The first half of the 2013 Maryland saltwater fishing season has been challenging for most anglers. As always, the weather has been a limiting factor. Another factor is the lack of blue crabs in many areas. The good news is that a variety of fish species have showed up in good numbers, giving anglers a range of options.
In the upper Chesapeake Bay, catches include striped bass and white perch, with good catches being reported in Eastern Bay and other traditional fishing spots.
Several species of fish are present on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Striped bass (rockfish), white perch, speckled trout, croakers, and spot have been caught in Tangier Sound and near the mouths of the Nanticoke, Wicomico, Manokin, Big Annemessex, and Pocomoke Rivers. Much of the action has been in shallow water around grass beds, points, and stumps.
Anglers have also had sporadic success catching croakers, spot and kingfish along the channel edges in Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. Some anglers have also reported small gray trout in the same areas.
One of the lesser known runs of fish has been the influx of legal sized red drum (redfish) and speckled trout along the coastal bays of the Eastern Shore. These fish first appeared around Virginia seaside inlets during spring flounder runs. By mid-June, both species had made their way north into Maryland's coastal bays. At Ocean City, anglers are catching legal sized red drum, striped bass, sea trout, and flounder near jetties, bridges, and channel edges.
As with other fisheries, offshore fishermen have been hampered by windy weather during the first half of 2013. Notable catches have included thresher and mako sharks, school-sized tuna, and a few large bigeyes. With major tournaments coming in August, more and more Maryland offshore fishing boats will be targeting white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, dophin fish, wahoo, and other deep water species.