Heat wave after heat have pounded the Chesapeake Bay. Water temps are in the 80’s and spawning carp are driving a tremendous bite on the bay. June and July offers some of the best fishing of the year. Frogging, flipping, cranking, chatterbaits and just about any other technique you like can be effective right now. Grass bed fishing is really strong right now. If you have been waiting for the topwater frog bite to start, it’s Here!
The carp are still in the middle of their spawn and many of you may have heard that spawning carp can chase bass out of grass beds. NOT TRUE. If you have ever seen spawning carp, you know that they cause a tremendous amount of noise when they thrash the water surface and can muddy up some areas. I think this is why some anglers believe bass are spooked out of these areas. My experience is that spawning carp actually drive the food chain for the largemouth bass. Here is how it works. As the carp spawn, their eggs are deposited in huge numbers randomly among the milfoil grass clumps and actually stick to the grass stalks and canopy. This draws all the bait fish onto the flats. Every type of bait fish is drawn to this abundant food source including; Yellow perch, white perch, small catfish and any other baitfish or crawfish that can benefit by dining on carp eggs. In the clear water you can sometimes see schools of small yellow perch following groups of spawning carp around the flats eating the eggs as soon as they are deposited.
All this activity on the grass flats draw largemouth onto the flats in large numbers. Bass have every type of forage to choose from and the fishing can be outstanding. Understanding what is taking place in the food chain is just the beginning. To be effective, an angler has to read the tides and learn how certain grass beds concentrate bass better than others and why. In addition, lures and techniques have to be matched to the tide level, current, and water color in the areas bass are holding. Match all these pieces of the puzzle together and get ready for some amazing fishing for big Chesapeake Bay largemouth.
Pete’s Guide Trip Reports
Weather: Partly Cloudy 65 AM, 80PM, calm winds
Water: Stained (No Temp reading)
Depth Fish Caught: 2-5 feet
Most Productive Lure: 3/8 ounce Chatterbait green pumpkin
Pattern: Fishing grass beds around the carp spawn. Low outgoing tide produced the best. Other techniques included frogging, flipping and several different color chatterbaits.
Results: Largest Bass – 6+ pounds. 26 bass caught
Weather: Sun and Clouds, 80 AM, 95 PM, no wind
Water: Clear to stained (No Temp Reading)
Depth Fish Caught: 1-3 feet
Most Productive Lure: Spro Popn Frog, Black/Chartuese
Pattern: Fishing grass beds around the carp spawn. Flipping was also very effective throughout the day. Low tide once again produced the best action.
Results: Largest Bass – 5+ pounds, 32 bass caught