The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing Report

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LAST UPDATED October 27, 2004 NEXT SCHEDULED UPDATE November 03, 2004

Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries Fishing Reports

Real-time water information for selected points in the Northern Bay

thumbnail of map of upper bayUpper Bay Region: Fishermen are reporting good angling opportunities for striped bass in the Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam and the Susquehanna Flats area. Fishermen are enjoying catching good-sized striped bass on surface crankbaits, swimming shad type lures and Plastics such as Bass Assassin's. The water quality has been good and with water temperatures cooling, the fish are very active. Fishermen are also catching largemouth bass and walleyes in the lower Susquehanna often while fishing for striped bass. The Northeast River and the mouth of the Sassafras have also been producing good catches of striped bass and channel catfish seem to be abundant throughout the region. Many fishermen who are using chicken livers as catfish bait are also catching striped bass.

Striped bass are being found along the shorelines of the upper bay and most of the rivers. This is a great time to enjoy some relaxing casting to shoreline structures and breaking fish. There are a lot of small fish in the region and often the throwback ratio is high, but the fishing is fun. The Chester River, Magothy, Gunpowder and the Patapsco have all been good places to try casting or jigging for striped bass. Fishermen on the Patapsco have been enjoying good fishing by casting plugs along bulkheads and old piers, especially in the early morning or late evening hours.

Many fishermen are trolling and those bottom bouncing with small white bucktails have been having the most success. Fishermen, who are constantly scoring, stress that your lures must be right on the bottom. Fishermen who are trolling at various depths through the water column, generally are reporting slow fishing or catching a lot of small fish. Dave Oshman sent in this short report from Tuesdays fishing trip. Just wanted to send in a quick report that I trolled for about 3 hours up to high tide yesterday afternoon (Oct. 25) around Seven Foot Knoll along the Craighill Upper Range channel. I marked a ton of fish but couldn't get any to bite. No tear-offs, pull-downs or nothing. I would have liked to troll in between this channel and Brewerton channel but the area was thick with crab pots. However, it was a perfect glassy day that you rarely see this time of year so it was nice being out there all alone but even a sub-legal fish would have been nice.

Paul Andercyk sent in a nice picture of a successful morning trip of trolling small spoons and bucktails in the mouth of the Magothy River with his daughter Amy and his son in law. His son in law Brad Rickabaugh of Annapolis was home for a little R&R after a tour with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan and was itching to do some fishing in the Chesapeake.

The chumming fleets are reporting that the chumming grounds such as Swan Point and Love Point are covered with striped bass. The throwback ratio is high, but there certainly is a lot of action. There still are a few small bluefish in the slicks, and razor clam seems to be the bait of choice while chumming. Captains report that the best bite of larger striped bass occurs when the tide is running.

Shoreline fishermen have been enjoying good bank fishing from locations such as Fort Smallwood, Rocky Point and Fort Armistead. Fishermen are catching striped bass, channel catfish and white perch on bloodworms, peeler crab and cut bait.

Real-time water information for selected points in the Middle Bay

Thumbnail of Mid-Bay Fishing SoptsMid Bay Region: Fishermen in the middle bay region are enjoying good fishing in many of the tidal rivers and small bays. Areas such as the Kent Narrows and Eastern Bay and the Severn River have been holding a lot of striped bass. Fishermen are casting lures to breaking fish or shoreline structure with good results. Live lining small white perch and jigging have also been productive. Jim Thompson and Sara Nicholas show off a trio of striped bass from the Kent Narrows. The fishing success for striped bass has steadily picked up in the Choptank River this fall. Fishermen who are old hands at bottom bouncing around channel edges, rock piles and shoals are scoring on some nice fish. Those casting along shorelines are catching a lot of small fish and a good number of keepers.

Fishermen are doing some trolling out in the main part of the bay and are catching striped bass. Everyone agrees though that staying close to the bottom is the key to success. The chumming fleet continues to be in residence at the Goose's and fishing has been good. The throwback ratio can be high at times, but most anglers are catching their limit. There is still a good number of small bluefish in the region and many are being caught in the chum slicks.

Thumbnail of Lower-Bay Fishing SpotsLower Bay Region: The lower bay region continues to offer a wide variety of fishing opportunities for local fishermen. The chumming fleet has been making excellent catches at the Middle Grounds and various rock piles along the eastern side of the channel. Buoy #72 and the area around Point No Point also stand out as good places to chum. Fishermen have been trolling through schools of breaking fish and catching a mix of striped bass, bluefish and occasional Spanish mackerel. Others are trolling deep along the channel edges looking for larger striped bass. Trisha Losavio of Marksville, Louisiana found one while trolling a skirted sassy shad. Jigging under these schools of breaking fish has also been very productive or along channel drop-offs.

Fishermen are enjoying good fishing along the Dorchester County shoreline, casting lures to striped bass in the shallows. Sea trout are also being found off Hooper's Island along with bluefish, striped bass and spot in the deeper waters. Jigging and bottom rigs have been the best options.

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TANGIER SOUND: Many of the boats headed out of Crisfield have been running out to the Middle Grounds to chum for striped bass and bluefish. Most everyone is reporting excellent fishing and limit catches early in the day. The bluefish action has really been hot and fishermen report you can catch all you want. Many small boat fishermen are staying closer to home and fishing around the Puppy Hole. Jigging stingsilvers in the tidal rips on the northwest and southwest sides of the Puppy Hole has been very productive. The shallows behind Smith Island have been a very good place to find striped bass and fishermen using lures, bucktails and bait have been doing very well.

There continues to be a lot of porgies and small sea bass in residence on many of the hard bottom shoals and channel edges in Tangier Sound. Fishermen are reporting that some of the porgies are up to 11" in length.

We have added a new link to 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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