Chesapeake Bay Fishing, Solomons Island Fishing
What species do we target and catch in the Chesapeake Bay?
The Chesapeake Bay is a very large body of water that stretches from Baltimore, Maryland in the north end all the way to Virginia Beach, Virginia on the southern end where the mouth of the Bay is. We are talking about hundreds of miles of saltwater that is home to a wide range of marine species, including many well known fin fish species.
There are hundreds of fish species but only a relative few that anglers target for food with hook and line. From the private angler on the shoreline to the more fortunate angler that can get out on a charter boat to deeper water they seek to catch the prize fish they can tell their buddies all about over and over in one of their famous fish stories. They try to catch trophy rockfish or flounder as large as doormats and trout that can reach double digit weights to bring home for dinner. What will you catch on your Chesapeake Bay charter fishing trip?
Here are the fish we target each day and some we don't but are certainly subject to catch while fishing around the Solomons Island area of the Maryland middle Chesapeake Bay.
Check out some of the more common species of the Chesapeake Bay.
Striper - Subject to Restrictions - The 2006 Spring Trophy Season begins April 15 and goes to mid-May. It is not uncommon to catch fish over 40" during this season. During the Summer and Fall seasons you are allowed two Striped Bass over 18" per person. Big Striped Bass can also be caught in late October through November.
SIZE: Averages 10 pounds - Some fish over sixty pounds have been caught.
FOOD VALUE: One of the most popular fish of the Chesapeake Bay, with white fluffy meat.
GAME QUALITIES: Great fun on light tackle.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Usually caught casting small articficial baits or trolling large lures at different heights of the water column.
FISHING STYLE: Trolling, Bait-casting.
Croaker - May to November - Croaker usually run hand in hand or fin and fin that is with spot. Usually if you are catching croaker you will most like catch spot too. Croaker usually appear in all areas of the Chesapeake Bay in the late spring and will hang around in the surf, bays and inlets until fall when the water starts to cool around October at which time the bite will slow down.
SIZE: Averages a pound or less, but sometimes reache super sizes of 3 pounds or more.
FOOD VALUE: Croaker make good panfish.
GAME QUALITIES: Very scrappy fighter. A large croaker can be a real fun fight.
TACKLE AND BAITS: A blast to catch on light tackle. Can be caught on bloodworms, squid strips, cutbait, and even a small jig.
FISHING STYLE: Drifting, anchored, bottom fishing.
Spot - May to November - Spot usually appear in all areas of the Chesapeake Bay in the late spring and will hang around in the surf, bays and inlets until fall when the water starts to cool around late October or early November at which time they will make a run to warmer deeper water for the winter.
SIZE: Averages 6-8 inches; Sometimes will grow to over a pound..
FOOD VALUE: One of the most popular panfish.
GAME QUALITIES: Spirited panfish. Great fishing fun for the kids and family.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Light spinning tackle, small hooks, blooworms, fishbites, pieces of cut fish, squid or shrimp.
FISHING STYLE: Bottom fishing, either drifting or anchored.
Trout - May to November - Gray trout, also called weakfish and summer trout become active in the Chesapeake Bay around the month of May and will not leave until as late as November. They range from pan size to larger than 10 pounds.
SIZE: Averages around a pound or two for bottom fishers but can reach sizes over 15 pounds, especially for wire liners or live baiters.
FOOD VALUE: Very good, larger trout can be filet'd.
GAME QUALITIES: Not really a brawler but the larger trout can put up a decent fight straight down. Care must be taken when fighting and landing gray trout because they have a very soft mouth.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Wide range of baits can be used for gray trout. Squid, peeler crabs, shrimp, live spot or other live bait, artificial lures.
FISHING STYLE: Drifting or anchored up for the smaller gray trout, trolling along structure for large gray trout.
Flounder - April to November - Flounder aka fluke enter the Chesapeake Bay around late April to early May. Flounder are usually daytime feeders and tend to hit squid or stripped cut bait. If you are looking to catch a trophy sized flounder, over 5 or 6 pounds you may want tp try live bait like a small spot or small croaker above.
SIZE: Averages around a pound or two but can reach sizes over 15 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent table fare, common on many restuarant menus.
GAME QUALITIES: Very scrappy fighter. A very distinct fighting action and experienced flounder anglers can usually tell right away if they have a flounder on the line as soon as the fight starts.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Fun to catch but you must be patient. Give them the bait a bit before you yank back on the rod. Use squid strips or cut bait strips on a small lightweight bucktail. Can be caught trolling on the bottom around structure.
FISHING STYLE: Drifting, trolling. Can be caught on the edges of boat or shipping channels or around rocks or bridge pilings.
Other Species of the Chesapeake Bay
Black Sea Bass