Fishing conditions: May is an unpredictable month. The spawn is just about over and the largest stripers are headed south in the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. Once there they will head north along the Atlantic Coast. Maryland Sector of the Chesapeake Bay Look for stripers around visible and underwater structures from the Rt. 50 Bridge south to Poplar Island. Last week there were some nice stripers caught around Bloody Point.
Inshore temperature: 64 Degrees F
Offshore temperature: 62 Degrees F
Type of bait fish are feeding on: Menhaden, shad, herring, perch, eels, and crabs
Fish species: Striped Bass, Bluefish, Spanish Mackerel, White Perch
Fishing season: All Year Long
Nearest airport: Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Recommended fly fishing leader: 7 ½ Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 20 Pound Test
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 9 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Striper WF
Best sinking fly line: Density Compensated Full Sink
From April 1st until May 3rd the Susquehanna Flats, headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay, is an excellent location to catch that once in a lifetime striped bass in skinny water. A 9 or 10 weight rod is the best choice here, with a large arbor reel attached. This outfit allows you to cast large flies on topwater, or if they’re deep, a 5 inch half and half sinking clouser.
From May 4th until May ...
15th there will be some large striped bass leaving the Maryland Sector of the Chesapeake Bay. They will be in water from the top to 30 feet deep heading south for the Atlantic Ocean. A 9 or 10 weight rod is the best choice here, with a large arbor reel attached. This outfit allows you to cast large flies on floating or sinking line. Productive flies consist of crease flies, 5 inch half and half sinking clousers, and 5 to 6 inch deceivers. Look for these stripers where Eastern Bay enters the Chesapeake Bay or just outside of the Choptank River.
From mid-May until December look for birds diving on the blitzing schools of striped bass, blue fish, and Spanish mackerel on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. If they're not taking topwater flies, use sinking line in locations from just below topwater down to the bottom. Fishers can use from a 6-weight to a 9-weight rod with a large arbor reel attached.
All of these locations can be targeted when fly or light tackle fishing, and many citation size fish are caught every year on the Chesapeake Bay.
Using Sinking Fly-Line Short Striping the Fly - Cast the fly and count it down to the desired depth. The rod tip should be parallel and very close to the water surface during the retrieve. Start stripping swiftly in no more than 2' increments at a swift speed. Repeat this until you catch a fish or the fly is back at the boat.
Resident stripers are starting to show up in the Maryland Sector of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Once they school up tight (summer pattern) there will be plenty striped bass to catch with a fly rod or on light tackle.