Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: July 30, 2008

Next Update: August 6, 2008

Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries Fishing Report

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

Fishing for striped bass has been slow in the lower Susquehanna River area due to summertime warm water temperatures. Fishermen have been casting topwater lures near the dam face in the evening hours and catching a few striped bass during power generation water releases. Fishing for channel catfish has been good in the area of the lower Susquehanna, the channel areas and especially the Elk River.

Zachary Majchizak was fishing a soft crab bait near the mouth of the Patapsco with his dad when he caught this nice 27Ē striped bass.Fishermen are reporting some striped bass action around Hart-Miller Island with live lining small eels and white perch as well as soft crab baits. The mouth of the Patapsco is also offering some striped bass action in the early morning and evening hours for fishermen casting lures near old piers or jigging and bottom bouncing along channel edges. Zachary Majchizak was fishing a soft crab bait near the mouth of the Patapsco with his dad when he caught this nice 27Ē striped bass.

Boats continue to chum for striped bass near Love Point, Swan Point, the mouth of the Chester River, Podickory Point, the Rock Piles at the center of the Bay Bridge and the Triple Buoys. After being on vacation for two weeks there were a number of emails waiting for me and one came from a fisherman asking exactly where the Triple Buoys were. They are located north of Love Point and consist of Green Buoy #3, #5 and Red Buoy #4. Fishermen who have been chumming and live lining for striped bass report that the fish have been moving around so fishermen have been doing the same to keep up with them. The best fishing has been reported to be on a flood tide and early morning is best and baits close to the bottom have been catching fish. A number of fishermen have also been dropping small white perch and spot through their chum slicks with excellent results.

Ellen Heisler holds up a nice one for the camera that she caught by live lining a small white perch near Love Point.Live lining small white perch and spot if you can find them continues to be one of the most popular and productive methods for catching a nice grade of striped bass. Deep structure such as drop offs, channel edges and of course the piers of the bay Bridge have been favorite places to dunk baits. Ellen Heisler holds up a nice one for the camera that she caught by live lining a small white perch near Love Point.

A number of fishermen continue to troll in the upper bay; mostly along channel edges and are picking up a mix of striped bass and small bluefish. Most describe the fishing as a slow pick at best; unless breaking fish are spotted or good marks come up on depth recorders. Fishermen who encounter breaking fish have also been casting to the surface fish or jigging underneath; which often produces a larger grade of striped bass.

Shoreline fishermen have been catching a mix of small bluefish, white perch, channel catfish and striped bass from the Bay Bridge to the Patapsco in the evenings. Recreational crabbers are seeing better crabbing in the Elk River, the Gunpowder and Patapsco Rivers as well as the Chester. Some of the better catches are being reported by using fresh white perch and razor clams for bait.

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

Fishermen reported water temperatures in the high 80ís over this past weekend and fish and fishermen are both adjusting to the mid-day heat. Live lining tends to take center stage this week as small spot are plentiful in the shallower waters of the bay, fishermen are looking to save fuel and striped bass are more than eager to take live baits along channel edges. Erin Hasselgren caught this nice striped bass off of Chesapeake Beach.The spot can be found in the shallower waters of just about any tidal river flowing into the mid- bay region and some of the cove areas such as Herring Bay or broader areas like Eastern Bay and are eager to take small pieces of bloodworm. The channel edge from the Radar Towers to the Power Plant has been a productive spot to live line as has the outside edge of Herring Bay and generally anywhere striped bass can be marked holding to deep structure. Erin Hasselgren caught this nice striped bass off of Chesapeake Beach.

Bluefish are very much part of the fishing scene in the middle bay region and have been tearing up live spot intended for striped bass. Unfortunately that is just the way it goes and fishermen are lucky to catch a few can look forward to smoked bluefish or fresh fillets on the grill as a consolation prize; not a bad deal. As we all know bluefish often tend to leave just the head of the spot and of course that is where the hook is usually placed. Fishermen who have been trolling have switched to spoons and red surge tube lures due to the bluefish and they are picking up a mix of bluefish and striped bass. The Spanish mackerel are moving up through the lower bay region and there should be some to catch this week. Small Clark, Drone or Tony spoons on inline weights or planers is the ticket.

