It’s July, it’s hot, and the fly fishing and light tackle action has slowed down out of Solomons Island, MD. There are fish, but you have to be in the right place at the right time (or fishing out of Baltimore Harbor, where it seems a huge slug of striped bass has taken up residence this summer). With the water hitting 85 degrees, the best fishing is early and late, and if you trek out later in the morning as I did Saturday, you’re going to put some hours on your engine in search of good fishing.
I ran the circuit from Solomons to the Honga River mouth, up into the Little Choptank, across to St. Leonard, South to Calvert Cliffs, and back into the Patuxent River. From 8:30AM to 4:00PM, no breaking fish were encountered in those areas…until we rounded Point Patience in the Patuxent and found a massive school of year old striped bass. I was happy I had a 5wt on board and some bay anchovy flies, which made for a little fun at the end of the day.
Earlier, we did fish the high tide at a couple good shallow water locations on the Eastern Shore, but encountered no fish. We did find huge “flocks” of cownose rays in the Little Choptank, in sizes from 5 lb to 30 lb, and managed to foul hook two casting flies and jigs. They were unafraid of the boat, but not interested in eating.
Unless the fishing improves in the middle bay (meaning bluefish move into the area), my next trip may be for Gunpowder River trout (which are about as far from bluefish as you can get).