Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay fishing is world-renowned for its quality, diversity, and scenic qualities, whether you’re plugging for striped bass in the Upper Bay or trolling for blues and Spanish mackerel in the Lower Bay. The Chesapeake is North America’s largest estuary, where salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean mix with the freshwater flow of rivers like the Susquehanna, the Potomac, and the Rappahannock. The resulting brackish stew is idea for species like striped bass, bluefish, speckled sea trout, red drum, and many, many more. We’ll discuss how to catch these fish in detail, but first, let’s get a glimpse of what some red-hot Chesapeake Bay fishing action looks like. This video was taken during one afternoon of fishing in March, in the middle Chesapeake, near Calvert Cliffs.

How do most people fish on the Chesapeake Bay? The basic techniques include:

Fishing with cut bait
Fishing with live bait
Chumming with ground fish or clams
Trolling with lures
Casting and retrieving lures
Jigging with spoons and soft plastics

The fishing we saw in that video could be categorized as either casting and retrieving lures, or as jigging with soft plastics. There’s some overlap between these and many other types of Chesapeake Bay fishing– which take place for literally dozens of different species of fish (the Chesapeake Bay Program has an excellent field guide to the different fish found in the Bay). Let’s examine these forms of fishing on the bay in their most basic terms.

Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay with cut bait can mean many things. It might be slicing bloodworms into little tidbits and threading them onto a top-and-bottom rig to catch panfish like spot, croaker, and white perch. It could mean cutting bunker (also known as menhaden) into chunks used to attract species like striped bass and bluefish. In the southern reaches of the Bay, where the water is saltier and more like the open ocean, it could refer to using cut strips of squid to catch fish like flounder and croaker. And at certain times of the year, cut bait may even be used to attract the attention of giant gamefish. Many anglers use cut soft crab, for example, to target black drum– which can grow in excess of 100 pounds.

The one thing all forms of fishing with cut bait have in common? The angler is using pieces of a naturally-occurring food to get a predator fish on his or her line. Fishing with cut bait may be done while casting from the shoreline, while on a boat at anchor or adrift, and is also commonly used in conjunction with chumming (more on this later). Cut baits normally used on the Chesapeake Bay include:

Bloodworms– used for panfish including spot, croaker, and perch, and on occasion, used for larger species such as striped bass or weakfish
Bunker (also called alwife or menhaden)– used for larger predators including striped bass, bluefish, red drum, blue and channel catfish, sharks, and cobia
Grass shrimp– used to catch most panfish species
Herring– used for larger predators, often the same species as bunker
Mullet– also used for these same larger predators
Night crawlers– used in fresher areas of the Bay and its tributaries, for species like largemouth bass, sunfish, perch, and catfish
Razor, surf, and manninos clams– used for fish that commonly feed on bottom, including black drum and in some cases, striped bass
Soft crab and peeler crab– used for virtually any fish in the Chesapeake; just about everything that swims in the Bay likes to eat crab
Squid– used for species common to the saltier portions of the Chesapeake such as flounder or sea bass, as well as croaker, weakfish, and sometimes striped bass

In many cases, such as when attempting to catch monster blue catfish, cut bait is simply cast out or dropped to the bottom and allowed to rest there until a fish finds it. In some other cases, such as when fishing for flounder, the bait is drifted or possibly even trolled at a very slow speed, to attract a fish’s attention. And on occasion (fishing for triggerfish is one example) the cut bait may even be sight-cast right in front of a fish that the angler has spotted.

Since cut bait is very effective and is quite simple to use, many beginners start out by using it. Most of these baits are also readily available at the local tackle shops lining the Chesapeake’s shores. On the other hand, some people shy away from using cut bait because it can be very messy.

