MARYLAND – Fishing enthusiasts in Maryland have reason to celebrate as many angling opportunities unfold across the state’s waterways. Ken Lamb of the St. Mary’s Tacklebox provided valuable insights and images into the current fishing scene, revealing an abundance of catches ranging from bluefish and rockfish to white perch and more.
From the ship’s channel spanning Cove Point to Smith Point, trollers armed with surgical eels and small spoons make headway in pursuing bluefish. These lures, often used with planers, are also proving effective at attracting mackerel, although these fish are making a swift exit towards the open ocean.
As temperatures gradually cool, rockfish respond by forming schools, presenting prime opportunities for anglers. These rockfish are voraciously feeding on baitfish, making them enticing targets for shore casters and boat anglers. Lures such as topwater plugs, bucktails, and paddle tail jigs consistently yield success in luring these prized catches.
An exceptional story emerged from Fishing Point in the Patuxent River, where an angler reported the capture of a remarkable 40-inch striper using a topwater plug. Astonishingly, the angler chose to release the colossal fish, which has astounded the angling community, considering it was caught from the shoreline. While such giants remain rare, rockfish in the 18-to-24-inch range are abundant, with a recently implemented maximum size limit of 31 inches.
For those pursuing white perch, the creeks teeming with these fish, eagerly striking at small spinnerbaits like Beetle Spins and Perch Hounders. An angler recounted a recent Sunday afternoon adventure in a Patuxent River creek, returning with eleven decent-sized white perch. However, the true excitement lay in the phenomenal puppy drum bite, with an estimated tally of 35 landed, many measuring between 14 to 15 inches. Anglers targeting slot redfish must fall within the 18-to-27-inch range and consistently reap rewards alongside stripers in the rivers and Bayshore. Maryland enforces a daily limit of one slot redfish, though it’s worth noting that in the Potomac River, the upper size restriction is 25 inches, and anglers can keep up to five fish per day.
In the bay, sizable bull redfish schools have been providing exhilarating moments for both trollers and lure casters despite fluctuations in catch rates. Those fortunate enough to find themselves amid a breaking school of these colossal creatures, often numbering around a thousand and experiencing a feeding frenzy, will undoubtedly cherish the memory. Such occurrences grace the bay almost daily during this time of year.
The mouth of the Patuxent River remains a hot spot for spot fishing, with Captain Bernie Shea at the helm of the Shea-D-Lady, leading successful trips where parties are reeling in jumbo spot two at a time. This exciting action is expected to continue until mid-October.
St. Mary’s Lake has emerged as a hotspot in freshwater angling, offering excellent opportunities to catch bass, bluegill, crappie, and pickerel. Whether using lures or live minnows, anglers enjoy success, with bluegill showing a particular penchant for live crickets.
Ken Lamb of the St. Mary’s Tacklebox provided this invaluable information and accompanying images, shedding light on the wealth of fishing experiences that await enthusiasts across Maryland. With the arrival of the autumn season and the cooling of temperatures, the fishing season is now in full swing, promising even more thrilling catches in the weeks ahead.