Way North Fishing Reports

Way North Chesapeake Fishing Report, April 12 Update:

The lower Susquehanna is still running high and turbid from all the rain last week. River conditions were less than ideal most of the week, but persistent anglers managed to find some decent fishing. The shad are still running up the river and the small creeks and areas out of the main current are holding schools of fish. Deer Creek was noted as productive this week with one angler catching over a dozen shad during an outing. Octoraro Creek is another reliable location to fish for shad. Most of the catch has been hickory shad but American shad should soon show up and offer even more opportunities for anglers. Small shad darts and spoons are the two most productive lures. You can rig them in tandem or fish them as singles, but tandem rigs work great for getting baits down in the current where the shad are sitting.

angler with a shad
The shad run is on, though conditions may be tough in some areas due to all the rain we've had.

The most reliable fish to target this month will be blue catfish which are abundant throughout the upper Bay. Channel catfish are also found in the tidal rivers and both fish can be caught using the same methods. Most anglers will drift cut bait in the form of bunker, gizzard shad, or eel along channel edges. The main channels leading into the bigger rivers are good places to drift or anchor in search of catfish. Now that the striped bass closure is in effect, we encourage you to fish for blue catfish, especially since they are an invasive species. We have seen that they are getting bigger every year and will eat anything that swims in front of them. The CCA Maryland Great Chesapeake Invasive Count kicked off at the beginning of the month it is a great initiative that local anglers can help out with to collect scientific data. All you have to do is register on the CCA website and you can catch invasive fish while competing for great prizes.

Way North Chesapeake Fishing Report, April 5 Update:

Anglers always look forward to April as it consists of many exciting spawning runs in the tributaries and it seems that the shad fishing run in northern rivers has caught up to the runs that started a couple of weeks ago in southern Bay tribs, and we had reader reports of solid hickory action picking up as of last weekend. One mentioned that some American shad had showed up as well, and casting green darts was the ticket to getting a bend in the rod. However, it is going to be a few days before the lower Susquehanna River will be fishable thanks to all the rain we got this past week. There will likely be a lot of debris in the water along with high and muddy conditions. Here's our how-to shad fishing video in case you need a spring refresher on shad fishing.

Catfishing may be the best option for a few days, and it will remain a reliable bite throughout the spring. Blue catfish seem to be getting bigger in each year and it is not uncommon to catch fish over 40 pounds. All the tidal rivers have an abundance of blue cats which can be caught by anchoring up on any of the major channel edges or deep holes. CCA Maryland’s Great Chesapeake Invasive Count just started on April 1st and we encourage anglers to participate. The goal of this initiative is to help fisheries managers understand which invasive species are being caught and where. All you have to do is log your catches and you will be entered for a chance to win great prizes. Get more details on the Coastal Conservation Association website.

There were a few anglers who took advantage of the last weekend for catch and release striped bass fishing. There was a report from a boat that launched out of Havre De Grace on Sunday that caught two stripers. One fish measured 22 inches and another big one was caught that measured 44 inches. Stick baits got both bites. 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. The northern sections of the upper Bay will remain closed to targeting striped bass until June 1st. Make sure to check the striped bass regulation maps to see where and when fishing for stripers is allowed.

March 1, 2024
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, March 29 Update: Spring has brought some very sporadic weather to the region this week. Cold nights along with stiff winds have made fishing conditions unfavorable. A few shots of rain over the past week… Read more...
February 2, 2024
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 23 Update: Despite the cold and wind there are still anglers out searching for a bite this time of year. We had a report from an angler in the lower Susquehanna who was out targeting smallmouth bass… Read more...
January 5, 2024
Way North 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...