Fishing is great, but it took twice as many calls as usual to find that information.
Many of us did not fish last weekend, and it becomes difficult determining fishing activity if no one is fishing. Fortunately, I was able to run down enough captains to keep me straight.
Actually, fishing is very good right now. In some areas the bluefish are not behaving properly, but overall the fishing is good.
The upper bay might have the best and most reliable bluefish activity throughout much of the Chesapeake. Activity begins at the Bay Bridge and goes north to above Brewerton Channel.
The bluefish might show up at Man 'O War Shoal, Swan Point Bar, mouth of the Chester River orthe Bay Bridge. Currently, the stocks are good.
White perch fishing around Pooles Island has been good. The fish are scattered a bit and in deeper water than earlier this year, but some nice catches are being made to the patient anglers. Another perch hot spot, if you have a lot of tackle, is the fishing reef off Tolchester. Fishing is good there, but you will lose a ton of tackle.
Upper middle bay fishing is also good for bluefish and fair for Spanish mackerel. Hacketts,the mouth of the Severn and Tollys Bars have been pretty good; the mouth of Eastern Bay and just inside the bay has been good to excellent.
The Deale/Chesapeake Beach/Tilghman Island area has suffered from few fishing charters. This is a big area, and with only a few boats out, it can be difficult to locate fish.
The Stone Rock is a steady producer of small to medium bluefish. Some bigger bluefish and good numbers of Spanish mackerel have been caught along the upper end of Tilghman Island. James's Island also has produced good catches of bluefish and mackerel. Bottom fishing in the mouth of the Choptank hasproduced some surprisingly good catches of flounder.
Flounder hasbecome the big news in the Little Cove Point to the nuclear power plant area. Water depth ranges from as little as 14 to as much as 30 feet. Best bait has been minnows or flounder belly, or both. When you catch a keeper, throw a buoy and you will find them in pods. Good flounder also have been reported from the mouth of St. Jerome's Creek to Cornfield Harbor and up the Potomac.
The flounder minimum-size limit is 13 inches. The Middle Atlantic Council wants to reduce the current commercial and recreational catch by 25 percent and plans to ask the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt a new minimum-size limit of 14 inches.
The 13-inch minimum-size limit has almost killed flounder fishing in the bay; another inch would wipe it out. Hopefully, the ASMFC will separate Maryland's coastal regulations from the bay regulations and use common sense when creating regulations for the bay.
More and more legal 10-inch croaker or hardhead arebeing caught at the mouth of the Patuxent River. Spanish mackerel prefer the eastern side of the bay in this area. One captain told me that if you could see Hooper's Island Light you were in the right area.Both puppy drum and speckled trout are being found in the shallows around Point-No-Point.
The $25,000 Big Bucks III Tournament isscheduled for Sept. 21-22. The tournament is sponsored by the Rod N'Reel Dock in Chesapeake Beach. Information: 1-800-233-2080.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in the Anne ArundelCounty Sun.