Good Fishing Expected for Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2017  |  Summer is coming in fits and starts. The fish are following the same pattern.


Our trophy season ended with a trio of really good days in the Bay from Cove Point to the Power Plant. However, the spring run did not measure up to the really excellent fishing of previous years. The warm spell in February that had temperatures in the 70's and 80's tricked up the normal pattern. The big stripers spawned early and left slim pickings in late April especially in the Potomac.

The good news is that stripers in the 20 to 28 inches are here in good numbers in the St. Mary's River and in Cornfield Harbor and other areas of the Potomac. Rockfish are at Cedar Point on the lighthouse rocks. Trollers are getting plenty of action from Little Cove Point south to the PR buoy, the Targets, and Point No Point. Small to medium sized lures are in order.

Chummers are finding rockfish on the Middle Grounds. This could be the year they stay here on their old stomping grounds and we get back to the super fishing we had well into the early 2000s before they migrated to the north near the Bay Bridge.

Jiggers have encountered big bluefish in the 12 to 15-pound range. Big blues have been blitzing the beaches off the Atlantic from Cape Charles to Lewes, Delaware for weeks, and some of the toothy critters have found their way into the Bay. This grade of bluefish reminds us of the huge masses of them that visited us every season for years in the 80's and 90's. Maybe we will see a lot of them in 2017.

Speckled trout are in the Honga River and other areas of the salt flats, and the Potomac and tributaries.

The James River in the mouth of the Bay is flooded with croaker. They have made their way up to the York and Rappahannock in smaller numbers. The overall migration will continue over the next month and if we get our share it will be a great season for Southern Maryland waters.

A big catch of spot by pound netters was reported below Smith Point this week indicating a good migration coming here soon.

The forecast for the Memorial Day weekend is sunny and warm from Friday through Monday. These are the conditions that will trigger good fishing. The Town Creek pier is opening this coming weekend too, and that location is within the rockfish area open season. The remainder of the Patuxent and all other waters opens for rockfish on June first. The creel limit is two per person only one of which can be over 28 inches.

Perch fishing is still behind with the cold, wind, and rain. The water is disturbed and stained and will take a few tide changes to clear up.

Travis Haff and Matias Falcon caught keeper rockfish in the St. Mary's River casting lures.
Steve Helmrich holds four speckled trout caught in the Honga River.