Striped Bass, snakeheads, blue cats, and perch, oh my! The Patapsco’s waters in the shadow of Baltimore provide a ton of potential to score and score big, when you set out from these metro-angling hotspots.
- Ferry Bar Park - Ferry Bar Park is located in southern Baltimore, just to the west of the harbor. This beach will put you in some seriously productive water the moment you launch. I’ve caught loads of rockfish, blue cats, and big white perch on the channel ledge directly off the beach and to the east. Fishing topwater and swimbaits along shallower structure in this area can also produce trophy-sized rockfish in the spring and fall.
- Southwest Area Boat Ramp - If you’re a Baltimore resident looking to bag your first snakehead off a kayak and don’t feel like trudging to Blackwater at zero-dark-early, the Southwest Area Boat ramp is a great option. A stone's throw from Federal Hill, this is the perfect launch for many Baltimore residents after work or in the morning when the itch to fish just has to be scratched. I’ve had my best luck here casting small white topwater frogs throughout the weeds. When the tide is high, the snakes go back in the marsh. Don’t be afraid to get way back there, just make sure you watch the tides so you don't get stuck.
- Fort Armistead - If you’re looking to catch some striper off your kayak and take in some breathtaking views, look no further than Fort Armistead. The Key Bridge, Fort Carroll, and the shipping channels provide a plethora of places to seek out some striped swimmers. Many anglers have success trolling between these spots and jigging on schools of fish found along the ledges and on cover around the fort. Jigging the bridge pilings can be especially productive, though tricky due to the amount of current. I’ve had my best luck positioning my kayak up-current of pilings in 20 to 30 feet of water, and dropping the jig back. Don’t forget to work the entire water column — the fish will be at different depths depending on conditions.
- Green Haven Wharf - A short drive south of Baltimore, Green Haven Wharf lies on the western side of the Patapsco in the headwaters of Stoney Creek. There is a great fishing pier to bring the family, and launching a kayak here will give you the opportunity to land a ton of different species. Yellow perch, white perch, pickerel, snakehead, rockfish, and catfish all call Stoney Creek home at some point during the year, and many at the same time. Casting spinners like Dangles, Mepps, and Rooster Tails along docks and at points will produce bites from all different kinds of fish.
- Canton Waterfront Park - Canton Waterfront Park is around the corner from downtown Baltimore and launches directly into the harbor. The piers throughout the harbor and its sharp drop offs provide structure to catch perch, rockfish, and catfish almost year-round. Fort McHenry is located at the mouth of the harbor, and has some great structure just south of its bulkheads. Trolling throughout this area and between groups of birds can be extremely productive in the fall. If you have a fish finder keep a sharp eye on it. Rockfish will often school up on these ledges and it can make for a killer jig bite.
- Turner Station Park - Turner Station Park is located just a stone’s throw over the city’s eastern line, and is a good launch to use when fishing the eastern span of the Key bridge. Heading up Bear creek from the launch and fishing along old bulkheads and pilings with spinners can produce some big white and yellow perch, especially yellows early in the year. Head out the creek, towards the Patapsco, and there is some great cover provided by the bridge and some electrical structures over the water that will hold rockfish.
-By David Rudow