With storms behind us, get out there and fish

The summer doldrums are over and weather patterns are changing. The recent nor-easters are gone.

As we transition into fall and cooler temperatures there is bound to be some turmoil on the weather front. It has been tough to get out on the more open waters.

Fortunately the windy weather has passed for now but we paid the price with heavy rain and the possibility of more rain and wind in the forecast.

There are plenty of striped bass and small bluefish in the upper bay this week and they can be found primarily along channel edges where swift currents are balling up schools of bay anchovies. When this occurs on the surface diving sea gulls will usually lead the way to some exciting action.

As long as bluefish are around most will be using metal and make sure to use black swivels if using a leader. Sub surface action can often be detected by slicks and a depth finder will confirm the action deep below the surface.

Small spoons and surge tube lures have been two of the favorite offering in a trolling spread when pulled behind inline weights and planers. The edges at Love Point, the Triple Buoys, the Dumping Grounds and Podickory Point have been good places to start the search for fish.

Water temperatures in the middle bay region are about 70 degrees and continue to fall as cooler nights become more common. The salinity has been around 16 ppt  in most areas and the recent storms will cause some changes.

The Spanish mackerel will most likely head south and a lot of the bluefish with them along with what spot are left. The striped bass action should kick into a higher gear with light tackle jigging being the most popular way to fish.

Bluefish tend to be spread throughout the lower bay region and they are mixed in with Spanish mackerel in many areas. Trolling has been a popular way to get in on the action with Clark and Drone spoons behind inline weights and planers. Surge tube lures will also work well for the bluefish.

Breaking fish are being spotted throughout the region and usually are a mix of Spanish mackerel and bluefish and at times striped bass may join in or hang underneath the surface action. Most of the baitfish in the area are bay anchovies and they often are being swept along by tidal currents near channel edges or being pushed to the surface by rockfish and blues.

Recreational crabbing continues in high gear for those still heading out with trot lines and collapsible traps. A further drop in water temperatures will tend to drive crabs deeper and if we receive heavy rains later on this week this could drive crabs from the upper river areas. We are at the doorstep of October so if crab cakes on a winter night are in your dreams, you best make haste.

The Ocean City area has been buffeted by northeast winds for quite a while now and it would appear that we’re in for some more plus heavy rain. Cooler nights are dropping water temperatures and flounder are moving into the channels that lead towards the Ocean City Inlet.

Some are already slipping through the inlet headed for offshore waters. The inlet and the Route 50 Bridge areas will be good areas to target if the water clarity holds up. Tautog are moving into the inlet and taking up residence along bridge piers, rocks and bulkheads.

Sand fleas and pieces of green crabs are the baits of choice. There have been some large bluefish moving in and out of the inlet recently making for some fun fishing.

It has been tough for anyone to go surf fishing for the past week along the beaches. Heavy surf and grass have been making for difficult if not impossible fishing conditions. The kingfish should still be here, the fall migration of large red drum may have slipped by in all the turmoil but striped bass will start to become a more common occurrence.

Flounder are still in residence on the inshore shoal areas and the wreck and reef sites and will be waiting when the ocean waters calm down.

Offshore it is much the same story; the ocean needs to lay down some before anyone can think about making a run out to the canyons. After a blow like this it is not uncommon to see profound changes in the fishery in regards to yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna and white marlin. The longfin albacore tend to make a brief appearance this time of the year and bluefin tuna will be passing by soon.

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