Good Fishing Continues in the Summer Heat
July 19, 2016 | Plenty of fish were caught this week as the 90-degree temperatures encouraged the croaker, rockfish, perch, bluefish, and cobia to feed with abandon.
The cobia are in the lower Bay around the Target ship, the lumps below the Target ship, the Mud Leads, Smith Point, and below Smith Point to the Cut Channel. They are caught chumming and chunking, and trolling. Mike Henderson of Buzz's Marina says the boats leaving his launching ramp are successful in a ration of four out of ten. The cobia range from around 15 pounds up to 50. Fresh alewives are the bait of choice, but live eels can be golden. Even though the fish can often be spotted on the surface, the lines on the bottom under the chum and chunks seem to catch the fish. Trollers are using big jigs, surgical eels, and big spoons.
Big channel bass (red drum) are rumored to be cruising around the Middle Grounds in pods of six to ten.
Bluefish in the one to three-pound range will come to the chum slicks. Bigger blues are on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay inside of Hooper's Island Light. Undersized gray trout (weakfish) have shown up on the mud leads.
Croaker are now at the Wilson Reef off Point Lookout and will bite at sunset. The croaker are small - 10 to 12 inches - but will take squid, bloodworms, or shrimp eagerly. Double hook bottom rigs will bring them two at the time. Croaker are in the Patuxent at Point Patience and all the oyster beds up the river to Benedict. The key to croaker fishing is the time of day. The fish bite at dusk and all night long. Daytime in summer heat will not work for croaker; the perch will bite all day providing the tide is moving.
White perch are in the creeks and rivers in profusion.
Rockfish are in the shallows at dusk and dawn in the Patuxent and Potomac for lure casters and trollers. Daytime finds the rock in the deep and usually closed mouthed. This pattern changes in the fall when the rock really get going (but it is a long way to October).
Some small spot have shown up off the O'Club in the mouth of the Patuxent. These little fish are being caught for bait to live-line rockfish.
Catfishing is very good in the northern regions of the Potomac and Patuxent.
St. Mary's Lake has bass, bluegill, and pickerel in good numbers. Fly fishermen using popping bugs find the bluegill eager to hit in the early morning.