Posted on August 25, 2014 | Permalink
Region: Upper Bay
Location: Podickory Point, Snake Reef
Saturday, August 16 2014 turned out to be one of the weirdest fishing days we have ever had on the bay. We decided to head north of our usual haunts off Podickory Point and checked out Snake Reef off Gibson Island for the first time in a couple of years. We hadn't been there more than a few minutes (on a rising tide) and our rod bent double in the rod holder. At first, we thought it was a ray -- but a few minutes later, we landed a Channel Catfish that was probably around 10 lbs. Thenů a few minutes later, the rod bent double AGAIN and we landed a Blue Catfish that we estimate was close to 20 lbs. The morning continued like this until we caught seven more channel cats, along with 10 White Perch, 2 croaker, and a Spot. The catfish alone ended up being 12 meals in the freezer.
We're guessing that the rains earlier in the week had something to do with the "misplaced" catfish. We have been fishing on the bay, between the Patapsco River and Thomas Point Light for 15 years -- and this is the first time we have EVER caught catfish.
DNR Response: Channel Catfish have been in the area for a long time, but more commonly in the tributaries or near the mouth. The salinity, regulated by dry and wet spells, really determines how far downriver or into the bay they extend. It will change on any given year. The Blue Catfish, however, is new to that area. Both catfish species can tolerate higher salinities (greater than 12 ppm) for short periods of time which means they can move around from place to place quite easily. Blue Catfish are even being found in higher salinities than earlier believed. The heavy rains that we had last week could, most certainly, cause salinity sensitive fish to move in and out of areas that they normally aren't found in.