poplar island

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If you’re reading this website, chances are you pore over everything you can get your hands on about fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.  If you’re like me, you have favorite authors and preferred books or periodicals, and you can’t wait for the next issue to come along.  The work of one of my favorite Chesapeake writers can’t be found in newspaper columns or outdoor magazines, but I’ve read every fishing report he’s written since 2003.  Keith Lockwood writes for Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) fisheries website.  I started reading his reports when I first started fishing the Bay.  After recognizing the historical value of this weekly chronicle, I spent a couple of weeks scouring through all the archived entries.   Through previous year’s dispatches I learned about angling techniques, behavioral patterns, places to fish, and a lot about the science behind our fishing regulations.  I was extremely disappointed when I found out earlier this year that Keith would be cutting back on his weekly articles in favor of reader submitted entries in a section called The Maryland Angler’s Log.  While I still miss Lockwood’s focused reports, I’ve been plesantly surprised by the new addition to the website. The Maryland Angler’s Log is a real winner. Read More!

richrocks2Temperatures have cooled dramatically in the past couple of days after Tropical Storm Danny pushed on up the coast and a strong cold front moved across the Bay. I wanted to see what change the cooler weather might have made to the Mid-Bay bite we’ve been following since March.  My buddy Rich and I launched at the Shipping Creek ramp into a very strong outgoing tide and ran south about ten miles until we caught up with the leading edge of the current.  Along the way we encountered about 25 boats, many from the charter fleet, livelining and chumming on the north end of Poplar Island.  Considering how good the casting bite has been this summer, I wondered if they know what they are missing by sitting in one place and soaking bait. Read More!

mikedoubleJust when I thought the western shore was going to turn into the Summer striped bass hotspot, the fish showed up back over on the east side last night.  Tim & Mike joined me on Crockett’s Reel for a 5:30 PM launch from Shipping Creek on Kent Island.  We buzzed the Eastern Bay stopping only once when a flock of diving least terns alerted us to bait, then continued through Poplar Narrows south to an area that occasionally holds fish this time of year.  My original plan was to cruise on across to the oyster flats off Chesapeake Beach, but it was soon apparent we had traveled far enough.

A few seagulls over a steep drop-off put us on a some small bluefish.  As we were playing around with them and watching the fishfinder, bigger marks showed up.  Stacked fish near the bottom is usually a sign of rockfish.  We all three hooked up about the same time with some respectable summer fish.  Read More!

p62300202Tuesday was easily the best evening of my four fishing trips over the past six days. We had a flood incoming in the early afternoon, then kept outgoing current for over 5 hours past the predicted low. Outgoing has been the ticket in the area. Found some fish in the old haunts and also some new locations, all in shallow water, never over 20′ and usually 8-12′ Tuesday, it was keeper’s and up every cast, but Wednesday and Thursday we could only find little stripers with some snapper blues in the mix. There are more blues every day and there is a *lot* of bait in the area.

My fishing partners for two out of the three nights were Mitch and Rob. Mitch is my brother-in-law, an organic chemist from Michigan State, and he brought along a colleague. Mitch fished with me last summer, but Rob had never caught a fish before in his life. It didn’t take him long to learn.  He jigged up a mid-20 inch rockfish on his third cast.  We had a very nice evening filled with many fish.  The sunset pictures aren’t posed with fish out of the cooler, it’s when we caught the fish.  Everything we caught was released. Read More!

midbay1Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of summer for many Chesapeake boaters, but it means a slow-down in fishing for those of us who have been out all along. All the boat traffic on the Bay can put the fish in hiding, but it’s a tough time of year no matter what. Many anglers blame the slow fishing on may worms. May worms, also called clam worms, live on the shell bottoms of the bay and swarm during late May. The reddish worms can be up to 5 inches long and develop small swimming fins to propel them up from the bottom when they mate during the dark of the moon. I guess they are a tasty treat for rockfish. Some fish you catch this time of year area actually yellow or red tinged because of all the may worm gorging. Read More!