For those who work hard, a day off is a precious opportunity to spend time the way we want. Few activities afford us the peace to be had dangling a line in the water and being with our thoughts. Sometimes fate smiles on us and we actually have one of those days where everything works in our favor.
Some upcoming events offer some opportunities for anglers of all ages.
National Hunting and Fishing Day will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Washington County Izaak Walton League in Clear Spring. Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff will be there to run a casting clinic and answer questions about fishing around the state, along with shooting sports demos and hunter safety clinics.
The Second Annual Rod and Reef Slam Tournament will be held Sept. 22 at various artificial and restored oyster reef sites along the Eastern Shore. This is a catch, release and photo tournament.
Note to anglers: The Talbot County section of Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park will be closed to the public until further notice while the staff installs new lighting fixtures. The trails and parking lot will remain open.
Forecast Summary: Sept. 19-25
As we leave the remnants of Hurricane Florence in our rearview mirror and the first day of fall comes this weekend, the fishing pattern will be similar to last week. The cool, rainy and windy weather has kept water temperatures cool and well mixed, providing favorable conditions for rockfish. Anglers should continue to seek the best combination of clear, cool and oxygenated waters, which will be evenly mixed from the surface down into deeper waters.
At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoys, water temperatures are cool and should remain stable all week, with Annapolis and Gooses Reef both at 78 degrees, and Point Lookout at 79 degrees. Expect poor water clarity from the high flows coming from most rivers and streams. The Susquehanna River’s muddy water will likely extend below Swan Point with poor water clarity also found at Annapolis and Gooses Reef. There will be above average tidal currents Thursday through Tuesday as a result of the full moon Sept. 26.
For the full weekly fishing conditions summary in your area, please be sure to check out Click Before You Cast.
Upper Chesapeake Bay
Despite some breezy conditions over the weekend, sunny skies prevailed and a few fishermen found places to tuck in and fish. The lower Susquehanna River is running hard as flows from the Conowingo Dam are brisk, and may increase if the upper Susquehanna watershed gets a lot of rain. Despite these conditions, there is some decent action for striped bass by casting topwater lures, crankbaits and swimbaits.
Waters remain stained and chumming, chunking or live lining spot are the most productive ways to dial in on striped bass suspended along channel edges. Swan, Love and Podickory points continue to be go-to locations as are the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Bay Bridge. Bluefish are showing up in chum slicks and also are cutting up spot baits.
There is some exciting breaking fish action as a mix of bluefish and small striped bass chase schools of bay anchovies. The mouth of the Chester River and Magothy River have been two places where a lot of this action is taking place. Jigging underneath the surface action can often produce larger striped bass.
The Bay Bridge is providing plenty of striped bass action with some bluefish thrown in for good measure. The rockfish have been suspended at about 20 feet but are being lured to the surface at times when bait is being swept along in the swift currents. Jigging, casting topwater lures chunking and live lining spot have all been good ways to fish.
Spot can still be found in the shallower parts of the tidal rivers and the west side of the Bay Bridge in about 15 feet of water on hard bottom. White perch are also in the mix as are channel catfish. Cooler water temperatures have also lured white perch back to shallower shoreline structure areas as well as striped bass in the mornings and evenings.