Middle Bay Fishing Reports

Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 20 Update:

Cold weather and crummy conditions are still keeping many anglers off the main stem of the Bay, but in the tribs the pickerel bite is keeping anglers busy. Angler’s is reporting that the Severn and Magothy have a solid pickerel bite this week still, and noted that some nice ones were caught in the Severn. Minnow on jigs and four-inch paddletails were the ticket, and some other anglers have found that slow-trolling does the trick. At the mill ponds, the same tactics are being used with success when and where open water is available, but that’s a mixed bag. Crappie have often been caught along with pickerel, and generally are happy to take a shad dart tipped with a minnow.

kayak fishing in ice cold water
Ummm, yeah. Thanks for the reminder, Eric!

With the weather so abrasive and a fishing report this thin, it’s time for our yearly reminder that if you decide to head out on a boat keep in mind that wearing a life jacket and paying attention to boating safety have an increased level of importance during the winter. Additionally, always go fishing with a buddy and make sure that someone is aware of your plan for the day. In low-40-degree water temperatures, individuals who fall in generally have only 10 to 20 minutes depending on their age, gender, weight, and submersion level before losing all coordination and muscle strength. Stay safe out there — and we're hoping you'll find some fish.


Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 14 Update:

For the most part, weather has been deterring many anglers from venturing out onto the water… and we don’t blame them. We haven’t heard much from the main stem of the Bay, but up rivers and in creeks pickerel and panfish are biting. Pickerel have been in the Magothy and Severn rivers, where Angler’s mentioned using live minnows under a bobber, or casting and slowly retrieving a three-inch paddletail has been working well. Some sheltered up-creek areas on the tribs have some ice on them, but main river and exposed areas were open up until today.

river not frozen
Tributary areas exposed to the wind remained open as of Friday, but sheltered areas have some ice barring entry. (Picture of the Magothy, courtesy of Stephen Rudow)

Winter fishing at the Eastern Shore millponds have been a more popular option for the pickerel fanatics, where they aren’t iced over. Minnow under a bobber are a favored method, and some anglers have been finding success slow trolling them, but as of last weekend Contributor Eric Packard was already encountering partially ice-covered waters in the millponds. The recent mid-40s days should have kept those waters open but as for the incoming arctic blast…


Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, January 7 Update:

Welcome to 2022 anglers! As the new year dawns we have plenty of fishing opportunities despite the chill in the air, though almost everything we heard about this week was pre-storm.. When we talked with the folks at Alltackle they mentioned that although many catch and release anglers were heading for Point Lookout on the hunt for trophy-sized stripers (with Boss BKDs), there were also some fish in the Middle Bay zone being caught. Angler’s fingered fishing the Bay Bridges as one way to feel the tug of a striper, though the fish aren’t stacking up size-wise with most topping out at around 30 inches. A few larger fish have been found off the Choptank by trollers and one reader reported getting into them while jigging in the Solomons area.

snow fish
Eric took a day off from fishing, and...Snowfish!

In the tribs there are regular reader reports coming in of pickerel, on the Western Shore mostly from the Severn, on jerkbaits and paddle-tails. An angler also checked in after fishing the upper Patuxent in the Jug Bay area, and finding plenty of catfish in the two- to five-pound range eager to take chicken livers fished in a hole.

September 3, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, September 24 Update: The Bay Bridges continue to be a focal point for many anglers, with good catches on fish up to 30 inches being reported by readers. Both jiggers and live-liners have been happy, and at… Read more...
August 6, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 27 Update: HOT WEATHER ALERT! Hey, FishTalkers! Our region is in the midst of another hot, hot, hot spell! We want to pop in and remind you to please keep undersized fish in the water when releasing them… Read more...
July 2, 2021
Middle Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 30 Update: Ready for the return to rockfish? Soon people, soon—August 1 is the date! Many Middle Bay anglers have turned to white perch to keep themselves busy through the closure, but even this has become… Read more...