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Where the Potomac & the Chesapeake meet

Cobia are in the Lower Bay

July 11, 2016  |  Cobia are in the lower Bay from the Middle Grounds, the Target Ship, Smith Point and down to the Cut Channel. 

These big sub-tropical fish have invaded the Bay in numbers not seen in decades. Savvy anglers are sight casting to them (big bucktail jigs), chumming and chunking them up, and trolling big spoons and surgical eels. The cobia have been in the area for several weeks and some captains have caught as many as 20 or so, but the general public is just finding out about this bonanza of rare fish. Chumming has been the most consistent method, with frozen chum logs providing the source for many (grinding your own fresh is superior) or buying fresh ground at Buzz's Marina at the head of St. Jerome's Creek. Fresh alewives is the bait and chunking material. The fish will go crazy for live eels and the bait shops will try to offer them soon.

Rockfish are up the Patuxent eager to hit cast lures in the early morning and late evening all up and down the shoreline. Top water lures (poppers like Atoms and Youzuri), crank baits (Bomber wind cheaters, Rebels, etc) and bucktails and sassy shads will all bring strikes. The rockfish can also be found schooled up from Sheridan Point to marker 18 in the deep and will hit jigged lures (Lil' Bunkers by Specialized Baits are terrific). These rockfish have to be hunted up and if no action occurs after 20 or so casts in one location, move to the next, sooner or later you will hit pay dirt.

The bite from Deale to the Bay Bridge and further north is still terrific for rockfish. Trolling and jigging is what's happening there; still no spot for live-lining.

Croaker and white perch dominate the bottom fishing. The croaker are playing hide and seek, but when the tide is right at sunset they will fill your cooler. The 100-foot hole at Point Patience is filled with croaker in broad daylight and if you can get an anchor set and put up with glares from passing boaters in this narrow, heavily traveled area, the 13 to 15 inchers will bite. The croaker come to feed from dusk to dawn in the shallows. The Town Creek Pier has croaker, rockfish, and white perch at night and sometimes in the noonday heat. Moving tide is essential.

The Potomac has plenty of croaker, perch, and rockfish.

The catfishing is great in both the Patuxent and Potomac in the upper regions. From Benedict to the Chalk Point Power Plant the catfish are very cooperative. Plenty of catfish are stretched out from the Wicomico River off the Potomac to Mallows Bay.

The creeks in the Patuxent and Potomac are loaded with perch now and will bite small spinner baits, crank baits, and small spoons. The Nungesser spoon and shad dart tandem lure system is a winner. Peeler crab and bloodworms will bring instant results for bottom fishermen.


Sonney Forrest and Dick Jordan with rockfish from up the Patuxent last Thursday.


Talon Sanchez and a string of white perch caught on a Beetle Spin in a Patuxent Creek.


Tony Barrett with catfish from Benedict, Patuxent River.


Michael with fine perch from the Patuxent.

Kyle Johnson and Sonney Forrest chummed up these huge Cobis near Smith Point.
Heather Hewitt with a catch and release rockfish that took peeler crab at the Town Creek Pier.
Greg Tippett caught this 56 pound Cobia chumming on the Middle Grounds.
Emily Windsor with 12 inch perch caught off Town Creek Pier on bloodworms.
Ben Windsor with a nice rock that took a Beele Spin off Town Creek Pier.

St. Mary's County Division of Tourism
23115 Leonard Hall Dr.
P.O. Box 653
Leonardtown, MD 20650


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