Lower Bay Fishing Reports

Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 15 Update:

There are stripers being caught (and released, of course) in the main stem of the Bay outside Point Lookout. Anglers jigging these areas for catch and release fish have been scoring a few, and while some have been big they’re mostly on the smaller side. White and yellow perch fishing is dominating the cooler-filling fishery right now — in coves, creeks, deep holes, and pockets there are plenty of perch to be found. Dropping a bottom rig baited with minnow or bloodworms is the safest way to get them on your line.

lower bay rockfish
Travis found some big ones! Success came on a chartreuse... well, you can see it for yourself!

Catfish remain a solid option in the tribs, especially the James and the Rap. Anglers focused on the Potomac in the DC area, however, pay heed...

IMPORTANT NOTICE for anyone hoping to fish the Potomac for blue cats this weekend or next week: The USCG has established three security zones on the river for January 13 through January 25, as a result of the upcoming inauguration and the recent events related to it, going from the Francis Scott Key bridge clear down to the Woodrow Wilson bridge. According to the announcement entry into or remaining in the security zone is prohibited unless authorized by the USCG. Click to read the entire Maritime Safety and Security Bulletin.

Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 7 Update:

Some very big rock are now being caught in the Lower Bay near the mouth of the Potomac for those interested in catch-and-release action, according to reports from Angler's, with chartreuse ZMans getting them biting. Many anglers looking for fish for the cooler are shifting their attention to the yellow perch, white perch, and catfish in the tribs. The Tackle Box reported that yellow perch can be found in holes near shore throughout the tributaries, and white perch can be found in deeper holes. They’re both taking minnows and shad darts, though at this time of year jigging tandem rigs with a small spoon and a teaser fly is usually a great way to get the whites biting.

largemouth bass caught on a boat
Now's a great time to head up the rivers and target some of the fresher species living in our neighborhood.

Blue cats! Blue cats! Blue cats! They’ll bite right through the winter, and the James is producing the biggest fish but the Rap and Potomac are both good bets for high numbers. Fresh cut gizzard shad and sunfish are top baits, and plenty of people are soaking chicken breast on bottom, too.

Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 1 Update:

Welcome to 2021 anglers! We at FishTalk would like to wish everyone a happy new year and we hope you have some fabulous fishing adventures as a new season dawns. This week saw reduced reports thanks to weather, the holidays, and reduced tackle shop hours, but last week in the Potomac some stripers continued to bite to close out the 2020 season, though many of the fish being caught were on the small side. We’d expect that at this point many dedicated winter anglers will be turning their attention to upriver portions of the Potomac, Rap, and James, where big blue cats will remain willing to put a bend in the rod. We heard from a reader who fished in the area of the Potomac’s Wilson bridge between the holidays, and caught all they could handle on frozen bunker.

angler with huge catfish
Flashback photo: When Lin Hammond goes on the prowl for cats she's not messing around, as this pic from last year shows!


December 4, 2020
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 25 Update: Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and welcome to the final fishing report of 2020. Considering how this year has been we’re thrilled to see it finally end, and we’re wishing everyone a happy… Read more...
November 6, 2020
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, November 27 Update: Hi anglers, we hope you all enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving! The Tackle Box checked in this week to let us know that the trolling and jigging bites are ON! In the Potomac, there were plenty… Read more...
October 2, 2020
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 29 Update: Specks and puppy drum have cleared out of many areas north of Smith Point, making rockfish a primary target. The Tackle Box in Lexington Park let us know that the striper fishing has been… Read more...