The waters in and around the bay are buzzing with activity as multiple fish species seem to be enjoying the warm seasonal weather. Anglers have many opportunities, from catching white perch in the creeks to landing huge cobia in the bay and Blue catfish in the Potomac River.
Spanish mackerel and bluefish are in a tussle over trolled spoons and surgical eels, particularly in the regions stretching from Cove Point to Smith Point. Just last week, Spanish mackerel were seen breaking water in the St. Mary’s River near the mouth of Carthegena Creek.
Though relatively rare, Cobia has shown up just enough to keep fishermen optimistic. The deadline to catch a trophy cobia is September 15. Both chumming and trolling tactics have yielded results.
In the smaller water bodies, white perch are showing increased activity, particularly in creeks and rivers. Anglers have reported catching them between 10 and 11 inches on a falling tide last Sunday afternoon. Puppy drums also make their presence felt, albeit more scattered than before.
Slot reds and rockfish ranging from 20 to 24 inches prowl the shallows. These fish are particularly fond of bone-colored swimming plugs. Speckled trout and flounder have also made appearances at various locations this week.
The Blue catfish population is booming on the Potomac River, especially just south of the 301 bridge. These catfish, which love fresh alewife, weigh between 40 and 60 pounds and are being caught daily.
Meanwhile, the Patuxent River bed is virtually covered with spot and croaker. Although most croakers are not meeting the 9-inch minimum, the frequency of 10 to 12-inch specimens is on the rise. The spotfish are also impressively sized, nearing jumbo status.
In other good news for seafood lovers, crabs are big and abundant, adding yet another option for those looking to enjoy the aquatic bounty.
The weather forecast looks promising as Idalia is not expected to hit the area, paving the way for clear skies throughout the upcoming Labor Day Weekend. The stage is set for an exciting time for local fishermen and those visiting the area. “Let’s go FISHING!” seems to be the consensus among anglers eagerly awaiting to make the most of the end-of-summer opportunities.
Ken Lamb of the St. Mary’s Tacklebox provided information for this article.