We all know printed fishing reports are generalized and weeks have passed before the report gets into your hands, so for timely, up-to-date reports, visit our Reports section. Current reports will be published every Friday by noon — just in time for your weekend fishing adventures. In the meantime, here’s our monthly prognostication.

fishtalk fishing reports editor with a crappie
FishTalk fishing reports editor Dillon Waters shows his varied angling interests, ranging from freshwater to saltwater.


Midsummer can mean hitting a bit of a doldrum offshore if the yellowfin all head north for cooler climates, but remember that in recent years bigeye have stuck around to one degree or another providing offshore anglers with a very big potential thrill. It’s a sure bet we’ll have plenty of mahi around by now, too, hopefully on the inshore grounds as well as out in the deep. Back on the beach things are likely to be on the slower side but panfish like kingfish and spot should be around to make casting in the suds a worthwhile endeavor.


In the heat of the summer we have three pieces of advice: fish early, fish late, and look for shade. You can be the fish will be as hot as we are, and much of the activity will be confined to when the sun is at its weakest and in areas where the fish can stay cool. This is a good time to head for the rivers, too, which tend to stay quite a bit cooler than still-water hotspots. One potential explosive exception: snakeheads. Look to find them in very thick, heavy cover right about now, where pulling a weedless topwater can work magic.


Remember folks, as of July 16 we go into shut-down mode for rockfish. On the bright side there should be plenty to catch in the Bay’s northernmost region, with bass and snakeheads on the flats and in the rivers. There’s been some excellent crappie fishing in the North East and the Elk in recent years, too, so don’t forget about that option. Those of you who want to feel a tug of a bigger — much bigger — sort, however, will be dropping baits along the channel edges from the Rt 95 bridge down to Perryville ISO monster  blue catfish.


As the striper closure commences mid-month there’s sure to be a big change in the fishing, with fish like white perch, blue cats, and snakeheads moving in to fill the gap. Considering how early the spot (including some of eating size) moved in this year we could also see good numbers of that panfish holding on Upper Bay oyster bottom, and with a little luck some of the bluefish will have continued a northern trajectory as well.


Will we see a return of the cutlassfish AKA ribbonfish that appeared last summer? We sure hope so! We also hope there will be plenty of bluefish and maybe some Spanish mackerel around as the rockfish summer shut-down commences. There’s also a good shot that anglers fishing in the tribs will tie into puppy drum, which have been steadily marching their way north; we've already heard of some caught as far up as the South River.

angler with a ribbonfish
Will those cutlassfish reappear this year? We sure hope so!


Anglers prowling the Lower Bay will undoubtedly be looking to find some of the Chesapeake’s largest inhabitants by this point in the summer: cobia and bull redfish. But remember that last July a wonderful speckled trout bite with redfish mixed in continued right through the month. Grassbeds, points, and shallow water structure was the ticket.


As July sets in there’s a chance the shallow water bite will slack off, but there should still be a good early-morning bite window for specks and the potential to find them at slightly deeper structure once the sun’s high in the sky. Or, maybe we’ll get lucky and water temps won’t creep so high as the upper 80s — that’s certainly something we can’t predict. On the other hand, we can predict that there’s an excellent chance bluefish, Spanish mackerel, or both will be swimming around in the Sounds at this point in the season.


All the way down the Bay there’s bound to be red-hot action as we enter this red-hot time of year. Last season both cobia and bull reds were prolific in this zone, and there were big schools of huge reds cruising around near the CBBT islands. Let’s hope that happens again! And if not, don’t worry — flounder, blues, Spanish mackerel, sheepshead, and triggerfish should all be around in the Way South zone of the Bay.