Secrets Of The Chesapeake Bay

When the Spring is in full swing, the bass will follow the creek channel to the barges, pilings, and laydowns in the back of the creek. This is when large numbers of 1-3 pound males make their way to the staging areas. There is a 2-3 week period when these bass will attack almost anything that hit’s the water. This is when it is wise to hit the entrance for a quick 10 pound limit, and then move back to the sunken barge for the larger females. Weightless Senko’s, Bearpaws, and IKA tubes with a pegged weight, produce heavyweight females when pitched to the grassy edges of the barge. A quickly retrieved spinner bait is needed at times to pick the males off the edges of the barge before going after the larger females with plastics. Laydowns will also produce as well as sections of the sand bar now. Slow down and cover the whole area to be rewarded with a huge sack of bass.

When the spawns has run its course, just follow the same creek channel back out to the same areas where the fish staged in pre-spawn. Similar to early in the year, the larger fish will be the first back out also. This is plastics time! The fish are fairly sluggish now, so a little more finesse is required. They want an easy meal, and soft plastics like these fit the bill!

As the smaller bass make their way out to the mouth of Lloyd’s, you will see bas hitting the spinner baits and crank baits again. While the following migration routes to success can be simple, there are a few tricks that can help you upgrade your limit. In the middle of the spawn, anglers will crowd around the to spots we have mentioned. Some of these anglers will be targeting the shallow fish spawning, and others will be pounding the pre or post spawn bass at the current washed mouth of Lloyd’s Creek. At this time, we use our depth finder to locate and follow the creek channel from the staging area back towards the spawning area, looking for bends, humps, and even weedlines that run on the edge of the channel. Sometimes we mark fish on the locator, but the structure is all we are really looking for.

We drop the trolling motor and begin dragging a Carolina rig with a French Fry worm or another type of Bearpaws plastic bait, and even crank the edge of this structure with a Bandit crank bait. It doesn’t always produce, but at times you can really load up on these migrating bass, and have the area relatively to yourself.

The second trick we use at the very end of the spawn here. We turn on the electronics and find the first major piece of structure large enough to hold bass and baitfish that have left the creek. The key word is close. We stay within a ½ mile to a mile of the major spawning area when looking for these spots. The key spots will have grass and offer deep water escape routes nearby. We use buzz baits, spinner baits, and plastics on these fish.

These fish are always quality fish. You may only get 5 bites a day doing this, but more times than we can count, this technique has produced 18-20 pound limits from 5 fish.

The Northeast, Bohemia, and Elk Rivers

The Northeast River offers one of the best flipping bites on the bay, as well as being a 20 minute ride from the Sassafras. One of the better springtime spots in this area is Furnace Bay. Many large bass are taken on buzzbaits from Furnace Bay in the early part of the year. The Bohemia offers average fishing for bass, but is a quick shot to both the Elk and the Sassafras, and is a good middle of the road launch point. For the angler that has a smaller boat, who can’t stand the longer, more difficult ride to the Sassafras from the Havre De Grace ramp, this is a good place to start.

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