Fin-S Fish

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Maybe I’m getting better, but more likely I just got lucky.  Either way, I called this last pattern change pretty close.  As the water cools, big fish move closer to the main channel of the Chesapeake Bay.  There’s still plenty of smaller fish in the rivers and the nearby flats, but since it’s late November and the season for trophies, it’s time to lock in on the channel.  Here are two good reasons:  Number one – water temperature. Striped bass prefer water that is warmer than 50 degrees.  Surface temperatures right now in most of the Maryland section of the Chesapeake Bay are in the low 50s.   Since the deeper water near the channel can be ten degrees warmer than it is in the rivers, stripers will stay closer to their comfort zone.  You’ll see them holding very close to the bottom on the fish finder. They will still move up shallow to eat, but they’ll go right back to the deeper water to rest between feeding frenzies.

The second reason to fish near the channel is bait.  Larger fish want bigger bait. The most common baitfish of any consequence in the Bay right now is menhaden.  Since they migrate toward warmer water just like rockfish, by late November they are well on their way toward their comfort zones farther south.  That means there is less and less bait in the upper reaches of the Bay and the biggest concentrations of menhaden are now near the channel.  That’s perfect conditions for big stripers because they can hang out in the deeper warmer water and still ambush big bait.  That doesn’t mean they’ll bite anything you throw at them though.  Well, maybe the smaller fish will, but there’s a secret to getting the trophies. Read More!