Northern Neck Virginia charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (ingrambaymarina.com) said the fishing in his part of the Chesapeake Bay has been picking up steadily and shows no signs of slowing down. More and more striped bass are entering the area around the Maryland-Virginia state line, and some are heading up the Bay. The rest of the month should deliver some whopping good striper action.
As Pipkin accurately points out, “Fish are hitting the rails from the Bay Bridge [in Maryland] down to the Bay Bridge-Tunnel [in Virginia].”
Pipkin believes some of the big stripers in the northern Chesapeake have come in through the C&D Canal that cuts through to Delaware waters.
“Because they have sea lice on them, it is likely that they came into the Bay from the north side,” he said.
Meanwhile, on some days trollers score on rockfish that weigh from 20 to 45 pounds almost at will. But it’s not always a striper bonanza out there, and of course you must be in an area where the rock chase the plentiful schools of alewife baitfish. The sea gulls and gannets will help you find a marauding horde of rockfish as they dive onto the water’s surface to pick up the leftovers of the feeding frenzies below.
Jeanette “JJ” Huckleby of JJ’s Tackle Shop in Solomons reports that a 54 1/2-inch-long striped bass that weighed 60 pounds was checked at the store. The huge striper was caught in the Cove Point area aboard charterboat Marci Lynn by happy angler Joseph Hedges Sr. of Annapolis.
Then there’s Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association, who fished with his wife, Tricia, in the Kiptopeke and Cabbage Patch area of the Bay’s Eastern Shore side (it’s not all that far from its junction with the Atlantic) and found action just after he put out a spread of eels.
“On our first drift, Tricia had caught her big rockfish,” he said.
Simply put, the stripers are spread out far and wide in the Chesapeake, and you have until the end of the month to score.
Freshwater rock at Kerr Lake - From Kerr, Virginia’s super crappie and striper reservoir, comes word that landlocked stripers can be hooked at the mouth of Blue Stone Creek, but many are less than the mandatory 26 inches long. If it’s crappies you like, they’re biting in 45-degree water. Check out sunken brush, shoreline trees and bridge abutments.
Lake Gaston stripers biting - Marty Magone said Gaston got a little shock from the muddy water coming in from Kerr Reservoir but that there are plenty of areas below Holly Grove Creek where the water is fine.
“Watch for the gulls chasing schools of shad in the creeks,” he said. “Usually, nearby there are feeding stripers and bass that like bucktail jigs and Silver Buddy lures.”
Lake Anna a good bet - Pig’n’jig lure combinations work well on bass now in dips and rises of the lake, as well as brush piles and rocky lake point dropoffs. The beaver huts and boat docks hold some decent-size crappies and, of course, the stripers might show during a feeding spree early and late in the day. Swimbaits and jerkbaits of various types will do the job on the rockfish.
Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Mueller’s Inside Outside blog at washingtontimes.com/sports.