The stripers are trolling or jigging decoys in the Potomac and the Bay. The Maryland portion of the bay is open to fishing and release only. The Potomac is open until December 31 with a minimum length of 20 inches and no maximum length. Virginia waters allow one per day until the end of the year with a minimum of 20 inches and a maximum of 36 inches.
Almost everyone is successful on days when the wind allows boaters to venture safely.
There are snapping fish in many areas with lots of birds feeding on the leftovers and the tiny bunker forced to the surface. There were gannets in the bay who put on a diving show. Northern gannets usually follow larger baitfish and show larger stripes below.
Bigger metal jigs reach the bottom faster where big fish roam. Trollers use heavy weights on their umbrellas and tandem rigs. The fish strike white, chartreuse, yellow and even purple lures. The bite varies from day to day, but off days are always very good with little skunk.
There are now poles in the deeper areas and jiggers and bottom anglers can catch them at 40 to 50 feet. The perches are grouped together in large masses and will darken your sonar. They tend to bite on the tide changes. Small metal jigs work great. Double-hook bottom rig using live minnow-tipped shad darts will drive them crazy.