’re a “good way to pass the time” until striped bass open back up. Catfish are hanging around the bottom, and can be caught using a variety of cut baits. The big cat of the week came from Pooles, where a 39-inch monster blue was reported this week.
Worton Point was fingered as a top spot for rockfish and we heard from anglers catching good numbers there with fish up to 25 inches; of course, at the end of the day today targeting them will be off-limits. Tochtermans let us know that pre-closure they were also finding good numbers of striped bass at the Key Bridge on topwater and jigging the channel edges. Although that bite is off limits now, they were catching a good mix of 20- to 30-inch fish throughout that zone this week. Hopefully, they’ll stick around until the reopening in August!
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 8Update:
Anglers fishing for striped bass in this region have a better bite going on than much of the Bay — many of the traditional hotspots are proving their worth, with good numbers of fish around. The Tolchester lumps, Pooles Island area, and Bay Bridge pilings are all productive right now. Liveliners are cashing in on the best bite, often heading after filling the livewell with spot at Sandy Point. Angler’s Sport Center let us know that the Tolchester lumps and Love Point have been especially good for livelining and many of our solid livelining reports came from these zones, too.
The channel edges are prime destinations for trollers, who’ve had a mixed week, catch-wise. They’re generally reporting okay numbers, but undersized fish. Fish that miss the keeper mark are certainly common right now, making up most of the catch across the board.
We also had some positive indications from up in the creeks and coves of the Magothy. Our Angler in Chief managed to score multiple white perch, a pumpkinseed, and a couple of yellow perch while dock fishing in the upper Magothy. He noted that gold Mepps and blue/white tube jigs were working, but grass shrimp were working even better. White perch are reportedly biting well in the creeks and coves or tidal rivers across the board. Although their numbers are seemingly slimmer than years past, getting into a pocket of fish has been rewarding. White perch are also being reported on the west side of the Bay Bridge in 15 to 25 feet of water.
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 1 Update:
Reports from the Upper Bay for rockfish remainbetter than elsewhere right now, with a good portion of the fleet at traditional hotspots in this region. The Tolchester lumps, Bay Bridge Pilings, and channel edges off Still Pond down to the Pooles Island/Tolchester zone. Throughout these areas, live-lining is a favorite method to fish right now. There are plenty of spot available off Sandy Point and other hard bottomed areas, plus white perch in the rivers, both of which make a tempting treat for the striped bass. Anglers livelining have been hooking into some nice fish, with one angler reporting three fish in the upper-20s from the Tolchester area this week. They did mention that over the weekend they headed out painfully early to make sure they got plenty of spot and hit the morning bite before 10,000 boats parked over the fish. The morning bite has been good recently, and anglers are finding some topwater success with it as well; we heard one stray topwater report from Podickory Point. Angler’s Sport Center also reported fish at these zones and noted that plenty of catfish are being caught amongst the rock when bait is in play.
Trolling the channel edges is still luring in a few bass, too. They’ve recently been favoring white umbrellas and sassy shad, plus bucktails. White is absolutely the stand out color right now — anglers who opted to jig and cast light tackle throughout this week similarly reported that white is outperforming other colors. Despite the good reports from this zone of the Bay, remember people, fishing is fishing – we also heard from a reader this week who marked plenty of fish at Pooles early this week, but said the tide never seemed to kick in and he went bite-less for several hours. He also mentioned spotting dolphin, all that way up north.
White perch are also active in this zone. Anglers hitting them are headed to the Bridge pilings on the west side, and up creeks and tribs. Shad darts tipped with grass shrimp or blood worm or small spinners in shallow areas, and bottom rigs in deep water, are all working for them.
Crabbing Report: We didn't get word of any good (nor bad) catches in the Upper Bay this week, but...REMEMBER: New DNR regs limit recreational anglers to one bushel per boat per day, regardless of how many licensed crabbers are aboard.Current regs can be found here.
Talk to anyone fishing on a pier and they'll tell you that the go-to baits for fishing in the Chesapeake are earthworms/nightcrawlers, blood worms, and grass shrimp. Every fish in the area will gladly chomp down on these little morsels. You can dig up earthworms in your backyard, or get them at a bait shop.
Areas to try include Buoys 83 and 85a and south from Wild Grounds to Chesapeake Beach, as well as Breezy Point to Cedar Point. The Solomons area has rockfish, welcome news considering they haven't had a summer season in years. Tangier Sound is good, but Point Lookout has been too rough for most anglers.
The biggest rockfish ever caught on record was over six feet long, but in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay, they typically range between 28 and 50 inches in length during the spring and fall months, while they generally range between 18 and 28 inches during the summer and early fall.
Sturgeons are the largest fish native to the Chesapeake Bay.
Fishermen throw lures by the islands and jig around pilings of the CBBT. Other popular and effective techniques include trolling large deep diving plugs like Mann's stretch 25s in the waters around the mouth of the Bay and todrift live eels under bobbers over and near shoals.
Mike "Ike" Iaconelli Crankbait Fishing Upper Chesapeake Bay in the Fall ...
Lloyd's Creek. This is the most productive spring spot on the Sassafras River, and in our opinion, on the entire Upper Chesapeake Bay. While largemouth bass spawn in several creeks along the river, the majority of them choose Lloyd's Creek.
Width and Depth
The Bay and its tributaries contain an astounding 11,684 miles (18,804 km) of shoreline. Much of the Bay is quite shallow; more than 24 percent of the Bay is less than 6 feet (2 m) deep. The average depth is 21 feet (7 m). The deepest channel in the Bay is 175 feet (53 m).
Our primary targets are Cobia, Red Drum, Spanish Mackerel, and an assortment of bottom fish. This is by far some of the best fishing of the year as we chase the Cobia and Red Drum that average between 30 and 60lbs.
Chesapeake Bay Shallow Water Striped Bass Fishing Tips - YouTube
Got Bait? Episode 2, Part 1: How to Catch Spot for Bait - YouTube
Although there are many who catch spot fish using traps, the most popular method is fishing with a hook and line. The best way to fish for spot fish is with a sensitive rod and spinning reel, using a standard two-hook bottom rig with small hooks, plastic standoffs and a 2-4 ounce lead sinker.