Water temperatures in the upper most parts of the bay are about 50-degrees at the moment and these cold temperatures are slowing down the fisheries in the upper bay for school sized striped bass and white perch. There are striped bass being caught in the lower Susquehanna River and the mouths of tidal rivers such as the Patapsco, Chester and Magothy. Fishermen are light tackle jigging or trolling deep with medium sized bucktails, spoons or crankbaits. The striped bass are holding deep along channel edges. The white perch are also holding deep in some of the channel areas at the mouths of the tidal rivers and the Bay Bridge. Bottom rigs baited with bloodworms or grass shrimp will most likely offer better catches than jigs due to the colder water causing the white perch to be less active.
Cooler water temperatures have not had any negative effect on the large fall migrant striped bass coming up the bay and in fact they feel more comfortable in the cool waters of the fall. Trolling large parachutes and bucktails dressed with large sassy shads down deep from depths of 25’ to 40’ along the shipping channel edges has been the biggest game in town this week. Fishermen are finding large striped bass such as this nice one caught near the mouth of the Magothy River by Janine King who was trolling a chartreuse parachute in about 40’ of water with her husband.
Fishermen have always been light tackle jigging around the Bay Bridge piers for school sized striped bass through this years fishing season. Many have switched to larger soft plastic jigs of 6” and are finding some real whopper sized striped bass holding there; some over 50” in length.
Middle Bay Region
Fishermen in general have been enjoying good fishing for large fall migrant striped bass this week along the edges of the shipping channel. Both the western and eastern sides of the channel have been yielding a lot of big fish. The Bloody Point to Thomas Point area has been particularly good as has the area around Breezy Point. Large parachutes and bucktails with sassy shads has been the most popular choice for trolled baits. The fish are generally deep so fishermen have been covering the 25’ to 40’ depths by using planners and inline weights. Daryl Murphy was fishing with friends near Bloody Point when he caught this whopper of a striped bass.
The water temperatures in the middle bay region are down to about 52-degrees. Fishermen are still catching some striped bass under 28” in size by trolling medium sized bucktails or by light tackle jigging in some of the deeper channel edges near the mouths of the tidal rivers such as the Severn and Choptank; but the fishing is slowing down. Most fishermen are also putting some of the medium sized offerings in the form of bucktails in their trolling spreads while trolling along the shipping channel edges for larger fish.
Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:
Large fall migrant striped bass are being caught at many of the traditional hot spots along the western and eastern sides of the shipping channel this week. Cove Point, Cedar Point, Hooper’s Island Light, Buoys 72 and 72A and the channel edges of the lower Potomac River have all been good places to troll. Large parachutes and bucktails dressed with sassy shads have been the order of the day and are being trolled deep; usually between 25’ to 40’ below the surface. Water temperatures are down in the low 50’s and air temperatures have not been much better. Fishermen are known for their patience, spirit and fortitude. Kris Johnson mostly fishes for largemouth bass from his bass boat but he felt that he just couldn’t watch as anglers caught large striped bass as they trolled the lower Potomac. In true pioneer fashion he rigged up his bass boat so he could troll two rods, picked a calm day and went out to troll the channel edges of the lower Potomac with his girlfriend as a 1st. mate. Kris pulled off his quest with honors and stands in front of his bass boat with the largest bass he has ever caught; our kudos to Kris for his achievement.
The Tangier Sound area has also been a good place to troll for large striped bass this week. The steep edge on the western side of the channel running through Tangier Sound and the Kedges Straits has been producing some large striped bass for fishermen trolling there.
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