Apex of Summer

Spanish mackerel, spot, bluefish, bull redfish, and white perch lead the news this week as we reach the apex of summer heat.

Spot love warm water and they are now transitioning into jumbo size. The Patuxent and Potomac are loaded with spot. Bottom fishermen are loading up using lug worms, fishbites, squid, and night crawlers to catch them. Bloodworms are the favorite bait for spot and many other species, but the bloods coming out of Maine are very few and expensive.

Trollers are using planers and small spoons (Clarke and Drones) to catch Spanish mackerel and blues. The fish are in the ship's channel from Cedar Point to Smith Point. Look for the birds and schools of bait on the surface. Remember, the creel limit for bluefish has been reduced to THREE!

Cody Radebaugh and cousin Taylor Ervin with white perch this week.

Robert Stone with 12-inch perch from Scotland, MD. And he is only 10 years old!

There are big bull redfish in the lower bay in schools marauding about. They can be caught blind trolling big spoons, or big bucktails and Mojos. They will also take surgical eels as will cobia. The fish come up to break chasing alewifes (menhaden) and mackerel. They can be jigged with big bucktails and cast to when sighted.

There are still cobia to be caught chumming with hooks baited with live eels. But, they don't want to act right in the heat and during the spawn. The action will improve by the middle of August, giving us a month to target them until the season closes in mid-September.

Black drum caught Sunday from Point Lookout Pier.

Captain Bernie Shea's party last week with mackerel and bluefish.

Capt. Bernie getting plenty of spot, too!

Robert Wahrenbrock with early morning striper from the shallows in the mouth of the Patuxent.

Swim baits or surface poppers bring strikes.

Rockfish are in the least active period with heat reducing their energy and appetite. They will bite at night in the deep holes for bait fishermen. They will take cut bait and really love soft crab. Early morning finds them eager to take top water plugs and swimming lures in the shallows. The exception to lackluster stripers is the live-lining in the upper bay where the action remains excellent. The rockfish season will reopen in the Potomac on August 20.

White perch are plentiful and hitting tiny spinners and bait in the creeks and rivers.

The weather will change by the end of the week and we have a beautiful weekend in the forecast. We only have two weekends before school starts, so there is no time to waste to get in some serious fishing done with the kids.

A string of perch from the Patuxent caught on evening tide with Beetle Spin.

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