Thomas Stacharowski holds up a nice citation sized croaker he caught in Eastern Bay. Bottom fishing for croakers and large spot during the day has been centering on fishing in the deeper waters of the lower tidal rivers and bay areas. The channel edges and shoals are best fished during the late evening hours; now that the mid summer heat is upon us. Most fishermen are using bottom rigs baited with peeler or soft crab, wild shrimp (not freshwater aquaculture shrimp) and razor clams. The lower Part of Eastern Bay, the lower Choptank and shoal areas such as Holland Point, Stone Rock and channel edges have been good places to fish. Flounder are being found in limited numbers on some of these hard bottomed shoal areas such as the Flats out in front of Taylorís Island and James Island. Thomas Stacharowski holds up a nice citation sized croaker he caught in Eastern Bay.

Shoreline fishermen have been doing best for a mix of croakers, spot, small bluefish, white perch and striped bass in the evening hours. Most fishermen have been bait fishing but casting soft plastic jigs, Rat-L-Traps and similar crankbaits has also been productive; especially near points and shoreline structure.

Recreational crabbers report good crabbing in most of the tidal creek and rivers. They have noted that recent catches have been heavy with meat and that they are seeing a lot of small crabs on their trotlines and in crab traps. The tidal creeks and rivers on the eastern side of the bay have tended to offering the best crabbing opportunities; especially the Dorchester County area.

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

Fishing for striped bass in the lower bay region has focused mostly on live lining spot along channel edges and chum slicks and the edge outside of the Gas Docks has tended to be ground zero. There has tended to be quite a concentration of boats working the area and itís the striped bass holding there that keep bringing fishermen back. Those fishermen looking for a little more elbow room can find good fishing in other drop off edges such as Point No Point, Cedar Point and generally most any deep edge where fish can be marked. The spot that fishermen are using are coming from the shallower waters of the regions tidal rivers and creeks as well as cove areas of the bay.

Chumming for striped bass has been difficult for the last few weeks; most captains attribute this to water temperatures in the lower 80ís and bluefish in the 4 lb category beginning to dominate some of the better chumming locations. The Middle Grounds has been holding a lot of the larger bluefish in the region lately and they tend to be smaller along shallower areas along the edges of the bay and in the tidal rivers. In the past few days at least one captain reported successfully chumming up striped bass for his fishermen along the channel edge in the lower Potomac River.

Fishermen are finding breaking fish throughout the region and they are usually made up of a mix of striped bass and bluefish with the larger striped bass holding beneath the surface melee. Light tackle jigging is usually the preferred method of fishing in this situation but a number of fishermen continue to choose to troll over deep marks near breaking fish or blind trolling along channel edges. Most fishermen are trolling spoons, red surge tubes and diving plugs with good results.

A new visitor to the fishing summer fishing scene has arrived in the form of Spanish mackerel and they are mostly being found from the Target Ship south to Smith Point at the moment but they will surely spread out as the week progresses. It is time to find those small Clark, Drone and Tony spoons that have been stashed away along with #1 and #2 planners and inline weights. A good supply of 25lb to 30lb fluorocarbon leader material would be in order also.

Jim Welch looks over a nice catch that he and his fishing buddy Ken Zborowski caught while fishing in 48í of water.Croaker and spot fishing continues to be good in both the lower bay and Tangier Sound regions. Croakers are being caught at the Middle Grounds and Target Ship area during both day and night. The lower Potomac and Patuxent are loaded with them along with spot that are getting larger as the summer progresses. On the eastern side of the bay; locations such as the mouth of the Honga River continue to be good places to fish. Generally deeper water is where to find them during the day and shallower water during the late evening hours. Jim Welch looks over a nice catch that he and his fishing buddy Ken Zborowski caught while fishing in 48í of water.

Fishermen in the Tangier Sound area have been enjoying good fishing opportunities for a mix of croaker, large spot, small bluefish and an occasional small sea trout. The boats have been fishing the Puppy Hole, Terrapin Sands, Great Rock and Ditch Creek areas lately. Those fishermen that have been taking the time to fish for flounder have been finding them on the edges of the channels in the Tangier Sound area and also places on the western side of the bay such as Point Lookout and Cornfield Harbor. Recreational crabbers report good crabbing on both sides of the bay in tidal creeks and rivers.

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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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