Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: August 20, 2008

Next Update: August 27, 2008

Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries Fishing Report

* For catch and release tips Click Here.

* For Real-time water information at selected points in the bay Click Here.

* For Real-time Conowingo Dam information Click Here.

click map to see larger version of Upper Bay Fishing MapUpper Bay Region:

Water releases from the Conowingo Dam continue to be limited to late day and recently there have been days where there has been no water release at all. Local fishermen continue to fish at the dam by casting swim shad lures into the turbulent water of the dam pool during water releases with limited results for striped bass. Fishing in the lower Susquehanna River and the very upper reaches of the Chesapeake tend to be limited to fishing for channel catfish and white perch; which there certainly are plenty of.

The striped bass and bluefish action begins to pick up in the Pooles Island area and steadily increases as one moves south. Fishermen have been drifting peeler crab baits or live lining small eels, white perch or spot in the channels with some success. Fishermen are also finding white perch plentiful in the areas shoals and lumps north of the Brewerton Channel and are catching them on bait such as peeler crab or bloodworms as well as small jigs, spoons and beetle spins.

The lumps between the Brewerton and Craighill Channels have been good places to find white perch recently and fishermen are also encountering breaking fish at times that consist of small bluefish and striped bass. This type of action continues south to the Bay Bridge. Fishermen are finding that the mix of bluefish and striped bass that are pushing bait to the surface tend to do so during low light times of the day such as the early morning and evening hours. As is usually the case fishermen are finding a better grade of striped bass underneath the breaking fish that can be caught by jigging with metal. An added bonus is that large white perch will also hit these metal jigs.

Inside the Scott Key Bridge fishermen are finding white perch, small bluefish and small striped bass at a number of locations. They are also finding some small spot in the shallower waters. Fishermen have been live lining the spot they’ve been catching striped bass throughout the upper bay region along channel edges. Small spot are being caught at the shallower ends of the Bay Bridge and shallow points and near the mouths of a number of tidal rivers. Fishermen have been anchoring up along channel edges and the edge marked by the Sandy Point Light north past Podickory Point and this area has been one of the most popular spots to fish lately. Love Point has been another popular location and the Bay Bridge piers continues to get a lot of attention; although the action there was reported to be rather lack luster over this past weekend.

A number of boats continue to chum for a mix of small bluefish and striped bass and captains report that some of the striped bass they are catching have been approaching 30” in length. Love Point and Swan Point have been getting a lot of attention and a few enterprising fishermen have been finding live lining spot in their chum slicks can really pay off with big fish. Fishermen have also been trolling in the upper bay region with good results for a mix of small bluefish and striped bass. A few fishermen continue to use small umbrella rigs but many have switched to tandem bucktails, spoons and red or green surge tube lures.

Recreational crabbers are seeing fair to good catches of crabs in a number of the tidal rivers and creeks within the upper bay region. The Elk, Gunpowder, Patapsco and Chester have been popular with crabbers lately. Most are reporting up to a ˝ bushel of large crabs per outing and fresh white perch and razor clams have been preferred baits.

Click map to see larger map of the mid-Bay areaMid Bay Region:

Live lining spot continues to take center stage this week when it comes to fishing for striped bass. The spot can readily be found in most shallow areas of the bay region and anchoring up on a channel edge tends to be a comfortable way to fish. The bluefish of course have been interfering with the wishes of fishermen and the fate of their spot but most are taking it in stride; the fishermen that is. The area around the Gum Thickets, Thomas Point, the Hill and the channel edge from the Radar Towers to Parkers Creek have been popular places to live line spot lately.

A number of fishermen continue to troll for a mix of striped bass and bluefish at places such as the western edge of the shipping channel south of Chesapeake Beach and the eastern edge from Stone Rock north to Poplar Island. Most are trolling an array of small bucktails, spoons and red or green surge tubes.

Shawn Kimbro holds up a mixed pair that he caught while jigging to a mix of breaking Spanish mackerel and bluefish.Spanish mackerel moved into the middle bay region over the weekend in a rush and fishermen found good fishing as far north as Poplar Island. Small Drone, Clark and Pet spoons are the order of the day behind inline weights and planers. Trolling medium sized diving lugs such as a red and white Rapala which can be done without a lot of fanfare from a small boat will also catch Spanish mackerel. Shawn Kimbro holds up a mixed pair that he caught while jigging to a mix of breaking Spanish mackerel and bluefish.