Many of the live baits used by anglers who enjoy Chesapeake Bay fishing are the same as ones listed above– the anglers simply gather or buy them live, and keep them alive until they go on the hook. The list of commonly used live baits includes:

Bullhead minnow– used for relatively small predator species such as yellow perch, small stripers, and especially flounder; in tributaries and relatively freshwater areas, bullhead minnow are used for pickerel, crappie, and bass
Eels– used for striped bass and cobia
Grass shrimp– used for panfish like perch, spot, and croaker
Green crab– used specifically for tautog
Mullet– used for virtually all predator species, depending on the mullet’s size (small mullet, called “finger mullet,” are often used for smaller species).
Silverside minnow– used mostly for flounder, often in conjunction with a strip of squid (called a “minnow ‘n squid sandwich,” which is considered a classic flounder bait).
Spot– used for large predators including striped bass, cobia, weakfish, bluefish, and very large flounder.

Live baits may be used with a number of fishing tactics, including casting from shore, drifting over large areas, fishing while at anchor over structure, or even when sight-fishing (most commonly in the Bay’s southern reaches, for cobia). At times, live bait will dominate the action. In the Middle and Upper Bay regions, for example, during the summer season the vast majority of anglers often will put a spot on the hook to try live bait fishing for stripers.

Fishing with live bait is commonly considered one of the most effective techniques used on the Chesapeake, and is employed at one time or another by recreational anglers, charter boat captains, and just about anyone trying to get a big fish on the end of their line. Since it’s so effective, relatively simple to use, and in some cases (such as bullhead minnow and grass shrimp) is available at most tackle shops, many beginners start out by using live bait. The down-side to using live bait? Once you acquire it, either by purchasing it at the store or catching it yourself, you have to take pains to keep it alive.

Chumming is the tactic of grinding or mincing a bait, most often fish like bunker or herring but occasionally razor clams or grass shrimp, and then releasing it into the water to attract fish. Most anglers chum from a boat while at anchor, since you want to remain stationary and bring the fish close to you with the scent and free food provided by the chum. Some anglers also chum from shore, however, by broadcasting their chum as far as possible out into the water. In any case a current is necessary for chumming to be effective, or the chum just sinks and doesn’t disburse through the water to bring in fish from afar. You can learn a number of tricks and tips about chumming by reading this article about Chum Tricks.

Chumming is extremely effective when fishing for striped bass, bluefish, sharks, and sometimes also cobia. Some anglers grind their chum on the spot, but more commonly they will buy pre-ground frozen blocks or buckets of chum. The frozen chum can then be hung from the side of the boat in a net or a bucket with holes, and will disburse slowly as it melts. This can be particularly advantageous as the consistency of a chum slick is even more important for attracting fish than its size or volume. A little bit of chum going into the water slowly but steadily works far better than large amounts that are released haphazardly.

Chumming is a tactic all its own, it’s used in conjunction with fishing cut bait. In a chum slick of menhaden, for example, the anglers will usually bait their hooks with cut menhaden. If the chum consists of razor clams, the anglers would be baiting with razor clam. Those baits will then be set at differing depths with the use of added weight, until the angler determines the most effective depth to fish at.

Some anglers will also try fishing live baits in their chum, and on occasion, casting lures. As a rule of thumb, the chum and the baits are matched because the fish you’re trying to catch can become quite focused on that particular type of food.

Once again, the main down-side to chumming is the mess it can make on a boat. It also forces the angler to buy additional supplies– the chum or lots of fish for grinding– and it requires constant attention to make sure the flow of chum is constant and sufficient.

Trolling is when lures are set out behind a boat, and the forward motion of the boat pulls them through the water to give them a life-like appearance. Depending on the size and speed of the species being targeted, trollers may set their throttles to move the boat anywhere between two and eight miles per hour. Specific types of lures which can provide their own “action” when moving through the water at these speeds, such as lipped plugs that swim because of water resistance, spoons that wobble as they move through the water, or lures with paddle-tails that wiggle back and forth, are most effective for trolling.

