Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: September 17, 2008

Next Update: September 24, 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:

Fishermen have been seeing water releases at the Conowingo Dam start to become more prevalent this week and hopefully will continue. The water in the lower Susquehanna has been discolored but clear water can be found flowing out of such creeks as Deer Creek. Fishermen will find some fishing opportunities this week for striped bass at the dam hole and walleye as the waters cool. The channels of the lower Susquehanna and Elk Rivers continue to provide good fishing for channel catfish.

Fishermen continue to find breaking fish from Pooles Island south that are a mix of striped bass and small bluefish. These schools of breaking fish are often being encountered near structure such as channel edges, shoals and knolls. Most fishermen are reporting the best action occurs during the evening or early morning hours and most fishermen are jigging with metal or trolling on the outside edges for bluefish and striped bass.

There are still plenty of small spot to be found in the shallow waters of the upper bay and near the mouths of tidal rivers and creeks. Live lining spot near channel edges, points and places like the Bay Bridge piers continues to be the most popular method of catching striped bass this week. Love Point, Podickory Point and the Bay Bridge are a few of the most popular locations at the moment.

Recreational crabbers report crabbing is still good in most traditional areas although it can be hit or miss at times. They also report a lot of sooks are chewing up baits but the jimmies are heavy and with water temperatures in the mid-70ís and the third week of September passing us by, the action will not last much longer.

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

Despite some recent windy conditions and cloudy water the fishing for most summer species continues to be quite good. Water temperatures are steadily falling but there are still a lot of Spanish mackerel, spot, croaker, bluefish, flounder and striped bass in the region. The action tends to start at the Gum Thickets and continues south.

A number of fishermen have been having good luck trolling for a mix of striped bass, Spanish mackerel and bluefish. Many are blind trolling along channel edges and when and where they spot breaking fish on the surface or see deep marks on their depth finders. Small umbrellas and bucktails are poplar choices for the striped bass, spoons for theJeff and his Catch Spanish and bluefish; although striped bass have also been hitting spoons lately and a number of them have been over 30Ē in size. Jeff Grolig sent in this dockside picture of a catch he and his friends caught while trolling Clark Spoons off the Gum Thickets.

Jigging under breaking fish has been paying off for light tackle fishermen this week and the action has been hot and heavy at times. The mix of striped bass, Spanish and bluefish have been chasing small menhaden and bay anchovies for weeks now; fattening up and many of the blues in particular are really plump.

Live lining spot continues to be the first choice for fishermen targeting striped bass. The spot are still plentiful in the shallower areas near tidal rivers and creeks and the striped bass continue to be plentiful along steep channel edges. It seems like a no brainer for many; although the numerous bluefish in the region have been making short work of fishermenís live spot offerings lately. This action canít last for much longer so if itís something you like to do, donít wait much longer.

The light tackle shallow water striped bass fishery has begun to kick in as cooler water temperatures have striped bass roaming into the tidal river shallows. This type of fishing is always one of the joys of fall whether one is casting with a spinning rod or fly rod. The excitement of a surface strike on a topwater lure is hard to surpass.

There are still some croaker being caught in many of the deeper channel areas in the middle bay region and white perch and larger spot are being caught along channel edges and hard oyster bottom shoals and shallows in the lower tidal rivers. The eastern rock pile at the Bay Bridge has also be a great place to jig up some of the larger white perch that have been holding there. A surprising number of flounder continue to be caught near points and other hard bottomed areas close to the channels. The Sharps Island, James Island and Taylorís Island Flats have been just a few of the places fishermen are finding flounder this week.

Recreational crabbers have been enjoying good crabbing in most of the regions tidal creeks and rivers. The crabs seem to be moving down the rivers and female crabs are chewing up baits on trot lines and collapsible crab traps.

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

The fishing action in the lower bay region continues to be hot and heavy this week; although judging by the number of boats out fishing at times one would tend to wonder. As soon as fishermen find several acres of breaking fish all to themselves they stop wondering and focus on fishing and enjoying the elbow room.

The breaking fish that are being encountered in the lower bay area continue to be made up of a mix of bluefish, Spanish mackerel and striped bass chasing bay anchovies and at time small menhaden. Fishermen are finding the action by either spotting diving birds or watching for surface slicks and keeping their eyes glued to depth finders. Jigging or casting with metal jigs is always a favorite way to fish but a number of fishermen are also trolling. Small Clark or Drone Spoons are the ticket for Spanish mackerel when trolled with a planer or inline weight. The planer rigs have been catching the most fish and small Drones in green or silver with chartreuse flash have been a favorite lately.

For those fishermen targeting striped bass; live lining spot continues to be the number one game in town. The small spot are still plentiful in the shallower sections of the tidal rivers and creeks and the striped bass are holding along steep channel edges such as outside the Gas Docks. There are of course lots of other places to live line such as Cedar Point and similar edges with good populations of striped bass holding there.

A few charter boats have been chumming in the lower Potomac and the Southwest Middle Grounds with good results for a mix of striped bass and bluefish. Live lining spot has also been good in the area of the Southwest Middle Grounds and a number of fishermen continue to report catching large Spanish mackerel while live lining spot there.

The shallow water fishery for speckled trout and striped bass is gaining momentum as cooler water temperatures are drawing fish into the shallower areas. Bluefish have also been a part of what is being caught along the eastern shore shallows as well as a few large flounder now and then. White perch can be found in the tidal rivers and creeks as well as the shallows.

The croaker in the lower bay and Tangier Sound areas are starting to show signs of moving south. The croakers tend to be scattered this week and captains have been moving around a lot to find fish for their patrons. They also report the best croaker fishing is occurring late in the day. Most boats are fishing the deeper waters for the croakers and are also filling coolers with large fat spot. The spot are about as big as theyíre going to get this season and they too will begin to move south later on this month. Flounder fishing has been a real bright spot for many fishermen these past few weeks and there seems to be plenty of flounder spread out along channel edges in the Tangier Sound area and the lower bay region. Recreational crabbers are reporting excellent catches of heavy crabs in the regions tidal creeks and rivers.

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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