Way North Fishing Reports

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 8 Update:

The colder weather species are getting more active in the northern Bay as water temperatures have dipped into the 40s. The initial reports of cold-weather yellow perch are starting to come in from the lower Susquehanna. A reader noted catching a 14-incher this week, along with some crappie. The yellow perch can be caught in the winter months in portions of the lower Susky, the North East River, and the Elk River. White perch are also on the table right now, they are just staging in deeper water with the dropping water temperatures. The mouths of the tidal rivers, especially where there are some deeper holes, will be good places to search for them. Dropping down bottom rigs baited with bloodworms, live minnows, or Fishbites should entice some perch into biting if they are in the area.

big yellow perch
Kenny found this beautiful yellow perch in the lower river. 

The lower Susquehanna has also seen decent action for smallmouth bass and walleye. Casting soft plastics, crankbaits, and jerkbaits will work for both species. Many anglers fishing at the Conowingo Dam in the winter will target walleye at the rocks just below the outflows and at the walkway along Conowingo Fisherman's Park. As always, blue catfish are a popular target among anglers in the area. The colder months don’t slow this bite down, which makes them popular when other species aren’t biting as well. The blue cats are found in just about all tidal waters in the northern Bay. Popular locations including the mouths of the tidal rivers, channels on the Susquehanna Flats, the Conowingo Dam, and the lower Susquehanna. There are some deep holes near the Route 95 and 40 bridges that anglers have good success at. Fresh cut bait like bluegill, bunker, or chicken work well for the catfish. Make sure you have adequately sized gear, because it’s not uncommon to catch one weighing over 40 pounds.

ANGLER ALERT: If you partake in striped bass fishing in Maryland, remember, next year’s regulations will be changing to combine all Bay jurisdictions and you only have until December 22 to provide comment on 2024 regulation options! See Chesapeake Bay Angler Alert: 2024 Striped Bass Reg Changes for the details and instructions on how to submit comment.

Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 1 Update:

As we enter December, fishing is slowing down and consistent bites are becoming harder to find. The colder months require more patience and persistence, but the reward of applying both can be great. Blue catfish will be the main target for many upper Bay anglers during the colder months. These fish are plentiful throughout all the upper Bay tributaries. The Susquehanna River and Flats has been producing some very big catfish all throughout the fall. This bite should continue through the winter. The old railroad bridge just north of Perryville is a popular location to fish for the blue cats. There are some deeper holes in the river around that area that tend to hold good concentrations of fish.

catching walleye
Walleye have been picking up the pace recently. (Not current photo, courtesy of Eric Packard).

Walleye are becoming a more reliable target at the Conowingo Dam now that water temperatures have cooled off significantly. White and green colored soft plastics tend to work well for them along with crankbaits. If they aren’t willing to hit artificial baits, nightcrawlers and minnows are a reliable live bait. Below the dam, the mouth of Deer Creek is another reliable location to target the walleye in the lower Susky. The night bite can often be better than the daytime bite, but it varies from day to day. Smallmouth bass are also being caught in this stretch of the river with more consistency. The holiday season is here and Christmas is just around the corner, so make sure to put together your wish list of new fishing gear soon!

November 3, 2023
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, November 24 Update: As we are enjoying time with family this Thanksgiving, let’s take a moment to appreciate how lucky we are to live in such a great region to accommodate our fishing addictions. An exciting… Read more...
October 5, 2023
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, October 27 Update: Late week temperatures have it feeling like summer has returned. The heat wave will continue over the weekend and we recommend taking full advantage of it to get out and catch some fish.… Read more...
September 1, 2023
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, September 29 Update: Tropical Storm Ophelia brought strong winds and plenty of rain to our region last weekend which halted most fishing efforts. The wind has stuck around this week and most of the tidal… Read more...