Trolling can be highly effective on just about any open-water fish and in some cases, such as Spanish mackerel, regularly works better than any other technique. Many professional charter boats favor trolling since it allows the captain and mate to regulate the appearance of the lures and how they travel through the water with no additional effort or expertise on the part of their customers. In effect, once the lures are set out behind the boat by the mate, all the angler has to do is reel the fish in after it strikes a lure. Tension already on the line, thanks to the boat’s forward motion, will “set the hook” all by itself.

In some areas of the Bay, particularly during the spring trophy rockfish season in Maryland, trolling is by far the most common– and effective– method of fishing. Many anglers also employ “planer boards” which are tied or cleated to a line, and utilize water-resistance to move out 100′ or more to the side of the boat. The angler puts fishing lines on the planer board line, to spread them out and away from the boat. Using this method, some captains may troll two dozen or even more lines at the same time, while trolling for spring trophy striped bass.

Catch the Big One on a Ft. Myers Fishing Charter

We are heading down to Ft. Myers FL next month to escape the NE winter chill. Looking for a charter recommendation I ran cross this site. You need to check it out..

“One of Southwest Florida’s favorite past times is fishing. With the Gulf of Mexico as the area’s backyard, the waters here are teaming with hundreds of thousands of fish. There are also thousands of spots to explore in the bays, inlets and sounds that surround the islands here.

From April through June the majestic tarpons migrate through the area from the Florida Keys, in huge numbers, drawing anglers from across the globe. Fishing is a year round sport in Southwest Florida with redfish, snook, snapper, shark, trout, grouper, mackerel and more on the menu.

If offshore fishing is on your radar, hop on board the ultra fast Miss Hayden with Sanibel Offshore where you can also reel in mahi mahi and blackfin tuna.

Because of the numerous mangrove islands, that can all look alike to the novice, along with the area’s shallow waters, fishing with an experienced guide is key for a successful experience.”

I looked at all the reviews and decided to go with Catch Me If You Can charters…

Ft. Myers Fishing Charters

“This charter service has two 24-foot Morgan Boats, perfect for exploring the inland waters and back bays. Docked at a marina found just before you cross the Sanibel Causeway, you’ll get fast access to areas teaming with fish. Arrangements can also be made for pick up on the area’s barrier islands (Sanibel and Captiva) and select resorts. These boats are capable of getting into shallow water and are also good for sightseeing. With a good amount of shade, you’ll be able to fit a party of six maximum. Repeat customers rave about the service and the success they have on the waters, catching all kinds of fish that are keepers.”

I like the bay fishing and not having to waste time heading way out into the Gulf.

Youth Fishing at Boynton Beach Florida

Have you ever been to Boynton Beach Florida? This is the nation’s entrance to the Gulfstream. Found at the eastern coastline, Boynton Coastline’s populace is greater than 60,000.The average temperature level is 74.5 F. And just what are the opportunities for young people to fish at Boynton Beach? Along with other opportunities for recreation if they don’t wish to fish while you do so?

If your colleagues is seeking a great area to invest your holiday and also delight in some young people tasks, you ought to most likely to Boynton Coastline Florida. You could remain at Florida’s ideal resorts like Vacation Inn and also Hampton Inn & Suites. These are rather cost-effective resorts where you could appreciate your remain without consuming all your financial savings.

While you’re currently in Boynton Coastline, your team could appreciate playing golf at The Hyperlinks. The golf center includes a champion training course that is enjoyable, fascinating, and also tough. You could likewise discover a golf links for the family members as well as you could have a good time there as well with your colleagues.

A technique location is additionally readily available for the very first time golf players. In addition to The Hyperlinks, you could likewise see Cypress Creek Golf Club. The fairway are superbly outlined that could fit the expert golf enthusiasts in addition to the newbie.

Apart from playing golf, you could likewise play tennis throughout your holiday at the Tennis Facility in Boynton. The facility possesses its 4 composite courts and also the Har-Tru courts.

