By Bill Hall
With the most recent bouts of wind and rain, not much has changed on the fishing scene over the last week, with the exception of increased numbers of red drum behind the breakers of the southernmost barrier islands. Flounder fishing is becoming a little more consistent as the air temperature swings become less severe. A few speckled trout have shown up in local nets and crab pots. Look for the bite to take off a few days before the next full moon and peeler run.
Upper Shore – Allan Ring, at the Sea Hawk Sports Center, described the seaside flounder bite as “spotty, but picking up,” with catches coming in from the waters between Quinby and Chincoteague. Best baits have been large live bull minnows, silversides, Berkley Gulp, and strips of squid. The black drum bite continues off the beach. Sea clams have been the bait of choice for surf fishermen when targeting black drum. Ring noted there has also been some red drum showing up in the seaside catches. The Maryland rockfish season has gotten off to a slow start due to the wind and the dirty water created from the runoff. Anglers willing to put in their time have managed to put a few keepers in the boat. Some of the most consistent action has occurred in Tangier Sound by anglers trolling large 9-inch rubber shads on tandem and umbrella rigs.
On the freshwater scene, crappie fishing has been good on the Pocomoke River for anglers using one-sixteenth-ounce jigs, fished with curly tails and small minnows. Live bloodworms have been the bait of choice for black perch.
Wachapreague – Captain Lindsay Paul, of Trident Tackle, reported that anglers were finding a few flounder, despite the recent wind and rains. He said that the fishing will become steadier once the night time air temperatures consistently remain in the 60s. Most anglers are concentrating their efforts in Green Channel, Drawing Channel, and on the flats of Burton’s Bay. The shop will be hosting the 29th edition of the Captain Zed’s Annual Flounder Tournament beginning on April 26 and running through Sunday, May 5. First place will be worth $2,500 in cash and the first 400 tournament registrants will get a free tournament T-shirt.
Chincoteague– Donna Rae, at Captain Bob’s Marina, said that weather had a huge impact on fishing during most of last week, with winds frequently gusting to 25 miles per hour. She reported that the few times that anglers were able to get out, dirty water and lots of drifting seaweed presented big challenges to fishing success. She commented that a few flounder were landed in Assateague Channel near the bridge. Rae was excited about the black drum run occurring in the surf. She said clam baits were the ticket to getting the big uglies to bite.
Jimmy Vasilou, at Captain Steve’s Bait & Tackle, reported that black drum were being taken off the beach, with increasing numbers of puffers (swelling toads, toadfish) also showing up. Inside, anglers were slowly picking away at the flounder. Captain John Chenault managed three keeper flounder on Sunday.
Lower Shore – Jeb Brady, at Bailey’s Bait & Tackle, said that the weather has made it tough to fish. He added that when anglers were able to get out, there were plenty of red drum in the surf of the lower shore barrier islands, with a few black drum mixed in. Brady added that some tautog are being caught under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel as well as on the Cabbage Patch.
Chris Snook, at Chris’ Bait & Tackle, reported that anglers were catching black and red drum in the barrier island surf as well as from boats anchored just beyond the breakers. Some tautog have been pulled from around the concrete ships and along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Flounder fishing out of Oyster has been slowly improving.