Our usual disclosure: Fishing reports published in print are generalized and weeks may have passed before the report gets into your hands, so for timely up-to-date reports, visit our Fishing Reports online. Current reports will be published every Friday by noon — just in time for your weekend fishing adventures. In the meantime, here’s our monthly prognostication.

fishing in the spring
March is here - get those T-shirts ready, people!


Although many anglers will keep their powder dry until next month, history shows that at some point in March (usually around mid-month) flounder will begin entering the inlets and snapping at Gulp!s and minnow/squid combos. There should also still be good numbers of stripers around, especially for anglers at the Route 50 and 90 bridges in Ocean City. Tautog on the rocks in any of the coastal areas are a distinct possibility, too.


There’s an excellent chance that anglers who get out onto the area’s lakes, ponds, and rivers will enjoy awesome action now that spring is getting ready to pop. Just about every species pursued by lake and reservoir anglers will be biting, while in the rivers, the weather and more specifically the volume of rainfall will be a determining factor. Every state in our region, meanwhile, is gearing up for spring stocked trout season.


In the allowable areas we could see some trophy rockfish catch-and-release action, and in all areas the catfish should be reliably slurping up cut bait set on the bottom. This month will also hopefully provide us with good perch action. Much will depend, of course, on the level of rainfall and water flows.


This month should see the peak of the yellow perch run and the beginning of the white perch run in the tribs. Plus, pickerel will still be biting, catfish will provide plenty of tugging, and if the fish follow recent patterns we could see a good catch-and-release bite for rockfish in the Upper Bay, too, particularly around the Patapsco.


Will those monster rockfish wake up from a winter slumber and send your drag screaming? There’s an excellent chance it’ll happen, so stay tuned to the reports. Meanwhile, anglers looking for a fresh fish dinner should set their sights on yellow perch. They should be running strong most of the month in upper tributary areas on both the western and eastern sides of the Bay, unable to resist shad darts tipped with minnow or grass shrimp.


A trophy C&R bite may well be happening this month on the Lower Bay, but either way there will be plenty of action to keep anglers busy. Perch runs will be in full swing, and the blue catfish fishing in the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac is bound to be on fire. Added bonus: at some point this month the shad will begin showing up in upriver areas, too.

catfish fishing on the lower chesapeake tributaries
This is the time of year when soaking baits for catfish can have some unexpected results.


We could have some trophy action in this zone, too, but with the awesome fishing up the tribs for perch, crappie, bass, and pickerel, just what to go for will be a tough call. It will be made even tougher for fishermen in this zone as those early reports of flounder caught over on the seaside start circulating around.


Just about all the spring bites we’ve mentioned from points north are likely to be developing in this neck of the woods, too, but many anglers prowling the waters at the mouth of the Bay will have their sights set on spring specks and puppy drum. Last March marked good action for both species, and anglers willing to get an early jump on the season did exceptionally well in areas including the inlets, the Elizabeth, and also the York. Added bonus: by now water temps should be rising significantly, and those tautog hugging the pilings and islands of the CBBT are going to be hungry.