If you’re currently exhausted having fun golf and also tennis, you could begin checking out the exotic yards as well as orchids at Alberts & Merkel Bros. For those that have an interest in checking out the wild animals, you could likewise check out Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee Nat’l Wild animals Haven and also Mangrove Nature Park.

So, do you believe these are the only tasks that you can do while you remain in Boynton Coastline? Well, that’s not all. You could likewise go snorkeling, swimming, diving, and also deep sea angling. You could fish at Florida’s Gulf Stream as well as that recognizes, you may be able to capture a sailfish, bluefish, marlin, black-fin tuna, red snapper, king mackerel, sheepshead, yellowtail snapper, wahoo, pompano, as well as a great deal much more.

If you still have even more cash to invest, you could sign up with the breathtaking cruise ship to the Hand Coastline. An additional option is to merely own to Hand Coastline as well as Boca Raton. You could likewise appreciate night life at Miami as well as you could get to there by merely owning for over a hr.

Those are the young people tasks that could delight in while you remain in Boynton Coastline Florida. You could play golf as well as tennis; as well as while you get on the coastline, you could additionally play coastline volley ball. You could additionally loosen up by seeing the wild animals book and also the exotic yards. You could alleviate your stress and anxiety by just strolling and also going sight-seeing. Checking out the waters is additionally a lot enjoyable.

Angling is one of the most amazing task as well as your colleagues will definitely appreciate it. If you desire, you could bring your household along to ensure that you have an unforgettable getaway ever before. All your enjoyed ones are about, from your family members to your close friends.

If you wish to obtain even more info regarding Boynton Coastline Florida, you could examine the on the internet directory sites and also Florida’s main internet site. There are a lot of points that you could discover while you exist so ensure that you obtain all the required info concerning Boynton Coastline. Welcome your colleagues currently as well as have the grandest getaway ever before.

Fishing While Boating

Fishing While Boating

Among the most rewarding activities you can do while boating is fishing. Boating is a fun activity and so is fishing. When you combine the two, you’ll find that fishing while boating can be an amazing method to enjoy two sports at once.

Fishing boats are created to be able to navigate quickly so you can get to some isolated sports on a body of water where the fish are readily discovered. They have conveniences that make it simple to take pleasure in a day on the water with additional seats and locations to stand so you can see the fish where they are concealing.

Another excellent element of fishing while boating is that you can enjoy it with other individuals. Fishing boats have plenty of space for a fishing partner, and let’s face it, fishing is a lot more enjoyable when you have somebody to share it with.

Your fishing boat should feature an aerator to save fish in after you catch them. There are likewise other compartments to easily stow equipment. You won’t have to carry your rods and deal with around. Just place them in the storage locations of your fishing boat and you’ll be ready to go fishing and boating at a minute’s notification.

There’s actually no doubt about it that boating is a terrific method to minimize stress. Fishing while boating doubles that stress decrease factor. From the minute you put your boat on the water and pull away from the dock, you’ll discover yourself practically get rid of with the enjoyment of not only being on the water, however likewise the possibility of generating a treasured catch.

You can delight in fishing while boating in various places. Whether you wish to take in a regional lake, a little pond, or the ocean, fishing boats can adjust to any type of water. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of catching different sort of fish which makes angling really rewarding undoubtedly.

There are many fishing competitions you can take part in while boating. There’s something exhilarating about competing to see who can capture the most significant and most fish. Fishing tournaments make boating a genuine challenge that is a real blast.

Find out what experienced anglers already know: fishing while boating is among the most pleasurable activities you can engage yourself in. It’s enjoyable, challenging, and a fantastic method to spend a gorgeous summer morning or a lazy spring day. Use up fishing on one of your boating adventures and double your satisfaction along with your enjoyable!

