Welcome to Reel Chesapeake’s Weekly Fishing Report, our interpretation of what’s biting and where throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Please email us directly at email@example.com to share updates and photographs of your recent catches for potential inclusion in next week’s column.
Happy Fourth of July week! It’s been a barn-burner the past several days in the Chesapeake Bay region, and the Atlantic beaches, from Maryland to Delaware, which is where we report from today. Air temps, water temps…you name it…are approaching mid-summer peaks and the region finally saw several blue-bird days consecutively, making for ideal outdoor experiences. The fishing has been hot, too.
In the Annapolis area, inclusive of the Bay Bridge, the Magothy, Severn, and South rivers, anglers are hitting a hot schoolie bite, with the largest fish generally in the low-20-inch range. Regardless of size, the action has been consistent in the early morning and late-evening hours around the many points/sandbars jutting into main stems. Topwater rules at these magic hours and your best options are walking spooks or chugging poppers in the direction of current. Four to six-inch plugs are working well for these smaller stripers. For mid-day fishing, many anglers (myself included) are hyping four-inch paddletails on 1/4 to 3/8oz jigheads and swimjigging them around deep-water docks (generally >8 feet) in the lower and middle sections of the rivers. This has been the ticket for the past month and will continue until the two-week Maryland moratorium on striped bass fishing (except coastal waters), which begins July 16th.
By then, we expect to see the bluefish and Spanish mackerel making a scene in the middle-Chesapeake. Right now, anglers are suggesting the species are in the Solomons area, but we haven’t seen many reports. They’re certainly there according to some, but the numbers aren’t blowing up yet. When they fill in and move northward, try #1 or #2 planers with sleek silver or gold spoons and motor 7 to 9mph to zip them through the main channel.
South of Point No Point Lighthouse, charters are gearing up for cobia, more bull red drum, and currently hammering specks. The large fish are roaming along shorelines on both sides of the Bay and so are eager anglers flinging light jigheads tipped with bright paddletails and flukes across the shallows and grass flats for feeding fish.
At the coastal resort towns—we’re currently in Dewey Beach, DE—surf anglers can soak chunk bunker on large circle hooks hoping for a mighty take-n-run from sandbar sharks. They’re hitting big, juicy baits and provide incredible action. After hearing of the success that angler Eddie Weber had with four-footers this week, we gave it a shot and had a heck of a hookup—heavy fish, spooling run, and on the turn…a breakoff. Such is fishing. Such is life. On the bayside of the coast, fluke, specks, and stripers are the play. Bluefish can be found, too, everywhere so fling ‘n zip some metal spoons/jigs when you see the seagulls or pelicans crashing water. Good luck!