Find structure, current and you’ll find rockfish

Taylor Mooney caught his second huge Snakehead of the year, fishing last week on the Wicomico River at low tide near Brew River restaurant. Mooney was using a dark green worm as a lure; the fish measured 31 inches.

Taylor Mooney caught his second huge Snakehead of the year, fishing last week on the Wicomico River at low tide near Brew River restaurant. Mooney was using a dark green worm as a lure; the fish measured 31 inches.

I have been checking on the weather and the fishing in Maryland through phone calls and texting all week and it is clear that fishing in Maryland holds many opportunities this week. I have been fortunate to be able to do some offshore fishing off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii with my wife and friends and every day is an adventure here for this Maryland boy.

The depth of water here at such a short distance from shore is amazing; how does 2,000 fathoms (yes that is 12,000-feet-deep) within sight of land sound?

Trolling here means large clear acrylic headed lures with skirts made out of metal flake upholstery fabric that looks like it came out of a 1950s car. The Blue Marlin bite has been allusive so far but the Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna fishing, which are both called Ahi in Hawaiian has been exciting.

My arms and shoulders are sore and I’ve been getting a little too much sun and have also ruined some shirts and shorts with tuna blood stains but I am having a ball.

Striped Bass fishing in the upper bay continues to be good this week for those who are persistent enough to explore new locations to find fish; this when a good depth finder is very important.

Whether one has trolling, jigging, chumming or live lining Spot on their minds, you have to check out likely looking channel edges and hard bottom areas. Striped Bass are being found along the Love Point edges, the Dumping Grounds and channel edges near Sandy Point, the Patapsco and similar edges all over the upper bay.

Most of the trolling action is with bucktails and spoons and often accounts for a better grade of fish as compared to chumming. The Bay Bridge piers also continue to hold Striped Bass and live lining, jigging and chumming are good ways to fish for them.

In the middle bay area it is hard to have a conversation with anyone about Striped Bass without the Hill and the mouth of Eastern Bay being a dominant topic. Once again this is where the Striped Bass want to be and those that remember the early 90s this was where the action was.

Over the years we have seen the Gooses and the Gas Docks command top billing and we seem to be back to the Hill area once more. One thing that has definitely changed though is the switch from chumming to live lining Spot.

More than a few are feeling the need to find their own little spot and a little more elbow room. Live liners, those wishing to jig or troll are finding a little more room at channel edges near R4 in Eastern Bay, the Bloody Point area, Hackett’s Bar, the 83 Buoy, Thomas Point, the Clay Banks, Stone Rock and the list goes on.

Find good structure, good current, Oxygen and temperature and you will find Striped Bass.

Small Bluefish have not been friendly to everyone’s precious Spot and they are tearing them up pretty bad.

Finding a good supply of Spot can be a chore for some; this is the time to bring out the cavalry in the form of kids with light spinning gears and plenty of bloodworms. The Spot that are too large for live lining can be cut up in chunks; which will also help to wreak some vengeance on the small bluefish.

Depending on location croakers and White Perch can also be part of the mix.

The lower bay region is offering some mixed Bluefish and Striped Bass action for those chumming in the lower Potomac and Patuxent River, the Middle Grounds, Buoy 72 and above the Target Ship.

The throwback ratio on the Striped Bass is reported to be high and Bluefish tend to dominate the chum slicks at times but there is plenty of action. Trolling in these areas is a good option with spoons and along the western edge of the shipping channel. There have also been reports of large Red Drum and Cobia in the areas around the Target Ship.

There are excellent bottom fishing opportunities for a mix of croakers, White Perch, Bluefish and Spot in the lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers and the Tangier Sound area.

Light tackle shallow water fishing for a mix of Striped Bass, Red Drum, Bluefish and Speckled Trout has been good along the eastern shore marshes and the mouth of the Patuxent River in the early morning and late evening hours.

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

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