, 2015

The Fishing Line

By Capt. Billy Pipkin

The past week offered mixed conditions on the water. Through the wind, rain and rough seas, the water temperatures, currently at 55 degrees in the bay, have found a way to rise. There were a few nice days mixed in which allowed anglers to partake in their favorite activity.

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Striped bass fishing continued to improve in Maryland waters as well as in the Potomac River.  It seems the fish are continuing to move out of the spawning areas and into the bay. Those fish in the upper reaches of the bay waters including Annapolis and as far south as Chesapeake Beach, Md., are showing signs of further southward migration as well. 

The cooler weather continues to slow the post spawn migration of fish. I fully expect there to be plenty of fish available during the next two weeks in Virginia waters which open today, May 1.   The creeks and rivers in Virginia waters that feed the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers are holding medium to large specimens. During the late afternoon and evening hours they tend to move to shallow waters to feed. This presents a great opportunity for light tackle casting action. For the best trolling action, find areas of structure to work. These areas include deeper oyster shores, channel drop-offs, grassy bottoms, outside of protruding points and other locations where the bottom changes or has habitat for the baitfish to frequent.

I have noticed that long leaders (20+ feet) with light 40-50# leaders are producing well. Single lures are getting more action than umbrellas or tandem rigs.

Upcoming competitions include the Reedville Fishing Derby May 1-3, the Northern Neck Anglers Club Rockfish tournament May 3-11 and the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association Championship on the Chesapeake tournament May 2-4.

Croaker action is improving daily. They remain generally small with a size range of 8-11 inches on average. Bloodworms and shrimp are the preferred menu for the early croakers. Once again, locations offering structure (refer to my previous note above) are holding the largest quantities of these fish.

Enjoy your week, be safe and catch some dinner. Until next week, Fair winds.

Capt. Billy Pipkin owns and operates Capt. Billy’s Charters at Ingram Bay Marina in Wicomico Church, 580-7292, ingrambaymarina.com.

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