Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: March 19, 2008

Next Update: March 26, 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.

Water levels in the lower Susquehanna River are beginning to return to more normal flow conditions as the flood waters have dissipated. Unfortunately it will take a while for the water clarity to improve and if one checks the satellite link on the overview page one can see the brown stained water moving down the bay. A couple of reports came in from fishermen fishing just south of the Lapidum/Port Deposit boundary line this past weekend saying they caught and released a few striped bass while casting Bass Assassins and plugs with the largest measuring 40-inches. The water temperature in the lower Susquehanna River is hovering around 45-degrees so that magic water temperature of 50-degrees is not so far away. Often early season fishermen will be able to find warmer plumes of water flowing out of the Northeast River on an ebb tide and are constantly checking the water temperatures wherever theyíre fishing. Alewife herring are beginning to show up in some of the tributary waters and cut herring on a circle hook can be a good alternative to fishing with artificial lures; especially when the water is cloudy from storm runoff.

Fishermen are exploring favorite early season spots for striped bass in the Baltimore Harbor area such as power plant and factory warm water discharges. Most are jigging with BKDís or Bass Assassins close to the bottom. A few striped bass are being picked up now and then but the fish still seem sluggish to respond. As warmer temperatures begin to prevail water temperatures will respond also and fishing will definitely get better. A number of fishermen have been trolling out in the channel waters and the channel edges this past week and are catching and releasing a few large striped bass. Most are employing a few flat lines and trying to get their umbrella rigs or tandem rigs down to about 30í.

Shoreline fishermen are beginning to show up in greater numbers now on prominent points and piers. Most reports are speaking of catching smaller sized striped bass on circle hooks and bloodworms but the opportunity is there to tangle into a large fish for sure. Fishermen are urged to be prepared for catch and release and to use stout surf fishing tackle to lessen the stress on the fish; be prepared for large fish.

A number of boats have been taking advantage of warm and calm days to try a little trolling in the shipping channel and along the edges. Most fishermen are using umbrellas with parachutes or bucktails as the trailing hook. Tandem rigs are also a favorite choice and usually fishermen donít bother putting out the full array as they do when planner boards are deployed. It often seems that fishermen are more concerned with good friends, good weather and just enjoying getting out on the water. The warm water discharge at the Calvert Cliffs Plant continues to attract anglers who like to enjoy some light tackle catch and release fishing. The catching there is not something one can count on but it does offer one of the best shows in town this time for fishermen who just canít sit still until April 19th. Bkdís or similar jigs or metal jigs such as Crippled Herrings or Butterfly jigs are the most common choices for tackle.

The striped bass that spawn in the Choptank River have ascended into the middle and upper regions of the river by now and are holding there until water temperatures rise later on this month.

Fishermen venturing out into the lower bay region are mostly trolling out in the shipping channel for large striped bass moving up the bay. Most seem to just be looking for an excuse to spend some time out on the bay with friends when the weather is nice. A few boats are testing out there planner boards and making adjustments in tackle and such while catching and releasing a few striped bass in the process.

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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