Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: September 3, 2008

Next Update: September 10, 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 slight and limited to afternoon power generation if at all. Fishermen are still catching a few striped bass near the dam pool and another good place to look would be at the mouth of Deer Creek. Chase Eberle and Dominick Ferritta enjoyed a good evening on the Susquehanna fly fishing when they caught these two nice striped bass.Striped Bass

Most fishermen have been satisfying their fishing urges with the abundant channel catfish and white perch found in the lower Susquehanna and Elk Rivers as well as the upper bays channels.

At Pooles Island fishermen have been finding good fishing for striped bass by chumming, live lining, slow trolling and bottom bouncing. They are also finding white perch, channel catfish and a few small bluefish in the general area also. Water temperatures are beginning to drop in the upper bay so perhaps the fishing in the Baltimore Harbor/ Patapsco River area will improve soon. Fishermen are finding a few striped bass near the Key Bridge and old submerged structure in the early morning and evening hours. Outside the Patapsco in the area of the 6’, 7’ and 9’ Knolls as well as Belvidere and Man O War Shoals and surrounding areas; fishermen continue to find breaking fish at times. A mix of small bluefish and striped bass have been chasing bait in the area and this action will only improve as water temperatures cool this month.

Live lining for striped bass at locations such as Swan Point, Love Point, Podickory Point and the Bay Bridge piers continues to be good. Water temperatures are beginning to cool and the spot will start to think about heading south; so this fishery will not last much longer. Chumming for striped bass has been less effective but fishermen are catching some nice striped bass but bluefish tend to dominate the chum slicks.

Recreational crabbers have been doing well in several of the regions tidal rivers and creeks such as the upper Elk, Sassafras, Gunpowder, Patapsco, Chester and Magothy. Many crabbers reported a good number of small crabs and the larger ones have tended to be heavy.

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

Fishing has really been good for a number of species in the middle bay region and fishermen have been finding all kinds of opportunities. Fishermen have been finding striped bass near the Bay Bridge Piers by live lining spot or jigging with Storms and bucktails. There are also good numbers of large white perch at the east rock pile.

The area from the Gum Thickets across to Thomas Point and south to Poplar Island has been an excellent place to live line spot along the channel edges as well as trolling. There are a lot of nice striped bass, bluefish up to 6 lbs and Spanish mackerel in the area. Trolling with umbrella rigs for striped bass has been a good bet despite the bluefish chewing up some of the sassy shads. Spoons have been working for the Spanish and surge tubes work well for the bluefish.

Fishermen have been reporting that they are encountering breaking fish throughout the entire middle bay region in the main stem of the bay. Some of the best action has been occurring along the main channel edges out in the bay and can either be surface action or deep bait balls that can be found with depth finders. Generally fishermen are seeing a mix of striped bass and bluefish with Spanish mackerel often part of the melee. Some of the best Spanish mackerel fishing has been along the channel edge south of Poplar Island and the western edge below Breezy Point.

The shallow water light tackle fishery for striped bass should begin to develop soon as water temperatures continue their slide downward. Reports have not been good so far but these cool nights hopefully will start to draw striped bass into the lower sections of the tidal rivers and into the shallows. There have been some good reports from the shallows around the Poplar Island breakwaters by fishermen casting to shore in the early morning and evening hours.

Fishermen continue to find plenty of small spot in the shallower areas of the bay; croakers are still being caught to some degree in the deeper channel areas but should noticeably begin to shows signs of decline as the fish begin to move south. Flounder are being caught on some of the hard channel edges such as Thomas Point and flats like the James, Taylor’s, and Sharps Island Flats. Recreational crabbers reported good crabbing in most tidal creeks and rivers within the region. Crabbers have been finding crabs far up the tidal rivers due to drought conditions.

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

Fishermen enjoyed another good week of fishing for a variety of species in the lower bay region. Spanish mackerel continue to provide plenty of action for fishermen who are trolling spoons for them or catching them as they cast and jig to a mix of striped bass, bluefish and Spanish mackerel. Some of the best Spanish mackerel catches are coming from below the Hooper’s Island Light, the Mud Leads and the Southwest Middle Grounds.

Fishermen are finding the bluefish which range from snapper size; which tend to be in shallower water to over 6 lbs out in the main bay areas dominating the fishing scene lately. Boats that are chumming are catching loads of them at the Southwest Middle Grounds and anyone trolling or jigging for striped bass is getting slammed by them.

Croakers continue to be caught in the deeper waters of the region and boats in the Crisfield area have been reporting good success in the Puppy Hole and the deeper edges south of Tangier Light and Fox Island. They are also reporting a mix of large spot and bluefish being part of the mix and the occasional flounder. Fishermen on the western side of the bay report croaker fishing near the Mud Leads/Southwest Middle Grounds area and various deeper channel areas. Spot are being caught in the lower Patuxent River as well as a few small red drum that are under the slot size limit of 18” to 27”. Fishermen that have been targeting flounder have been finding them on hard channel edges in the Tangier Sound area and at places similar on the western side of the bay as well as Cornfield Harbor and the mouth of the Patuxent. Recreational crabbers have been doing very well as there has been plenty of heavy crabs far up the tidal rivers and creeks.

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

The Fisheries Service is pleased to have you visit. We want to make this site as user friendly as possible, if you have any suggestions, please mail them to Paul Genovese.

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