The annual transition from the trophy striped bass seasons to the striper slot seasons continues, with plenty of attention from anglers fishing waters around Northumberland County and the Lower Northern Neck. This time of year, timing for catches of stripers in the 20-24 inch range often coincides with increasing water temperatures. When we get a few warm summer days in a row and less of the cooler rainfall induced freshnet from upstream rivers, there seems to be more of the smaller striped bass around. For the next few weeks, school sized stripers should increase their numbers and along with them more sub-legal fish less than 20 inches. Some of the younger stripers being caught are as small as 16 or 17 inches. Release these fish as quickly as you can with as little handling as possible.
Lower Potomac Stripers
Boats fishing along the 30 foot ledge from just inside the mouth of the Potomac and upriver towards the Coan River mouth on the Virginia side and St. Georges Island on the Maryland side, are trolling for striped bass. The northern edge of the channel southwest of Cornfield Harbor is another place to look and troll for stripers, inside the Potomac. Tandem rigged bucktails with sassy shad trailers and inline sinkers that keep the baits near mid depth are popular options. Small to medium size spoons like Tony Accettas, Drones and Clarks can also be trolled in tandem with a 1 to 3 ounce bucktail and sassy shad rigs. Umbrella rigs with white or chartreus sassy shad teasers can be a good choice especially if waters are a little turbid. While trolling along these stretches of the lower river look for signs of baitfish and if you find them, try trolling around and through the area they are located. Schools of striped bass may find or even be following them.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 5/29/19