PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Striped bass are feeding along the river's shores, hitting topwater plugs and bucktails cast into the shallows during the early morning hours. Beaches and rock jetties of the Naval Air Station were the weekend hot spots, especially during high and ebb tides. For success, be on the water before sunrise, because most of the action ends by 10 a.m. Chummers continue to catch limits of stripers on the bay's eastern channel edge south of Hooper Island Light near Buoy 72-A, while above the light flounder to four pounds were taken on minnow-squid combos fished in depths of 15 to 25 feet near Punch Island Bar. A few bull sharks were spotted near the Patuxent River's mouth during the past couple of weeks, sharks that enter the bay to feast on newly hatched, cow-nose rays. White perch fishing remains good to excellent in most of the lower river's tributaries, where bloodworms, chunks of peeler crab and Beetle Spins lured perch to 12 inches from beneath piers and along the edges of creek channels.
HONGA RIVER AREA -- Striped bass to 24 inches were caught from among Lower Hooper Island's bridge pilings while casting bucktails trimmed with a chartreuse twister during high and ebb tides. The river's mouth is still providing fair to good bottom-fishing action for a mix of spot and croaker, but the best croaker action is now at night along the bay's eastern channel edge in depths of 35 to 40 feet.
TANGIER SOUND AREA -- Lower Tangier Sound is where the Crisfield charter and headboat fleet spent the holiday weekend, most returning to the dock with bulging coolers filled to capacity with 12- to 16-inch croaker, eight- to 10-inch spot, weakfish to 16 inches, flounder to 18 inches, and even a few keeper rockfish.
POINT LOOKOUT AREA -- Area charter boats enjoyed another great weekend of chumming for mixed sizes of stripers to 32 inches while at the Triangle, and there have been reports of flounder to 22 inches taken in Cornfield Harbor. Upriver, rental boats running from Bushwood loaded up on croaker to 16 inches, lots of spot and white perch, and even a few snapper bluefish. Nearly all were taken near the Wicomico River's mouth on bottom-fished squid strips and chunks of peeler crab.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER AREA -- Medium-size spot are available at the Spike and in deeper holes of the Piankitank River. Spot are also biting from piers and off Gwynn Island in 25 to 30 feet of water, where bloodworms are the favored bait. Small weakfish are showing up in the Rappahannock's lower reaches, where bottom rigs armed with bloodworms and jigs tipped with cut peeler crab proved effective early and late in the day. Spadefish at the Cell and at Wolftrap Light ranged up to eight pounds, with the largest fish caught during slack tide. Flounder action at Buoy 42 and the Cell was red hot, with many boats catching limits of flatties to six pounds. Victor Long of Kilmarnock, who, at 84 years old, had not previously caught a citation flattie, nailed a flounder that weighed seven pounds and measured 27 inches.
CAPE CHARLES AREA -- Flounder fishing ranged from good to excellent along the bay's eastern channel edge in depths of 12 to 20 feet. Most of the fish were taken along the shores between Plantation Flats and Kiptopeke Flats on live minnows and squid strips. Cobia to 75 pounds were caught at Lattimer Shoals and the Inner Middle Grounds by anglers drifting live and cut bunker into their chum slicks of ground menhaden.
OCEAN CITY -- Another hot weekend at the resort city. Offshore, trollers loaded up on a mix of both yellowfin and bluefin tuna, with some fish topping the 60-pound mark. A few white marlin were caught, tagged and released, and there were several dolphin boated that weighed 25 to 28 pounds. Closer to shore, sea bass action is still somewhat slower than anyone would have anticipated for this time of year, but there are loads of slammer bluefish lurking over most of the inshore lumps. Beach anglers caught a mix of kingfish, skate, small shark and flounder from Assateague's surf, while at night Route 50 bridge anglers caught weakfish to seven pounds, striped bass to 10 pounds and a few keeper flounder. Back bay anglers drifting live minnows and squid strips caught lots of flounder, most too small to keep.
CHINCOTEAGUE & WACHAPREAGUE -- Flounder action picked up just inside both inlets, while offshore, the 26-Mile Hill was the hot spot for a mix of bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, small dolphin and a few big mako sharks. Nearly all the offshore catches were made on trolled cedar plugs and rigged ballyhoo.
OUTER BANKS -- Surf and pier anglers caught a mix of sea mullet, snapper bluefish, speckled trout, Spanish mackerel, spot, small pompano and grunts while dunking bloodworms and cut bunker baits. Inlet anglers found some keeper flounder and specks just inside the sound, where squid strips and bloodworms were effective. Offshore, the charter fleet reported limit catches of yellowfin tuna, a few gaffer dolphin, lots of small dolphin and king mackerel. Headboat anglers caught a mix of sea bass, triggerfish and grunts from the inshore wrecks while bottom-fishing with squid strips.
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