Upper Bay Fishing Reports

Upper Bay Fishing Reports presented by Riverside Marine

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 23 Update:

With Rocktober under way, Upper Bay anglers remain cruising the channel edges in hopes of spotting a school of stripers with the depth finder, or birds with binoculars. After some wonderful weather this week, the schoolies that have been spread along the channel edges and feeding on baitfish near the mouths of the tribs continue hitting. Locating birds remains the most fun, action-packed way to land fish right now. Tossing soft plastics or bucktails into the mix or jigging under them has been producing plenty of schoolie stripers underneath smaller rockfish. Tochterman’s was still hearing about some keepers coming in from the birds this week. We also heard that there are rockfish in the Inner Harbor, although they haven’t been stand-out large. Those caught this week were mostly by anglers tossing white soft plastics.

girl caught a rockfish in the chesapeake
Regina caught this 25-incher fishing off Ft. McHenry. Now that’s what we call a beautiful catch and a beautiful pic! Photo courtesy of Gil Nyland

Several readers let us know that the trolling bite was happening off Love Point this week, with Spoonbrellas and small umbrellas producing fish up into the mid-20s. Same goes inside the mouth of the Chester, where small pockets of fish are producing bird-play at times with fish up to the mid-20s under them. Unfortunately, however, the bird action is commonly short-lived and sporadic. Trollers also did well in the mouth of the Patapsco, near the Key Bridge, and off Sparrows Point, with several reports of multiple keepers including some up to 30 inches being caught. We also heard from one reader who did well jigging with white BKDs, catching a limit up to 23” with three people aboard near the Key Bridge.

Catfish and white perch continue to dominate the Tribs. Headed out loaded up with clam snouts and cut menhaden is a great way to entice the cats, while white perch will snap up bloodworms or FishBites off a bottom rig. Around the Bay Bridge Pilings and in deeper holes throughout the rivers, anglers searching out the perch are being rewarded.

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 16 Update:

With Rocktober well under way, days spent on the Upper Bay recently have been primarily centered around cruising the channel edges in hopes of spotting a school of stripers with the depth finder, or birds with binoculars. We had great reader reports of multiple keeper fish off Love Point this week and although some of the past week’s hotspots have slowed down recently and the fish have been very scattered, ample opportunity to catch fish is being provided by schools of schoolies spread along the channel edges and feeding on baitfish near the mouths of the tribs. Birds have had mostly small fish under them, but the occasional keeper is mixed in. Luckily, with many fish available, Tochterman’s reported that most boats aren’t headed home without a fish in the box… even if it is just north of the 19-inch mark. They also let us know that the tune at the Key Bridge has been slightly different with a number of boats gathering around the area, and anglers jigging bucktails and soft plastics enjoying a healthy bite. This area and the Patapsco in general does seem to be producing better than others including some larger fish. Readers checked in this week after catching keeper fish off Sparrows Point, the Key Bridge, and even the mouth of Curtis Creek including mention of multiple fish over 28-inches in the box. Trollers reported success with white umbrellas with six-inch shad and a bucktail/shad hook-bait, and FishTalk team member David Rudow reported catching a half-dozen keeper-sized fish while kayak trolling in the vicinity.

angler with an upper bay rockfish
Grant had a great day kayak trolling in the Upper Bay this week, including plenty of keeper-sized fish.

Additionally, reader reports coming from the Magothy indicate that the striper bite in the river has slowed a hair in the past week, but is still decent in the shallows and casting to piers with best results at dawn and dusk. Most fish are throwbacks but keep at it and you should find a fish or two over 19 inches. Anglers are also encountering some pickerel in the creeks. Word from the shallows of the Chester, especially the north side at the mouth, was also of a good low-light bite including keeper-sized rockfish in the mix.

White perch are continuing to hold close to shore, for now, so heading to your local pier with some bloodworms and a bottom rig is still a good option.

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 9 Update:

We heard from readers trolling between Rock Hall and Love Point that some fish in the 22- to 28-inch class came into the landing net this week on white umbrellas and on Spoonbrellas. We also had a couple reader reports of action near the mouth of the Patapsco, including one fish that stretched the tape to 27”. In the topwater department, the Chester has begun to show some signs of an improving bite along the north shoreline and creek mouths. We also had a reader report of topwater success in the Magothy, casting Spooks in the shallows right at dusk. Additionally, several readers chimed in after fishing the Bay Bridges this week, but their reports weren’t much more encouraging than the traffic reports coming from up above them. We heard of dink rock and some snapper blues in the 12” range under birds near the main span, but that was it.

he caught a rockfish
Tom Krenzke got this chunky 27-incher in the mouth of the Patapsco.

Tochterman’s mentioned that the Key Bridge has remained productive for guys headed there to cast soft plastics or jig. While most fish in the area are schoolies, a few keepers are being caught. White perch are also around the bridge and in the harbor. Keeping with the standard, bloodworms are best when you can find them, and FishBites a hot second.

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 2 Update:

Beautiful fall weather has made for some great days on the water this week. There’s plenty going on throughout the Upper Bay, as fisheries shift from their summer to fall modes. Notably, trolling and jigging are both becoming more and more popular. Anglers pulling bucktails and spoons are landing a fair number of stripers throughout the day, although the morning bite has generally been best. Jiggers are stealing the show right now though, with hefty catches around Love Point, the Bay Bridge Pilings, and the Key Bridge. Two readers also reported keeper rockfish (up to 24”) coming in from the Magothy this week, caught on topwater and on jigs in the shallows in the evening. Additionally, several readers checked in after fishing the Bay Bridge last weekend and this week, reporting that schoolie rock with some decent keepers mixed in were hitting jigs and Hopkins jigging spoons. Jigging with different metals and soft plastics has been common. One bait angler also reeled up a black sea bass in the shadow of the Bridge this week, and we even had a keeper weakfish reported — a welcome development! Angler’s Sport Center is reporting that soft crab and eels are working at the Bridge, too.

upper chesapeake bay fishing report
Junior had some slammin’ action just north of the Bridge – sweet catch!

Angler in Chief Lenny Rudow says he also visited the bridge this week, but it was blowing 20 and the conditions were not conducive to fishing; all they managed to bring up was a few dinks and small bluefish which were under birds near the main channel spans. Pooles Island has also popped up as a popular area. Anglers running north are bringing live eels with them, which are working around the lumps east and southeast of the Island. Although not a ton of fish are being caught, eeling generally leads to a better grade of fish since rockfish under 26 inches or so rarely go after eels.

The Bay Bridge Pilings and area around the Key Bridge are also chock-full of white perch. Guys targeting them have been using small spinners, as well as bottom rigs with bloodworms, bloodworm FishBites, or grass shrimp. Bottom rigs are also popular for anglers fishing in the rivers and creeks right now.

Crabbing Report: They’re still going strong — get out there and catch some fat fall crabs while you still can! They're moving to slightly deeper water right now, but are still quick to latch onto the chicken necks.

September 4, 2020
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, September 25 Update: Anglers: due to all the blustery weather the past week, we had a tough time getting our usual data dump. Reader reports were down and several of our usual sources simply said they haven't… Read more...
August 7, 2020
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, August 28 Update: Fishbones let us know that with stripers out for now, anglers are hitting the water and mostly running south in search of mackerel. They suggested heading to Tolly’s Point or the area between… Read more...
July 3, 2020
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, July 31 Update: Tochterman’s let us know that (mostly small) croakers are starting to come in around the Bay Bridge Pilings. They also had a new report, with photographic evidence, of another sea bass caught at… Read more...