Summer fishing on the upper Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries usually is a steady stream of rockfish, catfish, perch and black bass. But over the weekend, three unusual catches were reported to the Department of Natural Resources.
Charter boat captain Skip Slomski's party, after limiting out on rockfish over 30 inches near Belvedere Shoals, caught a 16-pound bluefish while fishing for catfish at Man 'O War Shoal.
Dave Drexal of Pasadena was chumming for rockfish near Podickory Point when he caught a 48-inch, 70-pound black drum.
And one unidentified angler reported to DNR he hooked and unintentionally released a 6-foot shark while fishing from a pier on Gibson Island. The angler could not determine the type of shark.
Yellowfin tuna moving in
Off Ocean City, the first yellowfin tuna catches of the season were made over the weekend, with Capt. Mark Hill's party aboard Strkin' landing 11 while trolling ballyhoo just north of Washington Canyon.
Emergency flounder regs
Under mandates from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service, emergency regulations are being formed to change the minimum size for summer flounder in Maryland waters.
The new size limit, which will take effect in the Exclusive Economic Zone on Saturday, will be 15 inches. The creel limit will be eight per day.
The current minimum is 14.5 inches.
Upper Chesapeake Bay: The minimum size for rockfish in the bay (oceanside limits remain unchanged at 28 inches) dropped from 28 to 18 inches on Monday, and anglers have been having good success -- in many instances on fish exceeding 30 inches. Much of the action has been at Love and Swan points and Baltimore Light, but most deep edges seem to be holding rockfish. Catfish anglers are getting more action, too, with shell bottoms from Hodges Bar to Poole's Island producing increasing catches.
Middle Chesapeake Bay: Trollers and chummers have done very well for rockfish, the flounder bite continues and croaker and white perch fishing remains very good. Trollers have done best along western channel edges from Deale to Parkers Creek and chummers have been hitting limits of 22- to 38-inch rockfish at the Diamonds, Summer Gooses, The Hill, Buoy 1 off the West River and the Gas Docks. Black drum catches continue to be spotty at James Island and the Stone Rock. Croaker action was off a little in the lower Choptank River early this week, but Breezy Point, mouth of the Patuxent and Eastern Bay continue to provide good croaker fishing.
Lower Chesapeake Bay: While chumming will almost guarantee a limit of rockfish, trollers have been doing well for blues ranging from two to five pounds and concentrated on the Middle Grounds. The HS Buoy, Point No Point and the Southwest Middle Grounds have been good for rockfish. Shore fishermen also are reporting rockfish catches from the pier and beaches at Point Lookout State Park. Sea trout, flounder, croaker and spot are providing excellent angling for head boat customers out of Scheible's Fishing Center in Ridge, Bunky's in Solomons and Fishing Parties Inc., in St. Mary's County. The deeper edges of the bay channels also will produce croaker often to 18 inches, sea trout to 22 inches and flounder to 20 inches.
Inshore: On the oceanside, the minimum for rockfish remains 28 inches along the coast and in the back bays, and decreasing numbers of keepers are being taken from the Route 50 bridge, although some large rockfish are being taken from the surf at Assateague. Also in the surf, kingfish, puppy drum, taylor bluefish, sea trout and flounder. The Ocean City inlet and piers are good choices for sea trout to seven pounds.
Offshore: The first yellowfin tuna of the season turned up over the weekend at Washington Canyon, and shark fishing is getting very good just in time for the Ocean City Shark Tournament, with blues, makos, dusky and threshers turning up from the Fingers to the Hambone. Big bluefish remain in large numbers from the First Lump to the Jackspot.
Susquehanna River and Flats: Still a lot of rockfish action, but also excellent largemouth bass angling from the grass beds in the river and bay and fine smallmouth fishing from breaks around Garrett Island and bridge foundations. Also catfish and perch.
Upper Potomac River: Recent rains have parts of the river murky, but levels have been fishable and smallmouth bass anglers have done well with tube lures, grubs and crankbaits fished at current breaks around rock ledges and shoreline blowdowns.
Pub Date: 6/18/98