Way North Fishing Reports

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 27 Update:

With striped bass closed to anglers in much of the water north of the Hart-Miller-Tolchester line until June first (see the DNR striped bass season map for the details on which areas are open and which are closed), most of the attention up north is on catfish, white perch, and snakehead. Catfish are all over the Susquehanna Flats, in the Conowingo Dam pool, and throughout the tribs. And we really do mean all over — anglers fishing from shore and boats are enjoying very steady action. Even on days when it isn’t fast-paced, it’s still consistent enough to make a trip worth it. Fishing for them is easy too, as simple as drifting cut baits like menhaden and chicken liver on the bottom. Some anglers also are doing well on clam snouts, as per Herb’s, and a reader checking in from the Elk reported cats action on fish in the 20-something-inch range.

needlefish caught in the bay
Crazy Catch Alert: Kelsey caught this needlefish – yes, needlefish – near Lapidum. Yes, Lapidum!

White perch are in their usual summer haunts, a perciform-plundering opportunity for those who aren’t excited about chasing down catfish or snakehead. Anglers are having success fishing for them with the traditional methods, casting small jigs, spinners, and dropping bottom rigs with FishBites or bloodworms to the bottom. Snakehead, meanwhile, are moving into summer-mode, awakening in northern tidal areas. We’ve seen action increase week after week, with anglers targeting them enjoying an activated bite on paddle tails and imitation lures.

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 19 Update:

Striped bass opened up on May 16th on the Flats but we haven't heard of much success there as of yet. (Note: some northern areas remain closed and others are catch and release only; see the DNR Striped Bass Maps for details). Many area anglers continue to primarily still hunt after white perch, blue catfish, and shad. The white perch are providing fair action in the tribs, with Clyde’s Sport Shop reporting that anglers fishing for them are making up most of the crowd. Using bloodworms, grass shrimp, or artificial baits such as FishBites in their bloodworm flavor is popular. Some readers have also been enjoying excellent bass action in the Havre de Grace area.

bass fishing
Kenny had another great day on the water, this time fishing for bass.

For catfish there has been no need at all to travel outside of local waters. Clyde’s let us know the bite is relentless, and these invasive critters are putting on a show for those willing to dunk bloodworms or chicken livers for them. Menhaden and other fresh cut baits are also popular. The shad run, however, after being rudely interrupted by all those storms, has pretty much petered out at this point. We heard a couple whispers of fish over the week but action has slowed significantly.

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 13 Update:

Despite striper fishing being shut down from the Brewerton Channel north and high flows in the river, anglers fishing the Chesapeake’s northernmost reaches have been finding plenty of action in the catfish department. Blue catfish are subbing in for stripers in this area, delivering the size and the action anglers enjoy from trophy bass and remaining willing to bite in the high, muddied water. Both shoreline and boating anglers are reporting good catfish catches, as well as the occasional fish in the 30-inch or above class. Big cats aren’t uncommon for anglers sticking with them, soaking cut menhaden and chicken liver on bottom. We did hear from a reader that there’s more trash than normal floating around right now, and boaters need to be cautious to avoid limbs and flotsam.

anglers on the susquehanna
The Neely boys enjoyed some tugging on the Susquehanna. White perch were also part of the catch.

White perch were biting in the lower Susquehanna and around Perryville, providing for anglers with bloodworms or grass shrimp on a bottom rig, but poor conditions and high flow from the Conowingo Dam have shut down the hickory shad fishing for now - we’ll hopefully be reporting on them again next week!

If you missed last night's presentation of The Past Present & Future of Striped Bass: A Chesapeake Perspective, remember, you can still watch it on YouTube!

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, May 6 Update:

At least up north in this part of the Chesapeake anglers are able to enjoy their days without dodging countless planer boards. From the Brewerton Channel up is still closed for keeping rock (through May 15; check the DNR map for closure areas), and so many anglers up north are still targeting blue and channel catfish if they’re not headed south in search of the stripers. Catfish are still easy to find, and catches north of 30-inches aren’t uncommon occurrences… no complaints there! Anglers landing them primarily have been using chopped menhaden and chicken livers. Having fresh bait has been the ticket to getting them.

big northern catfish
Brian hauled up this fat cat right from the deck of his trailer on the Elk River.

Hickory shad anglers fishing the lower Susquehanna and Deer Creek are enjoying a revitalized bite, with good catches reported this week. They’re using a variety of brightly colored and shiny shad darts. White perch remain biting in the rivers too, although the run is over. They can be found in deep holes and pockets, as well as moving into shallower shaded areas in creeks. Blood worms or FishBites on a bottom rig are reportedly working well for them in deep water, with small jigs and spinners a favorite for anglers casting into shallow waters.

Northern snakehead are waking up with the warmer weather, and so providing action for anglers willing to traverse the terrains that they call home. Hiding out in shallows and weedy areas, these invasive predators are apt to take imitation baits such as frogs, crankbaits, or paddle-tails. They’re great tasting and put up a great fight — plus, fishing for them helps clean our Chesapeake of an invasive species— so go get ‘em!

April 1, 2022
North Chesapeake Fishing Report, April 29 Update: With the weather settling down a bit the shad bite showed some improvement early in the week. We didn’t hear words like “red hot” or “gangbusters,” but some decent catches have been made below the… Read more...
March 4, 2022
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, March 25 Update: Warm weather lured plenty of anglers onto the water throughout this week, where perch and catfish were waiting for them. The white perch bite in the lower Susquehanna and around the… Read more...
February 4, 2022
Way North Chesapeake Fishing Report, February 25 Update: Norther waters were hopping this week, with solid reports from both perch-jerkers and catfish anglers. Yellow perch were taking minnow and small jigs near the docks in Perryville, with boat… Read more...