Catches of mackerel in the lower Potomac from St. George Island to Point Lookout have been very consistent. Trollers are using planers and small spoons (Clarke, Drone, and HHCB) at fast speeds. Birds diving give away the location of the schools of mackerel and there are often bluefish mixed. If there are no birds to make a target, trollers are blind trolling and doing very well.
The fish are in Cornfield Harbor, Point Lookout, and scattered along the Ship’s Channel in mid-bay. The mackerel are approaching Cedar Point and have been at Hooper’s Island light for about 10 days. Spanish mackerel have traveled up the Potomac to Stuart’s Pier and the rock pile at Piney Point near the mouth of Herring Creek.
Bluefish were breaking just east of the Target Ship last Friday morning. Lure casters using jigs and jig heads with plastic shads landed dozens of blues to 27 inches. The birds were overhead picking up scraps from the feeding frenzy, The bite was red hot until about noon when the tide stopped. The birds were strung out for miles.
There are more slot redfish being caught in our waters right now than I can recall. Usually, we have small rat reds in the creeks competing with perch for small spinnerbaits, and huge 25 to 50 pounders breaking in the pay in big schools eating the mackerel, blues, and menhaden. The legal size (one per day) of 18 to 27 inches are the ones that are rare here except for this year. They are in the shallows feeding on crabs and minnows and small spot, If you spend some serious time hunting them you will be rewarded.
Speaking of the seriously big channel bass (another name for redfish), they are here now with several big breaks in the bay near buoy 72A, below the Target Ship, and in the Mud Leads. When you find them, just toss in a big jig into the frothy water and hold on!
Cobia continues to be prevalent in the Triangle off Point Lookout. Chummers using chum logs, fresh cut bait and live eels in the slick are getting a steady bite. Many are now between 32 and 39 inches, just below the 40-inch minimum. Trollers using big surgical eel lures have also scored.
Spot are everywhere and they are now getting big. We have six weeks of excellent spot fishing left with the “yellows, jumbos, and humpbacks” of prime size coming to the fore. The prize bait of bloodworms is in short supply as the shipments from Maine and Canada have been very poor. Substitutes of Fish bites, Lug worms, nightcrawlers, and bits of squid will work.
There is plenty of white perch in the creeks for lure casters. The perch are mixed with the spot in the deeper water.
Speckled trout are big and common mixed with rockfish in the shallows for lure casters.
The bay and Patuxent are open for stripers. The Potomac season returns on Aug. 21. There were plenty of stripers (rockfish) at Hog Point this week at daybreak for lure casters. Swimming baits like Wind Cheaters and Youzuris work very well. They like topwater poppers too.
All images are courtesy of Ken Lamb and The Tackle Box.