Middle Bay Fishing Reports

Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, June 14 Update:

We have officially made it into prime fishing/boating season for the year as the official start of summer is only a few days away. Boat traffic is something we should expect from here on out, especially on weekends. The best way to describe the fishing across the board in the middle Bay is “sporadic”. The AIC says the hot-cold striper bite in the Middle Bay zone has continued, with most of his luck coming on the west side docks and shallow water structure. High water and low light have been the winning combination, with fish willing to hit paddletails, stick baits, and lipless crankbaits. He noted that a three-inch gold/white diving stickbait that ran about four feet deep was particularly hot recently and mentioned that an attempt on low water at midday produced a skunk trip. FishTalk intern Adam Greenberg reaffirms the low light ticket, noting that topwater between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. has been red-hot in the Choptank shallows, but then it shuts off like a light.

striper at dawn on topwater
The daybreak bite has been productive on the Choptank. Photo courtesy of Adam Greenberg.

Eating-sized spot have moved up and are now available in good numbers from the lower Patuxent up to Deale. Anglers fishing bloodworms or Fishbites bloodworms on Chesapeake Sabiki rigs report catching them by the dozens, often with a few perch and/or small croaker in the mix (no reports of keeper-sized croaker yet, though). Good areas to search for these fish include the mouth of the Patuxent, Chesapeake Beach, Holland Point, and areas just north or south of the Bay Bridge. Anywhere from five to 15 feet of water is generally a good zone and the spot tend to hang out where the crab pots start along the bayfront. The hot perch bite that was happening at Holland Point has slowed down considerably this week with one reader reporting a skunk trip last weekend. He heard from a close friend that a morning trip a day later only produced a half dozen eating size perch. Let’s hope the schools move back in, because perch fishing is something many anglers enjoy during the summer.

Over on the Tred Avon River, a shore angler reported that his usually reliable perch fishing spots in the river are being overrun with catfish, both channel and blue. It is a good thing they both taste good, but they can be pesky when searching for more desirable species.

Crabbing report: Fair to good action is being reported in the Middle Bay tribs, with one crabber reporting three-quarters of a bushel in the basket despite trot-lining in a very stiff breeze one day this week. Another said he got a full bushel, but it took most of the day to do so and many were barely-legals.

Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, June 7 Update:

Summer is knocking on our door as June has finally arrived. Striped bass have been a big target for anglers now that the entire Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in Maryland are open to targeting as of June 1st. Angler in Chief Lenny Rudow says the striper bite in the Middle Bay zone remains on and off, with hot trips followed by cool ones at spots including Thomas Point, Poplar, the mouth of the Choptank, the power plant, and in the South River. He noted that while the bite was slow at the power plant there were a few very nice fish there including a pair of 31-inchers. He also mentioned that the shallows were riled up by wind on several recent trips, and fish were completely MIA where it was churned and off-color. Crazy catch report: he also mentioned catching a snakehead of around eight pounds in Ramsay Lake, after it was spotted on the surface 10’ away while he was cleaning fish at the marina!

middle bay striper fishing
Mark scored a nice 31" Middle Bay rockfish while casting a paddletail on a half-ounce head in the shallows.

Fishing for white perch has offered a more consistent bite for Middle Bay anglers. The smaller creeks off the main rivers have perch holding in their summertime hangouts. They can be found near docks, riprap, and shoreline points in the shallows. There has been a lot of grass in the Middle Bay rivers this spring, but much of it is starting to die off and floating grass has made it tough to fish some areas. Finding zones with open water, structure, and current will put you in a good place to catch fish. Holland Point in Herring Bay has also been a perch hotspot this spring with multiple successful trips reported recently. Bottom fishing in deeper water with Chesapeake sabiki rigs tipped with bloodworms or Fishbites has led to steady bites on perch, spot, and the occasional undersize croaker. In shallower water around the point, casting spinners and small paddletails have been the go-to for many anglers. If you have trouble finding the fish, trolling baits around the shallows is a good way to locate a school. One reader fishing there at the beginning of the week reported a VERY slow bite in the afternoon until an hour before dark. Once the sun began to go down, the bite turned red hot, and they put over 60 eater sized perch in the box within an hour. They also caught two keeper striped bass on their perch gear.

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...
December 1, 2023
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 29 Update: The Angler in Chief says the catch-and-release trophy striper jigging in the Middle Bay is downright epic, with success on 40-inch-plus fish on every attempt this week. On one trip so many… Read more...