State fishing focus turns to ocean


Chumming for Striped Bass in the upper bay has been very productive for the past couple of weeks at several traditional locations such as Love Point, Swan Point, the Triple Buoys and Podickory Point.

The Striped Bass are responding to chum slicks and although there are quite a few throwback sized fish; there are also fish in the 30-inch size range being caught.

The Bay Bridge continues to be a good place to look for Striped Bass holding near the bases of the bridge piers. Jigging is often a good method to employ but more and more fishermen are drifting live spot up close to the piers or chumming with very good results on a nice grade of fish.

In the middle bay region Striped Bass are being caught by chumming at locations such as the 30′ outside edge at Hackett’s Bar.

Live lining Spot at the Hill at the mouth of Eastern Bay has taken off like a rocket and there was a considerable sized fleet anchored up there this past weekend.

It shall be interesting to see if the fishing there will mimic what occurred there last summer. If the crowds are too much for you; one can explore similar type channel edges at the mouth of Eastern Bay or other prominent edges such as Thomas Point, Buoy 83, the Clay Banks or maybe even the Diamonds. On the western side of the bay there continues to be a lot of Striped Bass action out in front of Chesapeake Beach down to Parker’s Creek along the shipping channel edge.

Cow-Nosed Rays tend to a part of every fisherman’s bay experience lately; whether you are trolling, chumming or jigging for Striped Bass or just hoping to enjoy some bottom fishing for croakers.

If you are a shallow water fishermen quietly plying the waters for Striped Bass they can really ruin your fishing experience in a hurry. This time of the year they really come on strong and there seems to be no stopping the increases in the sheer numbers of them.

Shallow water fishing for Striped Bass in the early morning and late evening hours on a good high tide has lately been a bright spot for light tackle enthusiasts. The prominent points on both sides of the bay are a good place to start casting topwater lures, soft plastics or jerkbaits. Speckled Trout and slot sized Red Drum are becoming a more common part of the mix.

Recreational crabbers are starting to report better catches this month but do mention that a lot of the legal sized crabs are light. It is being referred to as a very slow pick when trot lining or running traps in the upper bay tidal rivers.

The summer season has settled upon Ocean City and a broad range of fishing is to be had. A mix of Kingfish, croakers, flounder, blowfish and small Bluefish are being caught in the surf this week. There are still a few large Striped Bass showing up in the surf and also at the inlet area.

Fresh menhaden baits are the ticket in the surf and casting swim shads at night tends to be the way to catch them in the inlet. Bluefish are also being caught in the inlet on Got-Cha lures and Sheepshead and Tautog are being caught around the rocks on sand fleas.

Flounder fishing has been very good in the channel areas of Sinepuxent and Assawoman Bays. As usual, there is a high throwback ratio and larger baits will often catch you larger flounder.

Outside the inlet the wreck and reef sites are producing good catches of Black Sea Bass with a few flounder and ling on the side. The boats trolling the canyon regions are finding Yellowfin Tuna, dolphin and Bigeye Tuna. White Marlin releases are becoming more common as are Blue Marlin.

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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