Middle Bay Fishing Reports

Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports, April 12 Update:

It finally felt like spring made its arrival this week. Temperatures climbed into the 70s and a lot of green has started to pop up in the trees. It was a great week to get out and enjoy the weather. Contributor Eric Packard found some hickory shad willing to bite in the upper Patuxent, but just a handful, in the high and off-color water. A reader also reported probing the Pax for snakeheads mid-week but said the water temps had dropped and the bite was slow. Another slow bite from the Pax was reported from a catfish angler who said four hours of soaking baits around Jug Bay last weekend only produced two 12-inch blue catfish. River conditions were low and muddy and the rain from the previous week could have had the fish acting wonky. The Angler in Chief reports that an exploratory trip looking for blue cats in the South didn’t provide any action, but he noted that his bait was sub-par (some farm-raised shrimp from the grocery store), he only gave it a couple of hours, and last spring several people did well on catfish in the area — so he’s hoping for better luck next time and would still encourage anyone looking to bend a rod to try for ‘em.

angler with a blue catfish
Old photo inserted by editor to prove he can catch a catfish on occasion because, well, just read below. Ouch! 

Despite Lenny's lack of luck, there were multiple reports of big blue catfish being caught along the bayfront from Chesapeake Beach up to the West River. An angler fishing near Cedarhurst let us know that tossing out chunks of cut bunker at night produced four catfish from 10 to 20 pounds. Another reader caught two 20 pounders on cut bunker near Deale while night fishing and one more report came from an angler who caught a 25-pound blue cat off Franklin Manor on Tuesday morning. These fish are showing up just about everywhere in the Middle Bay, likely due to all the rain we have had this spring. They are a great alternative to fish for right now with the striped bass closure in effect.

Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports, April 5 Update:

Many anglers made sure to get their fishing in before this rain filled week hit the region. Readers reported closing out the rockfish catch-and-release season with a bang; trollers reported one to four fish in the 39” to 45” class from the Annapolis area, near Bloody Point, and off Chesapeake Beach, with white and chartreuse tandems called out as the winner. We also head from several anglers who had success working jigs and stick baits in the shallows, including kayak fishermen. With striped bass now closed through May 15, however, anglers will need to look in a different direction to get a bend in the rod. Catch and release fishing for striped bass closed on April 1st (no it isn’t an April fools’ joke) in all areas of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland waters. The no targeting closure will remain in effect until May 16th when some areas of the Bay will open for the summer season. Make sure to check the striped bass regulation maps to see where and when fishing for stripers will be allowed.

last rockfish of the catch and release season
Pedro closed out the catch-and-release season with a bang!

The Angler in Chief reports that the white perch run has been going strong on the upper Patuxent and its feeders, with grass shrimp being the undisputed champion of baits. Last weekend fishing them on small shad darts of multiple colors, whites were caught in abundance up to 12” alongside some crappie, bass, and bluegills. He said the perch had moved up close to spawning grounds but were still pre-spawn, were in small channels of five or more feet of water, and they also bit well in the shallows around marsh edges on the flood tide. He noted that talking with pier anglers fishing from Patuxent River Park it looked like they were catching their fair share of perch as well, along with some catfish. Readers reported also catching some shad farther upriver, near Governor Bridge Road. The recent rains will have the river running high and muddy into next week, so it may be a few days before conditions will be favorable for fishing. The extended forecast looks like we may get a warmup next week which should send the perch into spawning mode.

March 1, 2024
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, March 29 Update: Spring is still off to a slow start as cold temperatures and rain have been the theme this week. The white perch are currently running up the Patuxent for their spawning run. The colder weather… Read more...
February 2, 2024
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 23 Update: Late February has brought with it some very cold temperatures this week. Fishing is a grind this time of year and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Spring to bring on more fishing… Read more...
January 5, 2024
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 26 Update: Big news was announced this week for striped bass regulations. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has voted for option B2, setting Chesapeake Bay 2024 striped bass regulations… Read more...