This is one of the most complete and comprehensive articles ever published on the strategies necessary to catch more and bigger bass on the Upper Chesapeake Bay rivers. These strategies will not only help you catch more and bigger bass by identifying new locations, but will also help you locate and catch more bass during a tournament, from within the known community areas by defining the “Sweet Spots”, within these community holes. These strategies and techniques will work on any rivers on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, but are designed to enhance your success on the Sassafras River in particular.
Best Of The Bay – The Sassafras River
The Upper Chesapeake Bay has been receiving a lot of notoriety over the last few years due to the improved catch rates and overall weight increases reported in the tournaments. While the “true” river rats have known of this bass fishing hotbed for some time now, the recent success is attracting clubs from all over Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even as far away as New York. Most of this pressure has converged on the Elk River, and the Tydings Park area in Havre de Grace, Md., since these areas provide more than adequate launching and parking facilities that are necessary to hold the tournaments. Many of the smaller club tournaments also start from the Northeast and Elk River areas. With this influx of angling pressure, many of the traditional “hot spots” have become increasingly crowded during the weekends, and have forced anglers to make longer and longer runs in search of untapped bass waters. Many of these anglers have now discovered that the 20-30 minute drive through sometimes rough and unsafe water, to the Sassafras River, has been well worth the effort.
Upon arriving they realize that not only is this river not as pressured, but the fishing rivals or surpasses any that they previously encountered on any of the other Upper Bay rivers.
Over the past 5 years, we have spent an average of 4 days a week on the Sassafras River, and over this course of time have learned many of the subtle intricacies of this scenic and fertile river.
Ramp and Launching Locations
The following locations and patterns, have not only produced tournament winning limits, but have produced over 100 bass in the 5-6 pound range, over the last 5 years, from this river. These are true “Trophy” bass for a Northeastern River system.
The first thing to do is to decide where you will launch from to access the Sassafras, so as to take full advantage of your time.
The Elk River, via Elk Neck State Park, is probably the most popular, due to its more than adequate parking facilities, and close proximity to the Sassafras. This is only a 10-15 minute drive from the Sassafras.