Can you feel the change in the air? Early mornings now require a jacket, and it feels wonderful. Autumn really has arrived, and the fishing enters a new phase in the Washington area. It begins slowly at first, then picks up momentum through October and into November. Along with the first red and yellow leaves on the trees, some other changes are noticeable.
For example, on the debris-filled tidal Potomac River, increasing patches of floating water weeds have been seen. The aquatic vegetation increasingly will die off and become tangled in fishing lure hooks, but it will pay off eventually. The bass that are still being caught in and around hydrilla and milfoil beds soon will seek more permanent cover, such as rock piles, fallen trees, deep dropoffs and shady docks. Newcomers to our area should know the fishing in these parts rarely stops. It can continue throughout the winter. Only the occasional ice that visits will put a crimp into it, but that never lasts long.
On the Chesapeake Bay, the fishing can be terrific. Since the water is still relatively warm, chummers in Southern Maryland and along Virginia’s Northern Neck continue to enjoy great outings for rockfish, blues, spot and flounder.
In the Middle Atlantic states, ocean fishermen continue to find bluefish, tunas, sharks and even some billfish on the far offshore grounds. Closer to land, the barrier islands of Virginia and Maryland will see increasing numbers of redfish, also known as red drum or channel bass. Boaters close to Ocean City and Virginia Beach hook bluefish, some sea trout and sea bass.
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