The calendar says summer is here, but the weather is refusing to give up its grip on cold. Bay water temperature remains at about 67 degrees and the daytime temps this week will not bring us up to the norm of 72. So, the fish are acting a little funny.
Stripers are active in the mouth of the Potomac for trollers and lure casters in the Cornfield Harbor area on the warmer afternoons. The average size is about 23 inches and the two per day, 20-inch minimum creel limit is attainable. The universal 31 inch maximum is in effect, so be careful to keep your keepers in the slot. Puppy drum and speckled trout have been caught there too, but just one here and there. Further up the Potomac there were mixed reports this week as tides have been low with little movement. Some perch were caught by bottom fishermen and rockfish trollers could not find consistent catches. The new moon is now waxing and full moon is June 3, bringing strong tides and better fishing.
Savvy fishermen have found good rockfish in the Salt Islands from the Mouth of the Choptank to Hooper’s Straits in the mouths of creeks and on structure. Clean water is an imperative, and a lot of fuel can be burned trying to find some. The occasional puppy drum and speckled trout are in the mix.
White perch are now active in the creeks and rivers but can be sluggish in the cool and in windy conditions. Sunny afternoons are best.
The skates (cow nosed rays) are more numerous than normal and can take over large areas, feeding and splashing about. The females give birth and mate before the general population starts out for the Atlantic in mid-summer. Some skate stay in the bay until late fall.
Crabs are on the move in good numbers in the rivers and bay. The creeks are filling up too, but crabs love warm water and won’t hit stride until the water gets into the 70’s. The winter survey for blue crabs in the bay was excellent indicating very good numbers for all categories of young and mature males and females.
Fresh water fishing is very good for bass, crappie, bluegill, and pickerel.