The daylight hours that fishermen have to play in continues to make up a larger portion of each day with early sunrises and late sunsets. Air and water temperatures are about as ideal as they can get for some fun fishing with family and friends so make sure to get out there and enjoy the outdoors.
Striped Bass fishing in the upper bay region is becoming more focused on chumming this week and so far it has proved to be a very successful way to put some nice fish in the ice chest. Traditional channel edges such as Love Point, Swan Point, the Triple Buoys and Podickory Point have been favorites as well as the bridge piers at the Bay Bridge.
The middle bay region has been providing some excellent fishing opportunities for Striped Bass this week along the western edge of the shipping channel out in front of Chesapeake Beach and Parkers Creek. Medium sized bucktails trolled in tandem or behind an umbrella rig are very popular as are medium sized spoons. Other good trolling locations have also been near Thomas Point, Buoy 83 and outside of Poplar Island. Chumming at locations such as Hackett’s, Gum Thickets, the Hill and the Clay Banks has been good this week and some very nice Striped Bass are being caught.
The shallow water Striped Bass fishery is in full swing in the middle bay region as water temperatures continue to hold in the mid 70’s. This time of the year the action starts a little earlier in the evenings and ends later in the mornings than it will next month when water temperatures begin to cook. Topwater lures are always a shallow water favorite whether one is fishing with spinning gear or a fly fishing outfit. Cow-Nosed Rays are here and can be a bit of a nuisance when they stir up the shallows and generally blanket an area with their sheer numbers. White Perch are also being targeted in the shallows and along shoreline structure such as fallen tree tops, rip rap and prominent points. Spinners, Beetle Spins, small jigs and small spinnerbaits are all good choices for White Perch lures.
Croakers are steadily moving into the middle bay region and locations such as the mouth of the Honga River, Hooper’s Island and the mouth of the Choptank are good places to look for them. The size tends to be around 10″ or so with a fair number falling short of the 9″ minimum; hopefully larger fish will move in as the season progresses. Black Drum are still being found on some of the hard shoal areas such as Stone Rock and the James Island Flats but are beginning to scatter to other parts of the bay.
Shallow water fishing for Striped Bass has been good in the mornings and evenings along the bay and tidal river shores at prominent points where currents flow. On the eastern side of the bay there is also good Striped Bass fishing and the added bonus of Speckled Trout and Red Drum.
Recreational crabbers are finding fair to good catches of crabs in the middle bay region this week and slightly better catches in the lower bay region. The Eastern Shore tidal rivers and creeks are producing some of the better catches but trot lines and traps are attracting a lot of small crabs that are chewing up baits.
Ocean City fishing is picking up as water temperatures warm up to the mid 60’s. Surf fishing for the large Striped Bass moving up the coast has been good with some big ones being caught on stout tackle and menhaden baits. Small Bluefish are also in the surf as well as skates, rays and small inshore sharks. Kingfish, Northern Blowfish and a few flounder and croaker are being caught on smaller baits. In and around the inlet Striped Bass are being caught at night on swim shads and Bluefish on Got Cha lures. Tautog, Sheepshead and flounder are being caught in the inlet and the Route 50 Bridge area.
In the back bay areas most of the attention is focused on flounder. The channels in Assawoman and Sinepuxent Bays are producing some nice flounder but of course a fairly high throwback ratio to go along with that. Minnows and squid strips are favorite offerings and often in combination; but white Gulp baits are accounting for some of the larger flounder being caught. Cow-Nosed Sting Rays have moved into the back bay areas and it is pretty hard to fish without tangling into one of these buggers while flounder fishing. Angelina Watts was enjoying some flounder fishing with her dad recently when she caught this funny looking critter called a Burr Fish or Spiny Box Fish which is a type of puffer fish that comes to visit the Ocean City area for the summer.