Fishing Forecast: Patient anglers rewarded with quality stripers


Fishing Forecast: Patient anglers rewarded with quality stripers

Sometimes it’s more of “where” and “when” than “how,” and that certainly seems to be the case this week as fishermen who gutted out a slow bite until the fish turned on were rewarded with quality stripers to 35 inches. Anglers who headed to the dock early, well, they missed out. Sadly, I was in that latter bunch on Saturday.

Overall, local fishing has been good this week when conditions are fishable. The outgoing tide was best for those fishermen I spoke with and white or some variation of it was the best color, in lure sizes that mimic the 4- to 8-inch bunker that the larger stripers are munching on. Action has been good both above the Chesapeake Bay bridges and down toward Deale and several spots in between. From the Gas Plant south to the Middle Grounds, some fishermen are landing rockfish limits, with decent numbers of rockfish over 28 inches. This week I heard of a better grade of rockfish on the western shore, and the first wave of sea-run rock have crossed into Maryland from Virginia. Stripers are busting bait off the New Jersey and striper fishermen are burning them up.

A quick, friendly reminder to all fishermen: Try and avoid running your boats through breaking fish. Sometimes it’s better to watch a moment and see how the stripers are pushing the bait, and then set up your drift. Also, even if they move out of casting or jigging range, sometimes you don’t have to move at all since they’ll come back in a few minutes.

Some anglers are trolling, others are jigging and those who live bait. In addition to jigging both stick and paddle-tailed soft plastics — BKDs, Bust Em Baits, Z-Mans and Hogy’s all got a mention — or trolling spoons or bucktails and parachutes, either in tandem or on Billy Bars, those who still have live bait down or are chunking with fresh bunker over live bottom are catching, too. Best of luck to those anglers fishing this Saturday’s “Rocksgiving” Fishing Tournament, held out of Chesapeake Harbor Marina in Annapolis.

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Outdoors Calendar

Nov. 12: “Rocksgiving” Fishing Tournament, Chesapeake Harbor Marina, Annapolis. Details at 410-268-1969 or

Nov. 12-25: 2nd Split of Duck Season. Black duck season open.

Nov. 14: Pasadena Sportfishing Group meeting. Capt. Charlie Sisson of Backdraft Charters on “Fall Trolling for Rockfish.” Also Bierbender Knife Sharpeners will recondition your blades at discount prices. Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company, 161 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park. Doors open at 6 p.m., talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 16: MSSA Annapolis Chapter. Local angler Skip Zinck will present “Trolling for Rockfish Using Planer Boards.” Vendor Gary Richie will present his custom made Spankin’ Striper baits. American Legion Post #7, 1905 Crownsville Rd.. Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 18-20: MSSA’s 24th annual “Chesapeake Bay Fall Classic.” Anglers can fish two of three days, “Lay Day” rule in effect. Register at

Nov. 19-25: 1st Split of Migratory (Atlantic Population) Canada Goose Season. Daily bag limit is two (2) geese and the possession limit six (6).

Nov. 21: MSSA Broadneck/Magothy #10 Chapter Meeting at 7:30 p.m, American Legion Post #175, 832 Manhattan Beach Rd. Severna Park.

Dec. 3: Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Symposium. CBF’s Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Ave., Annapolis. From 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Contact David Sikorski at 443-621-9186 for details.

Dec. 7: Free State Fly Fishers’ “Holiday Dinner.” Mike’s Crab House on the South River, Riva Road Bridge. Details at

Dec. 13 thru Jan. 28: Final Split of Duck Season.

Dec. 16 thru Feb. 4: Final Split of Migratory (Atlantic Population) Canada Goose Season. Daily bag limit is two (2) geese and the possession limit six (6).

Dec. 7: Maryland DNR Natural Resources 6 p.m. Public meeting for Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden, Calvary United Methodist Church301 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis. Contact DNR’s Lynn Fegley at [email protected] or 410.260.8285.