Friday, November 29, 2013

Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | November 26, 2013


By: Keith Lockwood

At present a northeaster is moving across the land and sea, throwing a wrench in travel plans for folks coming home for Thanksgiving but will break by the big day. This week often offers the opportunity for empty nesters to once again have their kid's home for a short period of time. Many fathers and grand parents will be seen taking family members out fishing or perhaps goose hunting and reliving times when kids were younger and times seemed simpler. Enjoy all there is to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Holiday from all of us at the Fisheries Service.
Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna and the channel areas leading to the Susquehanna and Elk Rivers are experiencing an influx of Striped Bass over the minimum of 18" this week. A variety of lures such as soft plastic jigs, swim shads and surface poppers are working well; Walleye in the lower Susquehanna can be an added bonus when using plastic jigs.
Striped Bass fishing in the upper bay region this week has been good as fishermen find fish in the lower sections of the tidal rivers and out in the bay near channel edges and the Bay Bridge piers. Most fishermen are either light tackle jigging or trolling deep for their Striped Bass. Those that are trolling are using a variety of lures in their trolling spreads from large parachutes and bucktails to medium sized swim shads, bucktails and spoons in tandem behind planers and inline weights or behind umbrella rigs. Rich Watts holds up the happy rewards of light tackle jigging at the mouth of the Magothy River recently.

Photo Courtesy of Rich Watts
White Perch continue to be found by fishermen holding in some of the deeper waters of the region's tidal rivers near where they empty into the bay and also over hard bottom and structure in the bay itself. Most fishermen are jigging for their White Perch with metal but a simple two hook bottom rig baited with pieces of bloodworm work well also.
Middle bay region fishermen are reporting that the Striped Bass tend to be spread thin over a wide area so trolling has been the favored option except when a concentration of fish can be found. Trolling a variety of depths and lure sizes along the edges of the shipping channel and lower tidal river channels has been producing a steady pick for fishermen. Trolling spreads include planer boards and flat lines, inline weights and planers pulling a variety of lures to include spoons, bucktails and parachutes of various sizes in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Everyone is on the outlook for birds and slicks and when concentrations of fish can be found light tackle jigging or trolling around the outside of fish schools is employed. The west side of the shipping channel from Breezy Point south has been a popular place to troll as are other steep edges such as out in front of Eastern Bay and off Thomas Point and the mouth of the Choptank River.
There were a lot of boats out on the bay on Friday and Saturday fishing in the MSSA Fall Classic Striped Bass Tournament; hopefully none of them tried to fish on Sunday during that big blow. There were 160 boats in the tournament so they covered a lot of territory and a few found the large fall migrant Striped Bass they were looking for and none were larger than the 47lb+ one that Rob Harris triumphantly holds up to the camera.

Photo Courtesy of MSSA (Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association)
Fishermen in the lower bay region are reporting good fishing for Striped Bass over a wide area but admit that there can be a lot of open water between fish. The shipping channel edge out in front of Cove Point continues to live up to its reputation and the lower Potomac River near Piney Point has been a good place to find Striped Bass. The lower Patuxent River and Tangier Sound have also been good places to fish. Trolling has been the best way to cover the spaces between fish and pulling out a jigging rod when concentrations of fish are spotted can offer a lot of fun fishing.
Freshwater fishermen in the western region continue to report excellent fishing for Walleyes and Yellow Perch, including Deep Creek Lake along shorelines in about 10' of water. Casting small crankbaits, swim shads and lures such as Rapalas are a good bet for Walleyes and drifting minnows or worms under a slip bobber work well for Yellow Perch and Walleye. Crappie are reported to be schooling up near bridge piers and can also be caught on small minnows or tubes.
Trout fishermen continue to enjoy good fishing in the trout management waters of the western and central regions this week. The delayed Harvest areas of Catoctin Creek receive a bonus stocking of 1,200 Rainbow Trout on November 21st. To receive the latest information from the Fisheries Service regarding notices such as bonus stockings be sure to sign up for the Fisheries Service Email list.
Today's rain event may do much to improve fishing conditions on the upper Potomac where water conditions have been very low and very clear. Walleyes are the major target for fishermen now on the upper Potomac as colder water temperatures have slowed the Smallmouth Bass bite. Also, fishermen who can not travel to western Maryland to fish for Walleye should remember that there is good fishing for Walleye this time of the year in the lower Susquehanna River.
The many lakes, ponds, reservoirs and tidal areas have a lot to offer freshwater fishermen this week. Cooler water temperatures are causing Largemouth Bass to seek deeper water and fishermen are using small crankbaits and jigs that resemble crawfish to target them. Slow rolling spinnerbaits along the bottom and jigging crawfish looking soft plastics close to the bottom are also winning tactics this week. Colder water temperatures have fish such as Yellow Perch in a feeding mode and some reservoirs such as Loch Raven can offer excellent fishing opportunities. Robert Welling was able to take his grandson Robbie fishing at Loch Raven and they teamed up on this nice stinger of good eating Yellow Perch and Crappie.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Welling
Ocean City area fishermen have been playing a waiting game along the beaches and areas within 3-miles for the annual fall migration of Striped Bass. Their wait may be soon over as the vanguard of the migration may finally begin to show up this week. A few large Striped Bass are being reported from the surf and inlet areas and trollers are picking up a few within a mile or so of the beaches. When surf conditions calm down, after this northeaster, this could be the magic week to be fishing large menhaden baits in the surf or trolling offshore.
The Maryland Tautog season ended on November 26th and will not open until January 1st 2014. Fishermen and captains are reporting excellent fishing for Sea Bass on the offshore wrecks and reef sites. Jigging with metal has been a very productive way to catch them lately although a bottom rig baited with surf clam still does the trick. Apparently large Bluefish have been pesky varmints lately nailing Sea Bass being reeled to the surface at times and leaving only a head.
Captains have been keeping an eye out along the 30-Fathom line for the fall migration of Bluefin Tuna and it is about time. Traditionally they used to be off the New Jersey Coast around Thanksgiving so perhaps after this northeaster conditions will allow boats to go out and take a look.


No comments:

Post a Comment