Fishing Baits & Lure Use in Chesapeake Bay

Fishing Baits & Lure Use in Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay is famous for its striped bass fishing, but the bay also offers anglers a choice of summer flounder, black drum and bluefish. All of these fish can be caught by using bait or artificial lures.

Striped Bass

Striped bass are suckers for an easy meal. Favorite striper baits include sand worms, clams, menhaden, mullet and live eels. If the waiting associated with bait fishing is not appealing to you, try your luck with artificial lures. Striped bass love bucktails, soft plastic jigs and swimming plugs.


The bluefish is one of the most voracious predators found in salt water. If there is a lot of forage available, bluefish will gorge themselves until their stomachs are full, then regurgitate everything and begin feeding again. The best bluefish baits are oily fish, including menhaden and mackerel. Bluefish are happy to oblige casters using artificial lures. Your best bets are metal lures like Kastmasters or Crocodile spoons. Bluefish will also smash surface lures with abandon, making poppers a great bluefish lure.

Summer Flounder

Summer flounder are flatfish that spend most of their time on the bottom. Summer flounder are naturally aggressive and will hit artificial lures as well as natural baits.The best baits for summer flounder in Chesapeake Bay include the juvenile menhaden that are found in the bay, along with killies, worms and squid. You can catch summer flounder on small jigs and bucktails. Adding a strip of squid to your bucktail gives it added scent and action and the squid strip wiggles through the water.

Black Drum

Black drum love crabs, shrimp, oysters and clams. Unlike the other species found in Chesapeake Bay, black drum are reluctant to eat artificial lures.

Fly Fishing

Except for the black drum, all of these species are caught in Chesapeake Bay by flycasters. The most popular flies include poppers, clousers and deceivers.

Article Written By Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.

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