Upper Bay Fishing Reports

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, June 14 Update:

Sweet summertime has arrived, and the fishing is good on the Upper Bay. A lot of anglers are hitting the water along with plenty of pleasure boaters, so be ready to deal with lots of boat traffic for the next few months as we all enjoy some of our favorite outdoor recreation. The larger schools of striped bass are in the upper section of the Bay again this year. Most of the fish are hanging out inside the Patapsco River in the vicinity of the shipping docks and Baltimore Harbor. While there is no doubt fish there, there are also a lot of other boats to deal with. Fishing has been good on most days with boats catching their rockfish by trolling, live lining, and light tackle jigging, but the best bite is very early before the boat traffic picks up.

back creek catfish
Louie got summer vacation started the very best way possible: by casting into Back Creek.

Shallow water structure has been holding scattered fish that are willing to hit topwater lures in the early morning hours. This includes docks, rip rap, shoreline points, and bridges. A running tide has been an important component for finding willing fish to bite. Once the sun gets up, searching for schools of fish in open water has been a good bet. A boat fishing in the Patapsco reported a good evening bite this week with the fish really turning on during the last hour of light. Metal jigs, paddletails, and topwater baits all caught fish. Some birds started working the fish busting at the surface, but nearby boats chased them around relentlessly which is a good way to shut down a bite.

Spot have moved up the Bay and can be found in good numbers around Sandy Point, Belvidere Shoal and Six Foot Knoll. Since the rockfish slot this year is 19 to 24 inches, spot on the smaller side (three to five inches) will be best for boxing slot fish while live lining.

Other than stripers, white perch are a good option to fish for right now. They are being caught in the rivers and creeks in the shallows and out in deeper water in hard bottom areas. Bottom rigs tipped with bloodworms, nightcrawler, grass shrimp, or Fishbites will do the trick in deeper water. Small jigs and spinners usually get them biting near shallow water structure. The pilings in the eight-to-15-foot range at the Bay Bridge are also good places to fish for perch and there are usually plenty of eating size fish around to take home for a delicious meal.

Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, June 7 Update:

Striped bass season is now underway in Maryland and many anglers got out this past week to chase after them. Resident FishTalk kayak sharpie Zach Ditmars reports that there are plenty of rockfish — and plenty of fishing boats — for kayak anglers in the Patapsco as well as boat anglers. Paddletails drew plenty of bites and while the bulk of the fish are dinks, he mentioned having one on that was blatantly above the slot and looked to be 30-plus inches. Just like last year, the larger schools of stripers seem to be hanging out well into the river. But much of the charter fleet has flooded into the river along with recreational boats, and the increased boat traffic has made the bite tough on some days. A boat fishing inside the remnants of the Key Bridge was live lining with white perch and jigging four-inch paddletails without much action. They were surrounded by several charter boats and a few recreational vessels and only saw a handful of fish caught. Getting on the water early and staying away from the crowds has been the more productive strategy for many boats this week. A boat trolling near Dundalk using a five-rod umbrella spread and tandems stayed away from other boats and caught around a dozen fish from 16 to 31 inches with many being in the slot. Another boat jigging caught fish up to 25 inches while using soft plastics and metal spoons while drifting. All things considered this is one of the hottest zones around right now for stripers, so it made this month's Hot Bite Report!

White perch fishing in the creeks is now in fine summer form, and a reader report of solid success fishing with grass shrimp came in from Stoney Creek this week. They can be found near docks, riprap, and shoreline points in the shallow creeks throughout the upper Bay tidal tribs. Small spinners in chartreuse or white reeled in just fast enough to keep the blade spinning is hard to resist for hungry perch. Out on the main stem, bottom fishing has been good at the various shoals in the Upper Bay. Six-foot knoll and seven-foot knoll are two of the popular bottom fishing locations and anglers are catching a mix of white perch, spot, and some catfish right now. The Bay Bridge pilings in the 10 to 15 foot of water range have also been a good place to perch fish. Dropping down live minnows or grass shrimp is working well.

February 2, 2024
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 23 Update: It is feeling a lot more like winter this week as colder temperatures have moved back into the region. Cold weather may keep some of us indoors, but hardcore anglers will hit the water no… Read more...
January 5, 2024
Upper 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
Upper Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 29 Update: The Patapsco River offers some of the best opportunities for catching winter striped bass in the Upper Bay. Fishing with a slow approach and small baits will typically be the most effective… Read more...