A detailed Tangier Sound fishing report can benefit both inexperienced and seasoned anglers. Let’s face it, sharing reports is an excellent way for fishermen planning to visit Tangier Sound to get to know the best tackle to try, the fish species to target, the best fish hideouts and even the best baits generating good results. This Tangier Sound fishing report will also help you know the best fishing times and where the fish are biting.
Even though some anglers have already started leaving the Sound and into the southern waters of the Bay, the bite is still stronger here! Truth be told, the fish have started succumbing to winter’s grasp as the temperatures seem to be dropping more rapidly. Trolling has become the best and easiest way to cover larger areas compared to light tackles that have been popular in the Sound during the past few months. Chartreuse is a popular color for enticing the remaining striped bass, especially in the East of Kedges.
Apparently, trolling is the best way to hook into stripers holding in the Bay’s deep waters, especially in the Sound. Umbrell-rigged shads always work well, especially with blue, black, and white colors. Expect spawning schools to be plentiful here as you’re dragging the floating fish up through the water column. When you get to the deep water of some channels (about 30 to 45 feet deep), be sure to get your rod down to snag some large fish.
Fishing the channel edges close to shore can be great if you use a soft jig to drag the bucktail up to the bottom of the water column. Many anglers have said that they’ve caught their fish best by trying this approach. Channels just beyond the coast of the Nanticoke are good spots to fish for stripers. Additionally, when you get closer to Kedges Strait and Manokin, it becomes much easier to find a fish. Just remember that Chartreuse is the color of choice in the Sound lately.
Light tackles’ performance has been dropping incredibly at the Tangier Sound lately. It seems that the shallow water bites are long gone in this area, and it is challenging to find schoolies in this area, so it’s best to fish from the bottom up and explore the areas by using your fish finder.
In terms of catching fish with jigs and other light tackle, we’re finding that the fish are generally biting much more actively in the Sound than in most other parts of the Bay. If you throw a few soft pellets down on a school of feeding fish, you’ll get as many fish as you want. If you use large plastics, like those that are larger than 7 inches, you’ll also be able to catch a lot of them.
It will definitely be best to try spooks, as poppers have kind of fallen out of favor with many anglers in the last year or so. If you find any speckled trout, try hitting up a few deep-sea ledges at the area’s natural islands. Perch have been very active in the area and have been very keen on eating worms that are on top water rigs.
The bottom is typically covered with very hard rock oysters, and plenty of fish in that water are big and heavy enough to eat jigs. Therefore, using a small jig on the dropper and at the bottom allows you to try for both species at once. It’s been a very good idea to go to the mouths of several different rivers to try to find perch with a few small stripers in them. Consider checking out the up-river areas of the Sound’s tributaries to catch pickerel when everything else seems to fail. Spinnerbaits and Live bull minnow are great for these fishing expeditions.
Even as we approach a low season for the Tangier Sound during Thanksgiving, you can rest assured of catching some stripers very successfully, especially if you opt for nighttime fishing. Anglers are choosing to go trotting here like they do in many other parts of the Bay.
Going for Light and Medium Tackles
Light gear has been tricky to use when targeting stripers because the birds aren’t always very helpful. Finding fish has really come down to your depth finder and knowing where the hard bottom is and what structure is present. The flats at Flat Cap and Terrapin Island are good spots to find oyster beds that are moderately deep.
Soft plastics work really well; make sure they’re colored Chartreuse. If you use a small or medium jig, you’ll get the fish that are present in deeper water. If the fish are showing up, try using the new Blue jig that the stores have recently released. Stripers that are sitting on the bottom have been recently known to quickly smack the bait and get away with its butterfly-like action.
Light and medium tackle fishermen who fish the islands for stripers are getting some good strikes, but the water temps are increasing such that it isn’t safer to fish shallows.
Best Fishing Hot Spots in Tangier Sound
Some fun fishing has been going on lately at the Tangier Sound. Fishing has been dominated by fishermen trying rigs that resemble those used in the 1960s, allowing them to entice some pretty nice stripers to bite.
As the main tributaries of the Delaware River, fishing is your best bet at snagging some of the better fish. Fishing the channel edges near the Manokin and Pocomoke Sound is easy if you fish for a white bucktail and stick with it. It is not as essential to get down to the bottom in the south as it is in the north, but you should try hard to find those deep channels in the Bay.
Even as others opt for light tackles, trolling has always been a clear winner in most areas of the Bay and has been able to cover large areas of the water and find lots of small keeper fish. Anglers have been putting out weights and dragging bucktails along the deep channel edges to try to persuade stripers to come and fish.
Chartreuse has been the most popular color for doing that, and it seems to be working. If fishing for stripers is your main activity, going fishing deep is the best way to progress; fishing for smaller fish when birds are sighted is usually a waste of time.
Deep Fishing Waters
Plenty of deep waters offer good opportunities to catch a few big stripers; try trolling deep when the water is cold. It’s best to try bait and lures that will penetrate deep into the water because many fish lie in deep water, ranging from 25 to 35 feet. Trying to fish the shallow areas using jigs that are heavier makes for some tough fishing, but it does produce some perch and rockfish, too, if you’re fishing with heavy jigs.
If you are fishing in the deep water areas, be sure to use the ledges that are near the Nanticoke and Pocomoke. There are reports of a few scattered speckled trout that have been spotted with other schools of fish, some of which have been weighing five pounds or more.
There are also some big stripers in the area, and the bite has really stepped up since the water got colder. Some of the smaller fish have been quiet, but if you get decent strikes while fishing topwater or jigging in shallow water, you’ll catch very aggressive fish.
Skinny waters are delivering a good number of 20-somethings, plus some larger fish. Some of our readers said that looking for good structure in the shallows is key and that the fish are generally located in tight areas. So if you want some hits, stay in the water and work hard in that area if gulls are soaring over the beach or in the water.
Popular Fish Species in Tangier Sound
Anglers looking for perch are finding that their catch rates are increasing as other bottom fish have departed the Sound. Drop bloodworms and grass shrimp in the river mouths or river banks to lure fish.
Fishing for speckles has been great in Tangier Sound over the past week to start fall, and a good amount of fish have been caught and kept in coolers. Fishing jigs with Bass Assassin baits have been very successful for many people, and stripers are also running strong in the Sound.
White, blue, and Chartreuse are good colors to use, but never overlook bubblegum pink when fishing for crappie. The trout will be more active in this color than usual, and so are the other fish species. Sea Hawk Outdoors suggests fishing for them when the tide is low or early in the morning to catch them early. Sea Hawk also notes that using small soft crabs as bait has been successful. Stripers are also very active in Tangier Sound and will likely be part of your catch.
Puppy drumfish are also common in the Sound, but fishing for them hasn’t been as easy as fishing for stripers and trout. Most of the fish are located in the current at marsh islands, so look out for signs of rips in the water. Soft baitfish are hitting jigs and spoons with large, sticky crabs as bait, but they’re also hitting spinnerbaits with gold willow blades as a lure.
Speckled trout have been seen feeding on crabs and other lures caught in the Tangier Sound shallow water around marshes and points. There are reports that there is plenty of rockfish in the water during the bite, but many of them are small. Bottom fishers target perch, spot, and some croaker in an area where shellfish are abundant. Bloodworms are the bait of choice.
Roy Franklin is a writer and editor for Stellaroutdoorlife.com. He enjoys fishing big lakes, rivers, and streams for trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, panfish, and whatever else he can catch on live and artificial bait. Roy shares his expertise with everyone who wants to learn new ways and tactics to catch fish. He loves testing and rating new products and recommending fishing gear people can try.