Fishermen looking for croaker have been finding good catches of large croakers a bit elusive at times; especially during the day time hours. The croakers are holding deep during the day but seem to be constantly on the move; perhaps due to extremely warm water temperatures and water quality issues in deeper areas. The best catches have been coming late at night for those who anchor up close to channel edges. There is also a large number of small croakers spread out through the region; many as small as 5” long. Peeler crab baits continue to be the bait of choice. Fishermen are also catching a mix of spot and white perch is some areas; especially in the lower sections of the tidal rivers. A few flounder are being caught by those fishermen who fish for them and much of the action has been focused near the James Island, Taylor’s and Sharps Island Flats.

Recreational crabbers reported crowded conditions this past weekend in many areas but generally good crabbing. Most crabbers were able to put together catches together of a ˝ bushel to a full bushel in an outing and the best crabbing has been in the early morning hours due to the heat and bright sun. There are a lot of small crabs and sooks coming up on trot lines and collapsible crab traps. Even after the recent full moon many of the larger crabs continue to be heavy perhaps signaling that this will be their last shed for the 2008 season.

Lower Bay/Tangier Sound Region:

Click Map to see larger version of Lower Bay Fishing Map

Click map for larger image of Tangier Sound Fishing Map

Jack Roser was out fishing with his dad when he caught these nice Spanish mackerel.Fishermen in these two regions are finding a lot of exciting choices for fishing this week. The Spanish mackerel finally decided to make their move in force to occupy the region. They are being caught in excellent numbers from the mouth of the Potomac River north to the upper limits of the region. Most fishermen are catching them by trolling small spoons behind inline weights and planners. A number of fishermen that are live lining spot continue to report large Spanish mackerel in the 4lb to 6 lb size range being caught on live spot in the Middle Grounds/Target Ship area; while fishing for striped bass. In fact last years state record Spanish mackerel was caught this way in the very same area. Jack Roser was out fishing with his dad when he caught these nice Spanish mackerel.

Charter boats have been chumming in the mouth of the Potomac River, the various rock piles above Point Lookout and the general area of the Middle Grounds for a mix of striped bass and bluefish. As one would imagine the bulk of fishermen continue to live line small spot for striped bass. The steep channel edges continue to get most of the attention; especially outside of the Gas Docks. Various rock piles and other structure have also been good places to fish lately. The spot are certainly plentiful in the lower Patuxent River and shallower areas of the bay. Fishermen are reporting getting cut up by bluefish quite a bit and also catching the occasional large Spanish mackerel.

A mix of bluefish, striped bass and now Spanish mackerel are making life miserable for any kind of bait that finds itself out in the main part of the bay. The bait pods are mostly made up of bay anchovies and small menhaden and the deadly trio of predators tends to push these bait pods to the surface during the low light conditions of the early morning and evening hours. Other times an underwater melee can be spotted by a slick on the surface and heavy marks on a depth finder.

Large croaker have been playing hard to get with fishermen this week; which is typical for this time of the year due to extremely warm water conditions and possible water quality issues in some of the deeper channel areas. Captains and fishermen report that the best croaker fishing is occurring during the early morning and evening hours for daylight hour trips. A number of the boats from the Crisfield fleet have been finding better success on a mix of croakers and spot in the southern portions of Tangier Sound. Boats continue to anchor up for the evening run of croakers migrating out of the depths of the channels but report that the run often does not occur till several hours after dark and some nights it barely happens at all. The lower Potomac River, the western edge of the shipping channel and the Middle Grounds/Mud Leads area tend to produce the largest croakers.

Fishermen out looking for flounder and fishing the proper baits are finding them at locations such as Cornfield Harbor, Point Lookout, Point-No-Point, the Mud Leads/Target Ship area and channel edges in the Tangier/Pocomoke Sound area. Recreational crabbers report good crabbing in most tidal rivers and creeks on both sides of the bay. Crabbers also report that small crabs and sooks are working over their baits pretty hard.

Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms

Click here to view recent bay satellite images at


The link below has some very valuable information for Chesapeake Bay Anglers. DNR's "Eyes on the Bay" website has data coming in from remote sensing stations in the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. It is well worth checking this out. Click on the map below.

 Thumbnail of Weather tracking Stations in the Chesapeake Bay

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