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Destination: Breezy Point

Head to a new place, and the fishing gets better

13-year-old Corey Freeman of Huntingtown reeled in this 40-inch, 28-pound monster summer 2012 using a bright green parachute near buoy 78.

It was in the middle of the week and we had our Norfolk spot for live lining caught by 7am. Jumping up on plane, we headed toward the Bay Bridge. It was already too late. The concrete supports where we had had such great luck a day earlier had two skiffs anchored at each, and our third and fourth choices were being eyeballed by a couple of approaching charter boats.
    “We’ve got to start getting away from this traffic jam if we want some decent fishing,” I told my fishing buddy. Then I thought of Breezy Point. Trailering my boat just a half-hour farther south would have resulted in having the waters mostly to ourselves, not to mention bigger fish.
    Breezy Point Marina (www.breezypointmarina.com) in Calvert County and just 25 miles south of Annapolis is a prime destination for dedicated rockfish anglers with lots of fish and little pressure. I’ve had some memorable days fishing there and am planning for more soon.

Fishfinder
  Rockfish live-lining is in full swing. Limits are often being taken in less time than it takes to catch the spot used as bait. A major school of mid-sized stripers is hovering over the southern end of Gum Thickets in 40 feet of water. Good schools of rock are also reported at Thomas Point, Tolley, Hacketts, Podickery and off the mouth of the Chester.
  The concentration of rockfish around Annapolis is dissipating, with the larger fish either having been caught or moved out. Those fish remaining tend to range from 19 to 21 inches. The Bay Bridge is no longer the big fish magnet it was a few weeks ago, but Gum Thickets is still holding an awesome number of stripers up to 24 inches. Hackett’s and Tolley continue to produce some nice limits of stripers, as does Podickery, and there are occasionally some bigger fish in the mix. But as word of one area spreads and the fleet shows up, the fish promptly move on.
  Spanish mackerel are slowly accumulating off the mouth of the Eastern Bay. The bite for croaker and spot is maturing nicely throughout the area. The action at Breezy Point has exploded with an enormous number of big croaker (16 and 17 inches) at The Gooses and 18-inch bluefish swarming the Sharps Island Light area. Good schoolie rock are being taken out front. Across the Bay on the Eastern Shore side, the False Channel is picking up the numerous stripers 24 to 26 inches that were once holding on The Hill and The Diamonds.
  Big perch are being caught on bloodworms just about everywhere from Podickery and Love Point south in anywhere from 15 to 40 feet of water over shell. Crabbing continues to sputter.

Resource Management Note
  In spite of a very poor crabbing season and a near-record low population of crabs (including a severe drop in the number of females), Maryland Department of Natural Resources has decided not to reduce commercial harvest of females during the latter part of the season. That is the part of the year in many areas of the Bay when the majority of the females are taken by the crabbing industry. If that sounds troubling to you, it should.

    At the Breezy Point area, the rock arrive earlier in the trophy season than they do higher in the Bay, and they are there longer. The fall run of better fish starts earlier as well. With a little luck, you can tangle with a big one — and by big I mean fish over 40 inches — almost any month of the year.
    As they say in the real estate business, the secret is location, location, location. From the Breezy Point Marina ramp, it’s just a quick 15- or 20-minute run to the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, the home of The Rips and one of the very best areas of the Bay to tangle with trophy-sized striped bass on light tackle.
    A few miles farther south by water, you’re at the Gas Docks. The enormous structure itself is off limits, but the area continues to concentrate fine numbers of some of the better rockfish you’ll find in the Chesapeake.
    Directly across the Bay from Breezy Point Marina, also a quick 15- or 20-minute run, is the mouth of the Choptank River and the False Channel, structures that are currently holding nice stripers. These locations get a fraction of the fishing pressure of more northern Bay locales this time of year.
    Mike Strandquist has been the owner and operator of the Breezy Point Marina for over 26 years and is one of the most customer friendly and knowledgeable people you’ll ever meet. The  225-slip marina with its double-wide launching ramp is an amicable marina for boating sportsmen and women. Right next door is Calvert County’s family-friendly Breezy Point Beach and Campground (www.co.cal.md.us/Facilities.aspx?Page=detail&RID=15 ) with superb facilities for camping, swimming and picnicing.
    Not only is the striped bass fishing superior at Breezy Point this time of year. For the pan-fishing fanatic, the Norfolk spot and croaker are also bigger and more numerous. Bluefish, too, frequent the area, with Sharps Island Light currently holding a good quantity of fish in the 18-inch range, a perfect size for the barbeque.
    Don’t take my word for it. Try a day at Breezy. You won’t have lots of pleasure boat traffic or other anglers — only a lot of fish.