MARYLAND — Fishermen in Maryland’s Patuxent River, Potomac River, and Chesapeake Bay are enjoying a bountiful season thanks to a cleansing cold front and rainfall last week that has invigorated local fish populations. The surge in the catch includes popular species like Spanish mackerel, bluefish, redfish, spot, perch, catfish, and cobia, each adding to the excitement of the fishing community.
In the mouth of the Patuxent, eager spot are biting two at a time, and tropicals such as cutlass fish, cobia, whiting, and kingfish have been observed. Notably, cutlass fish have appeared abundant around Mill Creek’s mouth.
Record-breaking numbers of puppy drums, a type of redfish, have appeared in the creeks. One local fisherman recounted catching around 30 in 30 casts off the Patuxent on a recent Sunday evening. These particular fish ranged in size from 8 to 14 inches, falling under the minimum size of 18 inches. Only one redfish is allowed per day, with a maximum of 27 inches, and the Potomac permits up to five reds daily.
The eagerly awaited rockfish season is now open in Maryland and the Potomac, with plenty available for trollers and lure casters.
This week also saw an improvement in cobia catches, although many were shy of the 40 inches required. The prospects for cobia fishing look favorable until the season ends on September 15.
In another thrilling development, big bull reds, weighing 30 to 50 pounds, roam the bay and rivers in schools, often appearing in unexpected locations, even under local docks and piers. Several were caught in the Patuxent, surprising those targeting smaller species.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are now increasing in size and are mixed and abundant in the bay. Anglers find them an easy catch, using techniques like trolling surgical eels or employing planers and small spoons.
White perch catches were also reported in local creeks and rivers, with Beetle Spins and Perch Hounders working well. Tipping lures with crab, bloodworm, or Fishbites has proven effective in enhancing strikes.
Lastly, blue catfish are thriving in the Potomac. The area just south of the 301 bridge on the 30-foot ledge has become a hotspot, with catfish weighing between 30 to 60 pounds a regular catch for experienced anglers. Fresh bait, especially alewives, is a favored tactic.
The overall outlook for the fishing season in Maryland is promising and continues to deliver a wide array of species for local anglers to enjoy. The presence of different fish varieties and the thrill of the catch make the waters an attractive destination for both experienced fishermen and newcomers.
Ken Lamb of the St. Mary’s Tacklebox provided information for this article.