Middle Bay Fishing Reports

Middle Bay Fishing Reports presented by Waterfront Marine

Middle Chesapeake By Fishing Report, June 18 Update:

Angler in Chief Lenny Rudow reports fishing the bridge and finding lots of stripers willing to hit five-inch paddletails and jigging spoons, and also saw some schools of fish breaking water, but all were undersized. Even the boats dropping spot were coming up blank or catching almost all throwbacks. He also reports making a foray to the Choptank to search for the specks that have been reported there for a couple of weeks now, but to no avail. He says the shallows were holding plenty of stripers, but most are in the 15- to 17-inch range. Five-inch white paddle tails were again the best bait. Angler’s Sport Center and Alltackle also heard that the bridge bite was underwhelming size-wise, although a few keepers did come off of it. Angler’s suggested using five- to six-inch white paddle-tails or jerkshad — they’ve been outperforming other lures this season. Many reports coming in have indicated that skirted versus un-skirted isn’t making a huge difference.

kayak angler with a nice rock
Ed kayaked his way to a 30-incher in Eastern Bay – sweet.

ITO heard that although the Middle Bay bite has generally been slow, some liveliners who hit up Thomas Point were getting into fish. Angler’s heard the same about Hacketts and Eastern Bay, both of which were common spots to liveline. The fish just didn’t seem to want to show up for many boats and many that did were undersized. Jigging told the same story this week, often with long waits between bites and not a whole lot of fish breaking the 19-inch mark. On the upside, the week wasn’t a total wash and everyone we talked to had heard from guys that did do well. Liveliners can locate spot off Chesapeake Beach, in the mouth of the Choptank, and in the mouth of the South.

AIC Rudow also joined Family Fishing Adventures in Annapolis for a trip mid-week and says all 10 kids aboard had a great time catching spot, white perch, and croaker, while dropping bloodworms on bottom rigs in and around Annapolis. He also noted that some of the croaker were pushing keeper size and if they hang around through the fall, should break the nine-inch minimum. Later in the week, a Fish for the Cure trip produced plenty of small rock and some chunky white perch with the Bailey family.


Middle Chesapeake By Fishing Report, June 10 Update:

Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the boat traffic, or maybe it was the pressure systems and fronts pushing through, but for whatever reason we’ve been hearing from readers and from our Angler in Chief that this past week (and especially over last weekend) some days striper fishing became very tough during the midday hours. Fish have been hitting well at daybreak and again for a very brief burst of action just before the sun sets, with live-lining offering the best opportunity. Fish are also being caught on jigs (white skirted in chartreuse being the move), but again, mostly during brief windows of opportunity. We heard that even the white perch have been acting finicky in open Bay waters during the midday hours, with a better bite to be found close to shorelines under docks and in shaded areas. Hopefully, the recent weather will shuffle this pattern and late risers won’t get denied.

live lining for rockfish
The best way to catch a rockfish lately? Go spot fishing, first!

With spot available in the river mouths (try jigging Chesapeake Sabikis tipped with bloodworm or Fishbites bits in 14 to 18 feet of water) most of the fleet is live lining. Readers reported areas producing rockfish this week included Hackett’s, Eastern Bay, and the mouth of the Choptank. Angler’s Sport Center, Alltackle, and Tochterman’s all suggested hitting Hackett’s for your spot. There have been TONS there recently, and anglers are catching them on bottom rigs with bloodworms.

Most boats are finding that unweighted or lightly weighted live spot are working best for the stripers. Some anglers are finding that tossing soft plastics is supplementing the live lining bite. Lure casters and jiggers have a slower bite overall but Alltackle reports that they are finding fish at Thomas Point, Gum Thickets, and the False Channel.

Contributor Eric Packard reported a slow bite casting the piers and points in the lower Pax one afternoon this week, with zero specks taking the bait. He also noted that he saw several (keeper sized) rockfish floaters. The search for speckled trout went better on the eastern side, with a couple of readers fishing the shallows of the Choptank and Little Choptank reporting success casting small plastics in white, pink, and green on quarter-ounce heads. Angler’s heard the same, with the Choptank consistently popping up as a favorite spot.


Middle Chesapeake By Fishing Report, June 4 Update:

Readers report that there are some keeper-sized stripers at the Bay Bridges, hitting live spot or small white perch and jigs on the incoming tide. However, they also report that the bridge is attracting the usual crowds and over the holiday weekend when the weather got decent it was a bit of a madhouse around some of the better pilings at times.

striped bass caught in middle chesapeake bay
David pulled up this chunky guy on a skirted chartreuse/white BKD.

The rocks of Poplar Island are holding rockfish with the south side the best by all reports, but the vast majority of the fish caught lately have been undersized. Same goes for the fish at Thomas Point, where the AIC says casting early this week produced only ginormous rockfish up to 10 or 12 inches (yikes!) Angler’s Sport Center reported that boats hitting the Choptank had some better luck, and jigging in open water with Zman Steakz XLs produced keeper fish. Even better? Angler’s reported that hitting the mouth of the Choptank and using three to five-inch Diezel Minnowz in less than four feet of water produced a mixed bag of stripers, white perch, and speckled sea trout. That’s the kind of action we like to hear about!! Plus, the speckled trout caught at the mouth of the Choptank were on the hefty side and a few broke the 20-inch mark. Two additional reader reports backed up the Choptank speck action and we also had a reader report of a single speck mixed in with rockfish while casting paddletails in the shallows of Eastern Bay.

Crabbing report: ready your trotlines and find some fowl necks… it’s time to go crabbing! Crabbers on the west side in the Severn and South both reported increasing catches this week; the best we heard about was close to a bushel. One report from the Choptank of a full bushel came in, as well.

May 7, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 28 Update: The AIC reports that there was some awesome fishing just north of Gum Thickets and along the 16’ to 24’ drop-offs along Kent Island late last week, but the schools appeared to get broken up to a… Read more...
April 2, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, April 28 Update: After lots of waiting the late start to trophy striper season begins tomorrow, but it looks like we'll have to wait one day longer yet - thanks to 20 knot winds with gusts to 30 predicted,… Read more...
March 5, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, March 26 Update: C&R striper anglers mostly had a good time during the recent warm-up, with some mid-sized fish reported by jiggers at the Bay Bridges and a few fish among the crowd at the power plant (but… Read more...