March through Mid-April
Catch and release for Trophy Striped Bass
April through Mid-May
April and May is our peak season for Trophy Striped Bass (Rockfish). This time of year is when you will have a good chance at catching a Striped Bass of a lifetime. Not to mention, with our location in Deale, MD it makes for one of the best fishing spots for these Trophy Fish. Each year these fish migrate past Deale to the northern parts of the Chesapeake bay to spawn, and once again they pass back by Deale to return south to the ocean. This makes Deale a prime location for your chance at catching a 50+ pound Striped Bass. During this season we will be Trolling with up to 30 rods on any given day. The season is short but its a great one and it does book up well in advance.
Mid-May through June/July
Rockfish are still plentiful with school size fish of 18 to 30 inches. We will still be trolling until the end of May. At the start of June the summer season starts to heat up. At this time we switch over to live bait for the Rockfish. If you've never live lined, you do it once and you will see what you've been missing. It's my personal favorite way to catch a rockfish! Typically a day of live lining consists of spending a little time catching bait, typically Spot. Then we are off to the big fish grounds. The Rockfish we are targeting throughout the summer season are 18 - 38 inches. In addition to Rockfish, the Black Drum enter our regions at the end of May during their migration north and can be caught until mid June. Black Drum range from 30 to 90lbs. At this time the bottom fishing for White perch is starting to heat up also. Live Lining and trolling for Rockfish stays consistent through June and July. Hardhead (Croakers) can be targeted in the evening and provide plenty of action for the whole family. The Bluefish start to enter the region in July averaging 3lbs. Bottom fishing for Spot begins to pick up during the day and hardhead fishing at night remains active.
August - September out of Deale, MD
August and September offer a variety of options. In a given day you can liveline, troll, jig and bottom fish. It is not uncommon to do a little of each. Live lining for Rockfish is still going strong and the presence of Bluefish and Spanish mackerel have now grown in larger numbers. Catching blues and Spanish by either trolling or jigging provide fast action. If it's bottom fishing you’re into, then now is the time to catch a variety of spot, white perch and croakers. It’s a perfect time to fill the cooler.
August - September out of Solomons, MD
August of 2020, I decided to try something different due to the 2 week moratorium of Rockfish. I moved the boat to Solomons, MD and started to target Cobia and Red Drum. The season is going so well, I am keeping the boat through the end of September.
Cobia migrate seasonally in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Along the Atlantic coast, they move south and offshore toward warmer waters during the late fall and winter. Cobia are dark brown with a single dorsal fin. They grow up to 6 feet and 100 pounds and live up to 12 years. In the state of Maryland, Cobia have to be at least 40 inches to harvest, and can keep 3 fish per vessel. Cobia have a fresh, clean and buttery flavor. Its broad-flaked texture and firm white flesh results in a taste that is mild and 'not fishy.'
The red drum, also known as redfish, channel bass, puppy drum, spottail bass, or simply red, is a game fish found in the Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida to northern Mexico.
Red drum are a dark red color on the back, which fades into white on the belly. The red drum has a characteristic eyespot near the tail and is somewhat streamlined. Three-year-old red drum typically weigh 6-8 lb. Male red drum make a knocking or drumming sound during spawning by vibrating their swim bladders. The most distinguishing mark on the red drum is one large black spot on the upper part of the tail base. Having multiple spots is not uncommon for this fish, but having no spots is extremely rare. These Drum have to be between 17 and 27 inches to keep. However, catching a monster Red Drum to release can be just as exciting, if not more!
Trolling for Reds and Macks provide fast action and lots of excitement! While in Solomons, Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are also very prevelent and fun to catch.
As the water temps begin to drop, the Rockfish school up into mad feeding frenzies. This is the time of year to witness all out feeding frenzies on baitfish. We use several different methods during this time of the year and typically they all work just as equal. We still may be live linning with spot at the first of the month but by the end of the month, we are either chumming with clams or have switched over to trolling. Either way the fish are hungry and doing everything they can to fatten up for the winter. We are also still catching a few bluefish and it’s also a great time to target some jumbo White Perch.
November - December
The big boys return in the fall. Rockfish caught trolling reach sizes of 50 inches if you missed out in the spring season. Here is your chance at a wall hanger! The best part of this season is you can catch resident Rockfish and a Jumbo migratory Rockfish on the same trip. The air temps are chilly and the water is cooling down but don't let that keep you from filling your freezer for the winter. And, don't forget the cabin is heated. So stay in the cabin and enjoy the heat 'till your Trophy Rockfish bites.
Fish that call the Chesapeake Bay home...
Approximately 350 different species of fish call the Chesapeake Bay their home - with some swimming into the Bay from the ocean to feed, and others making it their full-time home. Favorite (and tastiest) species among the fishing community include:
Striped Bass (locally known as "Rockfish" or "Striper") - Officially "Maryland's State Fish" these guys are prevalent in the Bay and can weigh up to 60 lbs+!
Bluefish - Those found in the Bay generally grow up to 30 inches long.
Spanish Mackerel - Migrating from South America to the Bay in mid-summer (late July), these guys can grow up to 3 feet long.
Atlantic Croaker (aka Hardhead) - Bottom feeders, the Atlantic Croaker grows between 18 and 20 inches.
Spot - A member of the drum family (as well as the croaker); spot are also bottom feeders, and great bait for striped bass.
Perch - Relatives of the striped bass, grows up to 12 inches long, and one of the best to eat.
Black Drum - Bottom feeders, The black drum can weigh up to 90lbs. Typical catch of 40 - 70lbs. is common.
Red Drum - Reds are typically 28-33 inches long at maturity, but can reach 40+ pounds and over 50 inches long!!
Cobia - These delicious guys can grow up to 6 feet and 100 pounds and live up to 12 years.