Chesapeake Outdoors
Cooler Weather Brings Back the Bite
by C.D. Dollar

Freed from the death grip of last week's murderous heat wave, anglers and fish alike can now breathe a little easier. The recent cold front couldn't have come at a better time for marine creatures, including this one. It was a sad sight last week paddling down the north shore of the Severn River to see once-beautiful yellow perch floating belly up and bloated, victims of drought-inspired algae blooms - fueled by excessive nutrients - that stole the water's oxygen.

As far as the fishing on Chesapeake Bay goes, it's still very active. Yet the Bay proper isn't the only place to wet a line. Offshore anglers chasing yellowfin and bluefin tuna are doing well when weather permits them to leave the docks. Kristen from the Ocean City Fishing Center said that their 12th Annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament was a big hit, including 151-pound tuna (unfortunately she didn't have specific boat, angler, captain or species information).

In the last month, the bite for dolphin and bluefish has reportedly been very good, and the charter fleet is scoring with bigeye, bluefin and yellowfin. The Poorman's Canyon is producing most of the action with a few bites report from the Baltimore Canyon.

There are legal flounder being taken in the back bays of Assateague, as well as croaker and sea trout in Delaware Bay.

Freshwater fishermen are experiencing some moderate to slow action for smallmouth bass in the Potomac River, especially downriver from Antietam. In Western Maryland, reports out of the Yough, Savage, Casselman, and the North Branch of the Potomac have been favorable for fly anglers using nymphs and dry flies at different times of the day.

In the lower part of Chesapeake Bay, Dr. Stephen Romero, my veterinarian, told me that he had a great day fishing out of Ridge, Maryland. Aside from their quota of legal rockfish, he and his group crushed the croaker and sea trout with cut baits and scored well with the bluefish.

Rick from Rick's Marine (301/872-4355) says pretty much the same, with the best action at the Mud Leads, Point No Point and right off the fishing pier at Point Lookout. In the middle Bay, the Patuxent River area remains good for rock, with more bluefish showing up as well as flounder (for those who specifically target them) and the bottom fish like croaker and trout. The regular spots - Gas Docks, Drum Point, inside the Patuxent River, Punch and Hog islands - all produce.

Fred Donovan from Rod 'n' Reel (800/233-2080) says that Captain Tom Rials' headboat Lady Hooker, which sails daily at 8am, returning at 3pm, and again from 6pm to midnight, has been doing excellent on jumbo spot, hardhead and sea trout.

Also, trollers working Parker's Creek have caught rockfish, some in the 30-inch range. Sharps Island flats have been turning up bluefish for trollers dragging green and red hoses.

In the upper Bay, some rockfish can be taken from the Narrows (though the bite has slowed) as well as at the Bay Bridges on artificial lures, including feather jigs. Love Point, Belvedere Shoals and Sandy Point have reportedly slowed for chummers. Eastern Bay, Tolley and Hacketts Point have white perch, croaker, spot, and some sea trout. Soft plastics like Fin-S-Fish and Bass Assassins score in shallows in many areas, particularly on high tide and low light.

| Issue 28 |

Volume VII Number 28
July 15-21, 1999
New Bay Times

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