Fishing reports published in print are generalized and weeks may have passed before the report gets into your hands, so for timely up-to-date reports, visit our Fishing Reports online. 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.

fishing reports forecast
Fishing reports editor Dillon Waters is hot on the trail of the latest hot bite.

Coastal Fishing Forecast

Are we ready for spring at the beach? YES! Tautog will be biting at the wrecks and reefs through the month, and barring any weather disasters you can bet that the first flounder of the season will get logged this month. By the time it’s over they should be around in decent numbers, and as these bites go off there will be perch spawning in the creeks feeding the back-bays in many areas, too.

Freshwater Fishing Forecast

Warm, cold. Warm, cold. Warm, cold. The weather can’t make up its mind at this time of year, but we can see from past year’s reports that big transitions will take place this month. Bass will become more active and transition from deep areas to shelves and structure, and then to shallows as they go into pre-spawn mode. Crappie will be doing much the same. Trout, smallmouth bass, and other river predators will be feeding, though depending on the level of rainfall you may need to pick your spots carefully to avoid murky waters.

Way North Fishing Forecast

We can expect this month to begin yellow, and by the end of March turn white. Speaking of perch, that is. Minnows and grass shrimp on darts and bottom rigs should get ‘em biting. Catfish, meanwhile, should be feeding hard from start to finish. Perryville will likely be a good starting point for the perch aficionados and those cats will be found just about everywhere and especially within sight of the 95 bridge.

Upper Bay Fishing Forecast

The perch are coming! The perch are coming! Timing for the run of yellows (likely through all of this month) followed by the run of whites (likely beginning by the end of the month) will hinge on the weather, but no matter what the mercury says perch jerking in the tribs should begin in earnest during March. Added bonus: pickerel will be chewing, too, and they’re quite fat and feisty at this time of year. Note that in Maryland tidal waters, pickerel are closed to harvest starting March 15 and running through April for spawning season.

spring yellow perch fishing
Early spring is often the prime time to target those perch.

Middle Bay Fishing Forecast

See above, rinse, and repeat!

Lower Bay Fishing Forecast

See above, rinse, and repeat, BUT… once you get to the southern tribs from the Potomac on down, the shad tend to run a bit sooner than they do in northern parts of the Bay. Often by mid-March you can start slinging dart/spoon tandems, and start fighting these cool critters. On top of those options the big blue cats of the Potomac, James, and Rappahannock will be feeding hard this month, too.

Tangier, Pocomoke, and Lower Shore Fishing Forecast

Head up the tribs, people. In this neck of the woods the perch runs are often stronger than those on the west side, and you can load up the stringer when the runs kick in. Expect to see yellows followed by whites later in the month, with minnow and grass shrimp on darts doing most of the catching.

Way South and VA Fishing Forecast

Anglers down the Bay can enjoy some solid perch fishing up the tribs in March, too, but unlike their northern brethren there will almost certainly be some saltier options to hit as well. Spring red drum should make their presence known in the inlets, rivers, and bays as far north as Mobjack, before the month is out we’ll likely hear about a speckled trout or two here and there as well as the first of the big black drum on the shoals, and tog will finally get back to biting at the CBBT.