We all know printed fishing reports are generalized, and weeks have passed before the report gets into your hands, so for timely, up-to-date reports, visit our Reports pages. Current reports will be published every Friday by noon — just in time for your weekend fishing adventures. In the meantime, here’s our monthly prognostication.
June is a great time to be at the coast, whether you’re hoping to score tuna at the canyons, black sea bass at the reefs, or blues from the beach. If history is any indication, this month the offshore action will focus on the trolling bite. Tuna will likely be at the canyons (unless we get a nice warmwater swirl coming in closer to shore from the Gulf Stream), and by the end of the month mahi should show up in full force to swarm the floats. Inshore, look for a bigger species mix to start presenting opportunities. Hopefully sheepshead will show up on structure, spadefish will appear, and trigger fish as well. By mid-month it’ll be time for cobia along the shoals, too — hold on tight!
With the post-spawn season kicking in expect bass, crappie, and similar predators living in lakes and reservoirs to shift towards structure, especially in intermediate areas between the shoreline and deeper waters. Standing timber, anyone? Also expect that the stocked trout will have been pretty much fished out at this point, but wild fish in the western zones will continue to bite and tailwaters will still be running cool. They offer a great opportunity, as long as water levels don’t get too low and shift the fish into uber-spooky moods.
The Flats and the dam pool will be top destinations in this neck of the woods, with striper anglers tossing topwater at daybreak and sunset on the flats or live-lining with small white perch both on the flats and in the river. If you’re headed for the dam pool bring some jigs or plugs with enough heft that you can heave ‘em way out there. And, of course, there are the ever-present catfish — anchor up in deep water within sight of the 95 bridge, and you’ll enjoy as close to a “sure thing” as exists in fishing.
You already know how this starts: it’s open season on rockfish! The Upper Bay has held the lion’s share of the stripers for many years running, and the Bay Bridges, Love Point, Tolchester, and the mouth of the Patapsco are all good bets. Chumming will likely be the name of the game until spot become easy to catch. But — and this is a big but — remember that anchoring up in the fleet without carefully selecting your position is a blunder. The fleets up here have been so massive the past few years that it’s easy to pull into the crowd, drop anchor, and end up offering baits a half-mile from the nearest rockfish. Be sure to locate fish on the meter before you drop the hook.
The Bay Bridges, Tolly Point, and the mouth of Eastern Bay are some good starting points for you striper hunters. Spot numbers should explode through the course of the month, and we’ll likely also see the appearance of saltier species like croaker and specks plus maybe even a flounder or two. Note that last June early in the month specks made their presence known in the Choptank and Little Choptank, with a few showing up on the Western Shore at the Patuxent and Calvert Cliffs, too.
Anglers in the Lower Bay should hopefully be seeing a nice speckled trout bite by this point, and while the Piankatank was the Western Shore winner last season, anywhere from Point Lookout south could provide excellent action this June. Other fishermen will be looking to see if those big reds set up shop near the Targets again (soft crab chunks will get ‘em), while just about everyone has an eye on the calendar waiting for mid-month and the beginning of legal cobia season.
Get in on that speck bite while it’s still hot! There’s a fair chance that once summer sets in the trout will get tougher to find in the shallows, but at least early in the month they should still be chewing with abandon. Note that in Maryland waters stripers should be in the shallows as well. Will we also see the flatfish return this season? If so, June should be a good month for ‘em.
The options in the southernmost sections of the Bay are, quite literally, too long to list out. That said, everyone is surely waiting for June 15 to hit and the cobia to become fair game. Until then we’d expect a lot of the focus to remain on chasing puppy drum, flounder, and specks in the inlets, and bull reds out in the Bay itself. June also ushered in the first waves of Spanish mackerel in this zone last year, as well as the initial reports of sheepshead at the CBBT. Stay tuned, people, there’s lots more to come!