Despite all the rain we’ve seen in the region in the last week water releases at the Conowingo Dam are within the normal range for this time of the year. It is possible that rains in the upper watershed of the Susquehanna could create a different situation later on this week. At present though fishermen are enjoying catching hickory shad in the Susquehanna and Deer Creek areas and a few American shad are being caught below the dam. The catch and release striped bass fishery closed Sunday May 3rd and fishermen reported hit and miss fishing up until the closing bell. Fishing for white perch will be good this week as fishermen have been finding them in some of the deeper waters of the Susquehanna with small grub jigs. If sunny weather prevails later on in the week small flashy spoons may be a good alternative choice.
This past week fishermen were intercepting the post-spawn fish leaving the Susquehanna Flats area at locations such as the Triple Buoys area, Love Point, the Dumping Grounds and edges of the shipping channel below Brewerton Channel. There should be more fish moving through these areas this week and although everyone is tired of cloudy skies; the lack of bright sun will keep allow fish to feel more comfortable near the surface. Chartreuse would be a good choice in these conditions but white should be part of the spread also just as deep lines off the boat should be as well as the planers. Brew Roscoe caught this nice fish in the shipping channel just north of the Bay Bridge while fishing with friends.
Clouds and rain are predicted till sometime this weekend and no doubt fishermen will do their collective best to make the most of it. The weather may hold some of the crowds back and fishermen may have a little more room to maneuver with those planer boards. A number of upper bay fishermen commented yesterday that they feared going below the Bay Bridge to troll after listening to weekend combat fishing dialog on the VHF radio. There is a lot to be said for staying out of the mayhem; especially during a popular weekend fishing tournament. Many fishermen are lucky enough to be able to juggle job schedules so they can fish during the week and of course there are those lucky guys who are retired. Dailson Lourenco fishes out of a kayak to stay away from the crowds and sticks close to the Bay Bridge piers while trolling with his foot powered kayak this past Sunday in the rain.
Middle Bay Region
Apparently it was quite a weekend for fishermen looking to troll their planer board arrays back and forth across the shipping channel. Given the formula of the weekend, the MSSA Tournament and a vast fleet of boats mixing it up; each with the turning radius of a dead whale; it was Maryland’s version of “combat fishing” in many of the prime locations. The good news is there were no boarding parties with cutlasses in hand and no drive by shootings. Planer boards have certainly upped the auntie in the game of jockeying for position for the best trolling course. For those who wish to just enjoy themselves and stay away from the crowds late day trips are a good option; especially on overcast days. Remember first and foremost why you’re out there; it is supposed to be to have a good time.
The triangle between Thomas Point to the Gum Thickets and south to Buoy 83 has been a consistently good area to troll for big striped bass in the last two weeks and that good fishing continues on this week. Most fishermen if they can are out early in the morning or late in the day based on altered schedules with work. It always helps a
boss to be a little more understanding when you present him or her with a nice fillet of fresh striped bass. Others are opting out for the whole day with vacation time and fishing later on into the morning if they don’t connect right away. The good news this week is that cloudy conditions will prevail into part of the weekend making it more comfortable for sun shy striped bass to be closer to the surface. The bad news is rain and we all know fishing in the rain is not the best of fun for us but the fish don’t seem to care. Steve Bradford was able to slip out in the morning between rain clouds and connected with this nice 47” striped bass near Thomas Point. Steve also sent us a picture of what he found in the fish’s stomach; two menhaden.
Fishermen are still reporting some good trolling action in the False Channel at the mouth of the Choptank but not like the last week of April. The best action this week tends to be coming along that steep shipping channel edge from Breezy Point south; with the Parkers Creek/ Radar Towers being ground zero. Chartreuse and white parachutes are the order of the day; in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Spoons are also accounting for a good number of fish. Most days the planer boards are ruling the day but fishermen reported at times more fish have been coming from the deeper lines. It just goes to show that if you really want the odds in your favor you must cover all contingencies.
White perch should begin to show up around favorite docks and piers this week as they fan out from their traditional spawning rivers and creeks. Generally by the second week of May fishermen can expect them to show up hungry and holding to cover. Pat Donlin was doing a little white perch fishing in the Severn River out of his kayak recently and caught some nice ones.
A few fishermen and waterfront landowners are reporting the first signs of May worms this week. There is a full moon this weekend so fishermen should see some swarming under pier and dock lights at night. No croakers have been reported in the middle bay region as of yet but they are expected to show up in the Hooper’s Island/Honga River area shortly.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Fishermen in the lower bay region can expect relatively good fishing for large striped bass in most of the region this week. Overcast skies will extend the period during the day when fish will be traveling close to the surface as they head south. Both sides of the shipping channel have been good places to troll this week and the action should continue into next week. Fishermen in the Tangier Sound area reported poor fishing this past weekend and many of the boats leaving from Crisfield are now trolling along the eastern side of the shipping channel from Hooper’s Island Light south to Buoy 68. Tacking back and forth across the shipping channel seems to being paying the best dividends in fish and of course if that is what the boats around you are doing; you don’t have much choice but to follow the same pattern. The water temperature today at the mouth of the Potomac is 62-degrees at the surface; which is much to the liking of the striped bass. The warmer water seems to extending farther into the depths of the shipping channel these days and fishermen are reporting a larger percentage of fish being caught on the deeper lines then were two weeks ago.
Chartreuse parachutes have been the top performer this week in the cloudy overcast conditions but white is a very close second and spoons have been performing well also. Large menhaden is “what’s for dinner” as these big post-spawn striped bass are traveling down the bay with a big appetite. Fishermen are reporting seeing schools of menhaden running deep on their depth finders and are also snagging a few when trolling through them.
Fishermen continue to catch some nice sized croakers from the mouth of the Wicomico River in the Potomac and prominent points along the Patuxent Naval Air Station and the Point Lookout area. Large croakers are also moving into the Tangier/Pocomoke Sound area and fishermen are catching them there from prominent points. White perch are moving into the lower reaches of the regions tidal rivers and creeks and should offer good fishing this week. Zana Vance holds up a nice croaker she caught recently near the mouth of the Wicomico while fishing with friends.
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