While Chesapeake Bay rockfish get much of the attention this time of year, fishing from Ocean City to Deep Creek Lake is improving as the weather struggles into fall and waters cool.
At Ocean City, flounder catches continue to be excellent, with some of the largest flatfish of the year being caught from just above the Route 50 bridge to the inlet -- and the first of the large fall rockfish, to 42 inches, are being caught on live-lined spot at the inlet.
Croaker and spot can be found from the inlet piers and jetties along with some tautog and plenty of snapper bluefish. Kingfish, spot, smallish sea trout and dusky sharks can be found in the surf. Offshore, the run of yellowfin tuna continues.
In the Chesapeake Bay, the Department of Natural Resources reports rockfish success above the Bay Bridge continues to be erratic. Drifted soft crab appears to be the best bet at Love Point, Belvedere Shoal, Hodges Bar, Gayle Shoal, Worton Point and the humps off the western shore from the Magothy to the mouth of the Patapsco. Chummers have been catching largely 18- to 22-inchers, drifted eels are taking fewer and larger fish, and trollers are catching a mixed bag at the same locations.
White perch fishing continues to be good over areas with hard bottom, and bluefish continue to be scattered in tightly-packed schools. Sea trout are taken occasionally at the mouth of the Patapsco and Love Point.
In the Middle Bay, chummers have been doing well for rockfish at the Hill, Stone Rock, Flag Pole, Gas Docks and the reef off Knapps Narrows. Trollers have been taking fewer but larger fish along the western shore 30- to 35-foot contour from Parkers Creek to the Winter Gooses. Bottom fishing from Thomas Point to Hacketts continues to be excellent for white perch and sea trout, which also are off the mouth of the Choptank. Schools of bluefish continue to be tightly packed and moving often.
In the lower bay, where good fishing can be expected well into November, the Middle Grounds is producing good catches of rockfish, as are channel edges and Point No Point Light. Bluefish tightly packed in the mouth of the Potomac and up to St. George's Island. Sea trout fishing is hot at the Mud Leads and speckled sea trout to 7 pounds have been present in good numbers in the shallows around Smith, Bloodsworth and South Marsh islands as well as in the Big Annemessex, Manokin, Nanticoke and Honga rivers.
In fresh waters, smallmouth bass fishing is very good on the upper Potomac, although most of the fish are less than 10 inches. Water levels are low and much of the river is accessible to waders.
At Liberty Reservoir, the good fall period for striped bass might still be a couple of weeks off, but crappie action is good at Nicodemus Road Bridge and around beaver huts, and walleye fishing has started to pick up.
The weed beds at Loch Raven have been producing good bass fishing and northern pike are becoming more active, especially in the upper portions of the impoundment.
Crappie, bluegill, yellow perch and some bass can be found at Piney Run.
Out at Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, pickerel and walleye are in the news, with Regis Provance, of Uniontown, Pa., checking in a 29.5-inch walleye and Caitlyn McFaden weighing in a 24-inch pickerel at Johnny's Bait House.
This weekend at Sandy Point State Park, the U.S. Championships for Tornado Catamarans will be sailed with a field including at least eight Olympians from the United States and Canada.
The Tornado, a 20-foot, twin-hulled racer, was chosen as the sailing catamaran of the Olympics in 1967 and can reach speeds in excess of 25 knots.
Racing will be held tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday within view of the beach at Sandy Point. Regatta headquarters will be at Podickory Point Yacht Club. Racing begins at 10: 30 a.m. each day.
State record mackerel
John Brittingham, of Crisfield, caught and checked in a 6-pound, 3-ounce Spanish mackerel last month, and DNR officials are awaiting certification of the weigh-in scales before declaring it a state record.
The mackerel was caught while trolling a Clark spoon for bluefish the Puppy Hole in Tangier Sound and weighed in at Sea Hawk Sport Center in Pocomoke City.
Pub Date: 10/02/97