Fishing Report: Trolling a good tactic in Tangier Sound

There continues to be some very large red drum near the Mud Leads above the Target Ship and captains are often switching to large spoons after their crew limits out on striped bass for some exciting catch and release action. Ted Macknovitz holds up a beauty before releasing it back into the bay.

There continues to be some very large red drum near the Mud Leads above the Target Ship and captains are often switching to large spoons after their crew limits out on striped bass for some exciting catch and release action. Ted Macknovitz holds up a beauty before releasing it back into the bay.

The weather smiled on all who attended the Maryland Fishing Challenge awards ceremony at Sandy Point State Park with cool temperatures and sunny skies.

Fishermen who had entered into the Fishing Challenge with their award sized fish and those who caught Diamond Jim tagged fish arrived for a good time and a chance at prizes and cash donated by sponsors and the Fisheries Service.

Striped bass are becoming more prevalent in the area above the Rock Hall/Baltimore Harbor line near prominent points, channel edges and shoal areas.

There are quite a few fish less than 18 inches being caught but plenty of action for light tackle fishermen or those that choose to troll.

The chumming and live lining fleet has been moving around a lot in the past week searching for the best fishing and clearer water. The Bay Bridge piers continue to provide good fishing opportunities for striped bass for those who are drifting live spot, jigging or chunking.

Fishing in the middle bay region this week holds a lot of choices. Perhaps first on the list is a mix of striped bass, bluefish and Spanish mackerel.

Live lining spot continues to take center stage at the Gum Thickets/ Buoy 86 area for a mix of striped bass and bluefish.

Other tradition locations such as Thomas Point, Bloody Point, the Hill, Buoy 83, the Clay Banks, Stone Rock and similar channel edges can hold striped bass at any time so poking around with a depth finder is always a good way to start the day.

There is a lot of bait in the middle bay region in the form of bay anchovies along major channels and a mix of striped bass, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are harassing them every chance they get.

Casting to breaking fish or jigging to suspended fish is always a fun light tackle option. Diving birds or slicks can lead one to the action where metal jigs are perhaps the best option due to the bluefish.

Summer is beginning to loosen her grip and cooler nights and days will begin to bring water temperatures down which will give the shallow water fishery a big boost; the drop in water temperatures will also cause striped bass to school up as they feel more comfortable roaming the lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers and the bay chasing bait.

Jigging with metal is perhaps the best option out in the bay because of the bluefish but taking chances with soft plastics where one might find less bluefish can reap dividends in striped bass and perhaps some speckled trout

Fishing for white perch remains good in the tidal creeks and rivers on light tackle. Casting spinners or small jigs is a lot of fun on a summer evenings along shoreline structure or simply fishing with a bottom rig and bait off docks.

There has been some fair to good croaker and large spot fishing in the lower sections of the tidal rivers and out in the bay. Anchoring up on shoal edges late in the evening has been offering the best chance at the larger croakers.

The lower Potomac, Tangier Sound and around Hooper’s Island Light have also been very good places to troll. There continues to be some very large red drum near the Mud Leads above the Target Ship and captains are often switching to large spoons after their crew limits out on striped bass for some exciting catch and release action.

There is some good bottom fishing for a mix of croakers and large spot at the mouth of the Patuxent River and Little Cove Point as well as Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds.

There is also the opportunity to catch bluefish and speckled trout at the same time. Flounder are being caught along the shallow edges of channels in the Tangier/Pocomoke Sound area for those who spend the time targeting them.

Ocean City area fishing continues to remain good for a wide variety of summer species. Surf fishing has been good for small bluefish which are being caught on finger mullet. There is also a mix of kingfish, spot, croaker and flounder in the surf. Inside the inlet flounder fishing has been good in the channel areas with some croaker and small bluefish also being caught.

Farther offshore the boats that have been going out to the canyon regions have been finding lots of small dolphin and a few gaffer sized ones as well. There have been plenty of white marlin releases being reported and a few yellowfin and bigeye tuna are being caught.

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. He is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the Eastern Shore.

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