Buying the perfect fishing boat

Fishing from a boat is great fun for the whole family. It gives you access to those special fishing spots that can’t be reached by land. Best of all, once you own a boat, every weekend is a family vacation.

Many people are surprised by how affordable it is to buy a fishing boat. With so many options available, choosing one that fits your needs and budget can seem a bit daunting. To help simplify the process, here are a few tips for first-time buyers from the experts at the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF).

1. How will you use it? Fishing may be your primary activity, are there other things your family might want to do, such as water-skiing or cruising? Consider how many people you’ll want to accommodate.

2. Where will you go? Do you plan to go on a lake, river or larger body of water, such as the Great Lakes or the ocean? Look for one with a cabin, head and galley if you plan to use your boat for overnight trips.

3. What’s your budget? In assessing costs, factor in operating expenses such as fuel and maintenance, as well as dry-stack storage or slip fees if you plan to dock at a marina. Don’t fret if it starts looking a bit pricey. A basic rowboat and trolling motor can be had for less than $2,000. You can also save by trailering your boat and using it for day trips.

4. New or used? A used boat is a good alternative if your budget is tight. Make sure it is National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certified if you go for a new one.

5. Financing. Boats can be financed for extended terms, which helps keep the monthly payment low. Get in touch with a National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) lender, or visit for more tips and a handy loan calculator.

6. Test the waters. Before you buy, rent a boat from a local marina and go fishing for the day. It’s a great way to get the family hooked and helps you decide on the right boat for you.

Visit for more boat-buying tips and information on where to fish in your area. The site also includes boat show and dealer listings. There’s even a section with information on blue book values to help you get the best deal on your boat.

Fishing from a boat is the best way to get out on the water and get a great catch!

Alaska Fishing Charters

Alaska’s fishing vacations are one of the most popular with tourists. With people wishing to escape the hustle-bustle of the daily life, these relaxing fishing vacations are a great way to can get closer to nature.

Salmon is common along the Alaskan coast. Is giant halibut. Visitors can also catch salmon weighing up to 50 pounds. King salmon over 50 pounds are not at all uncommon. Grayling and northern pike are easy to catch in many inland streams. Other varieties of fish, like grayling and northern pike, are easy to catch in many inland streams. And you can fish amid some of the most incredible scenery on the continent.

To be sure, it’s not perfect. The productivity of most Alaska streams is not high in comparison with those in warmer climes. This means that some heavily fished streams do not quickly produce many large fish, particularly in the Interior. Large salmon runs compensate in many streams.

The extreme tides and ocean currents surrounding Alaska creates ideal habitats for baitfish, which in turn attract returning salmon and bottom fish in astounding numbers. Alaska promotes fishing as its main sporting event. Large numbers of tourists visit the place to take part in this adventurous sport.

South-central Alaska is home to the most famous fishing areas in the state. Coastal watersheds and waters embody the place with varied land and seascapes. In addition to salmon and halibut, other fish like trout, pike, grayling, Dolly Varden, burbot, whitefish and other species can be found year-round in the many watersheds that form the main tourist attractions.

Southeast Alaska, sometimes called the “panhandle,” is a land of deep fjords, rushing mountain streams and glaciers. Much of the land is in the Tongass National Forest. Summers are moist and cool; winters are cooler and snowy, but much less cold than portions of Alaska not warmed by the ocean. Salmon return in large numbers to thousands of streams. Halibut move into near shore waters in the summer. Several species of trout are available. A variety of bottom fish can be caught. Shrimp and crab can be found in some waters.

Lower Cook Inlet is also a popular fishing destination in the summer months. Clams, halibut and salmon keep the anglers busy throughout the day. The Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers drain most of Interior, Arctic and Western Alaska, which is sparsely covered by trees. Grayling are most widespread in the region, along with trout, pike, char, burbot and shellfish.

It is advisable that first-time visitors should have a professional guide to advise them. It is always wise to visit the place as part of a guided tour, which will provide all necessary fishing equipment.