, 2015

The Fishing Line

By Capt. Billy Pipkin

Fishing has been good here in the Northern Neck and has improved over the past week.

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Inshore action continues to energize anglers. There’s a mixed bag of fish available for shallow water enthusiasts, including speckled trout, puppy drum, croaker, spot and bluefish.

Shallow waters and grassy flats from Gwynn’s Island up to the Great Wicomico River are holding the largest number of fish with some in deeper channel areas as well. Several anglers fishing out of Ingram Bay Marina in kayaks have had a blast this week. The trout are a catch and release fishery until the end of July. The drum and small snapper blues lend themselves well to casting lures and plugs. We’ve been running several inshore charters each week in addition to the deeper water trips.

Bluefish, which have been increasing in numbers, are now available with more consistency. Trolling for bluefish is scattered throughout. Locations yielding action this week were east of Buoy 62, Windmill Point bar up to Dividing Creek, Buoy 68 and the flats surrounding the “Hannibal” target ship off Smith Island and in the lower Potomac river from Buoy #7 to the mouth.  The bar at Smith Point has provided mixed action in both the morning and late afternoon hours. Clark and Drone spoons are both working well when trolled behind a #1 planer. Some anglers opt for the old style 4- to 8-ounce inline sinkers.

In Maryland waters, the S.W. Middle Grounds have been providing 1- to 2-pound blues. Trolling has been better in the late afternoons.  If chumming, I recommend using a long shank hook with 20-pound test mono leaders. There will be a few cutoffs, yet that combination entices more bites than the traditional steel leaders. I suggest chumming lightly as overfeeding will shut them down quickly.

Rockfish action, although slow, is still available along the channel edge in the Potomac River above St Georges Island. Sizes are averaging between 16 and 20 inches on that channel edge.

Bottom fishing has been picking up this week. The edges of the shipping channel from the lower Cut Channel up to the state line has produced a mix offering of small croaker. Tangier Sound and the Rappahannock River are both holding more quantities of bottom feeders. On the Potomac River much the same action can be expected with a mix of white perch in the catches. Bloodworms, squid and soft crab are all producing results.

Flounder fishing is picking up but remains slow in the mid-bay area. We’ve landed a few this week while bottom fishing, but the large models remain scarce.

If you would like a diversion from fishing and want to take the family out for a fun time on the river, we’re running fireworks cruises on both Friday and Saturday night this week.

During this Independence Day weekend, take a moment to reflect on all the freedoms that we have in this country. I salute all of our current and past military personnel for serving this great country with pride, valor and honor.

Enjoy your week and until next time…Fair winds.

Capt. Billy Pipkin owns and operates Capt. Billy’s Charters and Ingram Bay Marina located in Wicomico Church at the mouth of the Great Wicomico River. captbillyscharters.com 580-7292

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