Lower Bay Fishing Reports

Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 1 Update:

The late season mega-size blue cat bite is on and in full swing in the lower Bay tribs. This week we heard about a 43” 40-pounder reeled up in the Potomac, and for two weeks running readers have reported 30-plus-pound blues mixed in with coolers full of smaller fish caught in the James. We even saw a report from an angler who was light tackle jigging for speckled trout in the lower James River and hooked into a blue cat that was over 20 pounds. The colder months are a prime opportunity to catch these big catfish and the bite is showing no signs of slowing down. The more popular baits to use include cut bunker, bluegill, eel, shad, and chicken. It has also become increasingly popular to soak chicken baits in powdered Kool-Aid for added scent. Surprisingly, the catfish seem to love it.

huge blue catfish in the rivers
Chris helped a friend by grabbing one of his rods when two fish hit at once and — oops — caught his PB for him!

The Tackle Box let us know that there have been breaking striped bass and working birds in the Potomac below St. George’s Island down to Smith Creek on the Maryland side. Over on the Virginia side, the fish have been working from Ragged Point down to Vermar Beach. The fish are not always pushing bait to the surface, but at some point throughout the day, fish will usually provide some surface action. You just have to be in the right place at the right time. Trollers are still outperforming light tackle guys for the most part. Tandems and small umbrella rigs are consistently getting bites. Most fish are averaging between 20 and 25 inches. One angler fishing near the Hog Island Reef just south of Buoy nine in the Potomac caught 12 rockfish while trolling earlier in the week. Only four of the fish were keepers which ranged between 21 and 23 inches. Another boat trolling towards the mouth of the Rappahannock caught 6 keepers up to 27 inches while trolling this week. Rockfish season is winding down in the main stem of the Bay in Maryland waters where the season will close on December 10th but the good news for lower Bay anglers is that the Potomac and in Virginia waters will remain open until December 31st. In the Potomac the limit is two fish per day between 20 and 31 inches while Virginia’s slot is 20 -to 31-inches and a one fish per angler limit.

November 3, 2023
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, November 24 Update: The great fishing in the lower Bay is just one of the many things we have to be thankful for. Good news for anglers is that the rockfish bite seems to have had a slight uptick in action with… Read more...
October 5, 2023
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 27 Update: Fall is here but summer is trying to take one last stand as near record high temperatures have set in late this week. The warm weather will continue through the weekend and it is looking to be… Read more...
September 1, 2023
Lower Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, September 29 Update: Small craft advisories kept many boats off the water this week, but we did hear from a few anglers who found fish willing to bite. The cooler weather has many of the bluefish that were… Read more...