Tangier, Pocomoke, and Lower Shore Fishing Report, September 25 Update:
Anglers: due to all the blustery weather the past week, we had a tough time getting our usual data dump. Reader reports were down and several of our usual sources simply said they haven't been able to get out. We've gathered what info we could, but have to warn everyone that this week's reports are on the thin side.
We only heard from one reader who fished the Sound post-blow, but he said the water had cleared up nicely and a mix of speckled trout and stripers up to 24 inches were pouncing on four-inch plastic paddle-tails in white, chartreuse, and electric chicken. They didn’t catch any reds, but those fish should remain in the neighborhood for a few weeks yet and we’d expect to hear about a few more before it gets too cold for ‘em.
Tangier, Pocomoke, and Lower Shore Fishing Report, September 18 Update:
Sea Hawk Sports Center let us know that although there isn’t a whole lot going on out in the Bay along the lower shore, the Sounds are full of life. Notably, they reported that the speckled trout are still on and running. Hanging around the shallows and grasses, Bass Assassins in colors “Butt Naked,” “Copperhead,” and “Chicken on a Chain,” and “Salt ‘n Pepper Chartreuse” are getting the specks excited and drawing in some keeper stripers as well. (Reporter’s note: before writing this report, I was unaware that Bass Assassin has such fun names for their lure colors. They very much remind me of the names of nail polish and eyeshadows I use). Sea Hawk also let us know that with cooling waters, the time of day you’re fishing isn’t having as big of an impact as previous weeks. Guys who visited their store reported catching steady throughout the day, with little to no difference between morning and afternoon bites. Sea Hawk also recommended keeping an eye out for birds as we move into fall. They’re beginning to dive over schools of striped bass, and can be a quick ticket to a day you’ll remember.
Red drum and puppies are also going wild right now. The red drum bite has been absolutely stellar in evenings; multiple large fish were released this week. Cut spot on bottom is landing most of them. Closer to shore, popping corks are enticing the puppy drum. They’re sticking around in high numbers, although there’s some fear that the cool weather this week might begin to drive them south.
On hard bottoms, anglers are slamming croakers, spot, and also some kingfish. Bloodworms on small hooks are doing the trick for them. Unfortunately, we did also hear that the flounder bite seems to have totally cut out in the Sounds. No new flounder were reported to Sea Hawk in the last week.
Tangier, Pocomoke, and Lower Shore Fishing Report, September 11 Update:
Fishing in the Sounds and along the lower Shore continue to enjoy a great speckled trout bite, although it appears to have dropped off a bit this week. Sea Hawk reported that marshy edges and coves are still holding fair numbers, and anglers fishing on the marsh islands and cuts are seeing decent results. The number of puppy drum has been on the increase, though, including some slot fish. They recommended that anglers cast pink or white soft plastics. Heading to the creeks and drifting a piece of soft or peeler crab continues to be an option, as well. The Tangier and Pocomoke are still seeing a surprising uptick in the number of flounder caught while drifting squid chunks or casting and retrieving white soft plastics along bottom. Chartreuse has also been a productive color.
Most of the stripers hanging around the Sounds right now are still schoolie sized. They’re primarily coming in under working birds or alongside specks in the creeks. Most of the keeper sized fish are sticking to the 19 to 24 inch range and we didn’t hear of anything exceptional this week. Small blues remain an issue for anglers using soft plastics: if you’re choosing to cast under birds and get your tail bitten off a few times, it’s probably best to move on or switch to a tooth-proof offering.
Crabbing Report: Crabbing in the Sounds remains phenomenal for trot-liners. Plenty of large males are available when you can find them. Fresh chicken necks are bringing ‘em in.
Tangier, Pocomoke, and Lower Shore Fishing Report, September 4 Update:
Fishing in the Sounds and along the lower Shore is staying steady with a great speckled trout bite. Sea Hawk reported that marshy edges are home to a good number of them, and anglers fishing on the marsh islands and cuts are seeing great results. They suggested casting pink or white soft plastics or hitting the creeks with a drifted piece of soft or peeler crab. The Tangier and Pocomoke have also continued to see an uptick in the number of flounder caught while drifting squid chunks or casting and retrieving white soft plastics along bottom. As the speckled trout and flounder populations have increased, however, the number of stripers in the Sounds has diminished slightly. They’re still being caught but in fewer numbers, and primarily as bycatch on lures intended for trout or under working birds in open water with a mix of small bluefish and some Spanish mackerel.