COASTAL STRIPERSRockfish anglers in Maryland's coastal...

PETER BAKER'S FISHING REPORT AND JOURNAL

September 09, 1993|By PETER BAKER

COASTAL STRIPERS

Rockfish anglers in Maryland's coastal waters apparently could get a jump on the fishing season this fall if regulations proposed by the Department of Natural Resources are approved by the state legislature.

Under the DNR proposals, the coastal season would be from July 15 to Nov. 30 for recreational fishermen, with a minimum size of 28 inches and no maximum length. The creel limit would be one fish per person per day.

The season for recreational fishermen and charter boat fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay would not open until Oct. 1.

A decision by the legislature is expected by Tuesday, and according to DNR's fisheries division, coastal fishermen would be able to start fishing immediately.

PATUXENT PERCH

The DNR has scheduled a public meeting Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. to review proposed regulations for the opening of a commercial fishery for yellow perch in the Patuxent River.

The minimum size limit would be 10 inches.

The meeting will be held at the Department of Agriculture Building on Harry S Truman Parkway in Annapolis.

THE FISHING REPORT

SALTWATER

Ocean

Inshore -- good -- In the back bays, especially in the flats above the Thorofare, croaker from 89 to 15 inches have been taking bloodworms. Flounder fishing has been slow, with drifted minnows taking some keepers in the channel from the Convention Center to the Ocean City Inlet. Bluefish from 1 to 2 pounds in the inlet on the rising tide. Try cut bait fished on the bottom or spoons cast to the edges of current swirls.

Offshore -- good -- Lots of catch-and-release white marlin action at Washington Canyon, with many boats reporting five or more hookups. A few longfin and yellowfin tuna also active at Washington Canyon. Spanish mackerel at the First and Second Lumps and sea trout on squid baits at Little Gull Shoals.

Chesapeake Bay

Lower bay -- excellent -- Best fishing of the summer continues from the mouth of the Potomac across the Middle Grounds and into Pocomoke and Tangier sounds. Large schools of bluefish have been active in the bay waters, where trolled hoses or spoons, chumming and bottom fishing with cut baits have worked well for blues from 2 to 4 pounds. Good numbers of Spanish mackerel mixed with the blues, but mackerel prefer small gold spoons and a slightly higher trolling speed (7-8 knots) than the blues. In 30 to 60 feet of water near Hooper Island Light, Cedar Point and the Mud Leads, sea trout from 12 to 18 inches, croaker to 2 pounds and jumbo spot have been hitting crab baits (trout and croaker) and bloodworms (spot). In the sounds, crab baits have been working well for increasing catches of sea trout from 12 to 18 inches in 30 to 60 feet of water. Speckled sea trout and croaker to 2 pounds have been taken from shallow waters with crab baits at dusk. During the day, bloodworms are likely to turn up smaller croaker and spot.

Middle bay -- excellent -- Large schools of bluefish, with Spanish mackerel to 4 pounds mixed in, continue to cruise near Cove Point, Stone Rock, Chesapeake Beach, Thomas Point, the Gooses, Tolly Point, Hacketts Bar and Poplar Island. Trolling small spoons will work well for blues and mackerel. Medium to large spot and 9- to 12-inch croaker have been hitting bloodworm and crab baits at the mouth of the Choptank River, the fishing pier in Cambridge, Eastern Bay, Thomas Point and Hacketts Bar.

Upper bay -- excellent -- Bluefish from 1 to 8 pounds have been moving in medium-sized schools near Love Point, Swan Point and the mouth of the Patapsco River, with some Spanish mackerel taken off Swan Point. Trolling surgical hoses gives the best chance of taking a bigger blue, while small spoons will work well for blues or mackerel. Belvedere Shoals, 7-Foot Knoll, Craig Hill Light, Curtis Creek and the Chester River near Quaker Neck Landing have been good choices for white perch to 12 inches on peeler crab. Spot and croaker on bloodworms near Kent Narrows and Eastern Neck Island.

Potomac River

Upper tidal -- very good -- Largemouth bass fishing in the Washington Channel is excellent, especially with topwater baits in the morning. Wilson Bridge pilings a good choice with crankbaits on the moving tide. Spinner baits in Boundary Channel on the falling tide. Bryan's Cove will do well with spinner baits over the grass at high water and crankbaits in front of the grass at low water. Wood cover along the south shore of Gunston Cove on low tide; lily pads in upper Mattawoman Creek also a good choice.

Other rivers

Patapsco -- good -- Bluefish breaking occasionally at the river mouth, white perch activity in Curtis Creek area. Upper river has been low and clear, but cooler nights should have the bass more active for the few hours of first light.

Susquehanna -- very good -- Bridge foundations and grass beds above Havre de Grace are good bets for bass on crankbaits and plastic worms. Live minnows turned up some citation smallmouth bass between Roberts and Wood islands and near bridge pilings.

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