December Fishing

Stripers are hitting trolled or jigged lures in the Potomac and bay.

The Maryland portion of the bay is open to catch and release fishing only. The Potomac is open until December 31 with a 20-inch minimum and no maximum length. Virginia waters allow one per day until the end of the year with a 20-inch minimum and a 36-inch maximum.

Most everyone has been successful on days that the wind allows boaters to venture out safely.

There are breaking fish in many areas with plenty of birds feeding on the scraps and the tiny bunker forced to the surface. There have been gannets in the bay putting on a diving show. The gannets usually follow the bigger baitfish and indicate bigger stripers below.

Brady Bounds with typical catch and release rockfish in the lower Triange area of the bay late last week.

Bigger metal jigs reach the bottom faster where the big fish roam. Trollers are using heavyweights on their umbrella and tandem rigs. The fish are hitting white, chartreuse, yellow, and even purple lures. The bite varies from day to day, but the off-days are still very good with few getting skunked.

There are perch in the deeper areas now and jiggers and bottom fishermen can catch them in 40 to 50 feet. The perch are schooled up in big masses and will darken your depth finder. They tend to bite on tide changes. Small metal jigs work great. A double hook bottom rig using shad darts tipped with live minnows will drive them crazy.

Perch off Greenwell State Park in the Potomac in about 50 feet. Notice the small jig in the fish's mouth.

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