Chesapeake Bay Fishing

You may be surprised to know that there are around 350 species of fish in the Chesapeake Bay.

Some only live in fresh water, some are estuarine fish which can live in brackish water and stand a range of salinity. Some are migratory and live both in the Bay and in the ocean.

Some live here year round, and others are only here for part of the year. Others only come back to spawn and sometimes to die as well. These fish are called anadromous. There are other fish who do the complete opposite and live in the Bay and leave and go to the ocean to spawn. These are called catadromous.

Some of the fish are of no interest to humans for food or sport but are important in different ecological niches or interesting because of quirks in their life style or cycle. Others are bait fish. Some are caught for food for animals or to be used as fertilizer or to make nutritional supplements from.

Some have been overfished and have catch quotas. The ones we like are the ones that are good eating or are sporting to catch.

Upper Bay

Right now American shad, white perch and striped bass can be found in the northern Bay around the Susquehanna flats up to Conowingo.

Middle Bay

There have been some huge striped bass, also known as rockfish, in the middle part of the Bay, especially around the deep channels at Bloody Point and Thomas Point. You might try trolling with parachutes and bucktails.

Lower Bay

In the lower part of the Bay, the steep sided channels have been productive as well. One person caught a 45 pound rockfish on the lower Potomac.

You can now find some largemouth bass in shallow creeks and coves. Snakeheads will hit some of the same lures that the bass go for. You can probably find some crappie as well.

Ocean City

Around Ocean City there have been large bluefish as well as some medium sized drum. Try metal, bucktails, or Got-cha lures. There are also some Tautog going after pieces of green crab and sand fleas. There are some flounder to be had and sea bass season is just opening up.

Good luck fishing.