Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: September 9, 2009 Next Update: September 16, 2009 (By 5pm)  
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.

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

A mix of small bluefish and striped bass has been chasing bay anchovies up past Pooles Island and fishermen have been watching for diving birds and getting in on the action. Most fishermen are casting metal and doing quite well. Others are trolling spoons and doing well also. Others have been trolling umbrella rigs and single or tandem medium sized bucktails and swim shads along channel edges and catching some larger striped bass now and then. Pesky bluefish are going to extract a price on these soft baits but some anglers have been able to avoid the worst of it. The waters of the upper bay have dropped a good 10-degrees recently and the larger striped bass are steadily becoming more active.

Many anglers have been checking out favorite pieces of bottom looking for fish holding there. The knolls and shoals between Rock Hall and Baltimore Harbor have been holding a mix of striped bass and white perch at times; tidal currents and time of day tend to play a big part in finding good fishing at these locations.

The chumming fleet continues to focus most of their activity at the Love Point area. Earlier is better, a good tidal current is essential and baits close to the bottom have been accounting for some nice fish. There are a lot of under sized striped bass being caught so the throwback ratio can be high at times.

There is plenty of good fishing in the tidal rivers for white perch and occasional striped bass. There is good fishing for striped bass at the Kent Narrows under the Route 50 Bridge; fishermen have been bouncing bucktails and soft plastic jigs there with good luck in the evenings. The breakwater at Sandy Point State Park has been a good place lately to fish for spot and croakers. Recreational crabbers are reporting a wide range of success this week; some got them and some did not. There was a full moon last Friday so undoubtedly there will be a lot of light crabs for the next week or so.

Click map to see larger map of the mid-Bay areaMiddle Bay Region

The weatherman is calling for northeast winds this week but they may fall out by the weekend. There is plenty of good fishing; it is just a situation of figuring out what to focus on. The bottom fishing for spot is about as good as it can get; the spot are large and plentiful. There are several party boats taking fishermen from the south side of Kent Narrows and they are leaving the dock as much as an hour ahead of schedule because they are filled to capacity with anglers. That should tell you something. The boats are anchoring up in Eastern Bay and fishermen are walking off the boats with coolers full of large spot and a smattering of white perch and bluefish. The spot fishing is just as good in the mouth of the Choptank River and some of the tidal rivers on the western shore. Croakers are still in the mix from the mouth of Eastern Bay south and the croakers tend to be deep until the last light of day when they move up the channel edges for their nightly feeding forays in the shallower areas.

Spanish mackerel are still in the region and fishermen continue to catch a mess of them from the Bay Bridge south. Trolling has been the number one way to catch them; small spoons behind planers or inline weights at a fast clip along channel edges is the formula for success. The Spanish mackerel are of course mixing it up with bluefish and striped bass in making life miserable for the schools of bay anchovies in the region. Casting metal jigs and spoons has been the favorite choice of lures and fishermen will usually find one of this trio on the other end when cast into the melee of thrashing fish and diving birds.

Flounder fishing continues to be good in the region; hard bottom where the current sweeps across is the first place to try a drift. Points such as Thomas Point and those at the mouths of the tidal rivers are good places to try as are flats and shoals near channel edges where the current sweeps across. Recreational crabbers are catching plenty of crabs in the tidal rivers but good heavy ones will be a little hard to come by for another week or so due to the recent full moon shed.

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

Anyone contemplating fishing this week will have a rather large menu to pick from and most species are plentiful. Although fishermen may find themselves at the wrong end of the bay for a northeast wind until Friday; the fishing could hardly be better.

The Spanish mackerel seem to be just about everywhere in the main part of the bay along both sides of the shipping channel and particularly the west side from Cedar Point to Breezy Point. Most fishermen are trolling small spoons behind planers or inline weights and really enjoying excellent catches of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. The Spanish mackerel are also mixing it up with bluefish and striped bass when feeding on bay anchovies in the region. They are often seen by fishermen grey hounding through the melee and will nail a metal jig or spoon cast into breaking fish.

Bluefish are spread throughout the entire region and can vary greatly in size. The smaller ones tend to be up in the tidal rivers; the largest are most often found around the Middle Grounds and Target Ship area. The bulk of the bluefish out in the bay tend to average from 16” to about 24” in size.

There are still a lot of large red drum in the region and fishermen have been enjoying wonderful catch and release action. A couple of large spoons placed in a trolling spread can offer some real excitement. Occasionally smaller puppy drum are also being caught by fishermen casting soft plastics in the shallows or as an incidental catch while bottom fishing.

Flounder fishing in the lower bay region as well as Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds has been a real standout recently. At times when fishermen find the right spot; it seems as if the bottom is paved with them and many are over 20” in length. Look for hard bottomed shoals near deeper water where the current really sweeps across. The mouths of the regions tidal rivers and creeks or anywhere bait can be swept out of a protected area such as a gut along the marshes are a good place to look for flounder. The flounder season will be closed after September 13th so it will be strictly catch and release after that.

Bottom fishing for a mix of croakers and spot continues to be very good this week. The spot are large as their time with us in Maryland waters comes closer to an end. They will be headed south sometime in the near future so don’t miss out. The tidal rivers seem to be full of them along with small to medium sized croakers. The largest croakers have been coming from the deep channels in the bay and sounds and often at last light as they move towards the shallower shoal areas to feed at night. Recreational crabbers are finding plenty of crabs this week in the tidal rivers and creeks although there are a lot of sooks as well as small and light crabs.

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, if you have any suggestions please mail them to Paul Genovese.

Click down arrow to see links.


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