Southern Maryland, June 6, 2023 – Anglers in southern Maryland have been enjoying successful fishing outings as rockfish, perch, and speckled trout show eagerness to bite. However, the arrival of cold water has slowed down the progress of cobia, spot, and redfish. Freshwater fishing in local ponds and St. Mary’s Lake has been particularly fruitful, while crabs are abundant in the creeks.
Last Saturday, a seasoned fisherman in the Hooper Island area made an impressive catch, reeling in six speckled trout and narrowly missing two more in just over an hour and a half. Point Lookout Marker also proved to be a productive spot, with specks and rockfish, some measuring up to 22 inches, caught among the rocks. Additionally, the mouth of Smith Creek, further up the Potomac, and the St. Mary’s River yield good numbers of trout, mostly ranging from 18 to 24 inches.
Trollers have reported favorable conditions for striper fishing along the 15-to-20-foot edges of the Patuxent. Rockfish are expected to move into shallower areas to feed on crabs and baitfish as the water warms.
Notably, the bay water temperature on Tuesday morning reached a record low of 68 degrees, according to the Sea Temperature info website. This figure surpasses the previous record of 69.4 degrees recorded on the same date in 2007. Record-breaking low temperatures have persisted since April, as the average temperature for June typically stands at 75.4 degrees.
The colder water has impacted the advance of cobia, spot, and redfish, slowing down their usual patterns. However, the cooler conditions have not deterred perch, which continue to show enthusiasm for biting bait and lures during moving tides. Anglers have reported success in finding perch individually in various creek locations, with persistent efforts resulting in a generous catch for dinner. Optimism is high, with expectations of three to five good-sized perch per spot shortly.
Cow-nosed rays, also known as skates, have been abundant in the region, providing anglers with an exciting and diverse fishing experience. Furthermore, catfish have been thriving in the cool waters of the Potomac and Patuxent, eagerly biting on cut bait.
In freshwater bodies, such as St. Mary’s Lake and local ponds, bass, bluegill, crappie, and pickerel have been displaying high activity levels, resulting in daily catches for anglers.
Crabbing enthusiasts have also had reason to rejoice, with crabs readily available in the creeks. Dock owners utilizing crab pots and recreational crabbers employing chicken necks and hand traps have been particularly successful. However, it is important to note that for those using hand traps or rings, the recreational crab license add-on, priced at $2.00, must be purchased alongside a fishing license. Alternatively, individuals without a fishing license can obtain a crab permit for $5.00.
As the summer season progresses, anglers in southern Maryland can look forward to abundant rockfish, perch, and speckled trout. Despite the slow progress of certain species due to colder waters, freshwater fishing remains active, and crabbing provides ample opportunities for those seeking delectable crustaceans. With various options available, fishing enthusiasts can make the most of the bountiful offerings in the region’s waters.
Ken Lamb of St. Mary’s Tackle Box provided information for this report.