Way North Fishing Reports

Way North Chesapeake Fishing Report, June 14 Update:

Anglers have been enjoying the fun fishing opportunities that are brought to us by summer’s return. Striped bass have been a big attraction since the season opened on June 1st, and lots of folks are having luck finding them. The stripers can be found on the Susquehanna Flats and in the lower Susquehanna River with the Conowingo Dam being a hotspot. While on the flats fishing along grass beds and channel edges is a good place to start, and snakeheads are being found in this area as well. In the river, stripers can be found along the main channel and in shallow water close to the islands and rocky shorelines. There was a report from a boat fishing out of Port Deposit who caught their two-man limit of stripers while trolling small surgical tubes. The striper bite is usually best when the Conowingo Dam is pumping water into the river which creates more oxygenated conditions. Water temps are quickly rising with the hot weather, so make sure to handle fish with care if you catch a fish outside the slot or are planning to catch and release. Limit their time out of the water and properly revive them so they swim off strong.

catfish fishing up north
Camille caught this nice catfish while soaking her baits in the Sassafras.

One of the fun things about fishing this time of year is that you can catch a lot of different species in one trip. A kayak angler fishing below the Conowingo Dam had a great day on the water earlier in the week catching a half dozen striped bass between 17 and 23 inches, three smallmouth bass up to 16 inches, and too many catfish to count. The hot baits were a green twisty tail soft plastic on a jighead, a live minnow on a jighead, and a live minnow floated under a bobber. Fish were mostly hanging out in areas with the fastest current. Another angler fishing in this section of the river had good luck fishing from shore catching two walleye and five channel catfish in an hour and a half. One of the more impressive catches of the week came from a catfish angler fishing on the lower portion of the Susky. They caught a nearly 34-pound flathead catfish that is one of the largest we have heard of that far south in the river. Smaller fish in the 10-pound range are more common, but a fish over 30 pounds is huge. Flathead catfish are invasive, and Maryland DNR encourages anglers to remove them from the water if caught.

Way North Chesapeake Fishing Report, June 7 Update:

Summer is knocking on our door as longer days and warm weather have been welcomed by the fishing community. Readers fishing the northerly Chesapeake rivers report a good bite on fish of the freshwater variety, with both bass and crappie still hitting well now that they’re in a post-spawn mode and moving into summer mode. White perch were reported in the mix this week, too. Aquatic vegetation has grown thick by now and fish like bass and snakeheads are using it for cover. This time of year is a great time to rig up your favorite topwater lures and hit the water for some explosive bites. Topwater frogs are one of the most effective lures for these fish and with the snakehead spawn going on right now, fry balls will be popping up for us to target. All the upper Bay tidal tributaries have snakeheads in them and the smaller creeks off the Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam are places to keep in mind when searching for them. In areas with moving water and less vegetation, sub-surface baits like Mepps spinners or weedless flukes are good options to throw to cover more water.

mixed bite in the northern bay
Kenny enjoyed a mixed bite up the rivers this week.

Catfish anglers are still pulling big fish out of the Susquehanna with blue catfish over the 30-pound mark becoming all too common these days. A boat fishing near Port Deposit caught their new boat record with a 44.5-pound blue catfish along with multiple other fish in the 20-to-30-pound range. Bluegill was the hot bait for these river monsters. The blue catfish are a great option to target for striped bass anglers who want to put more than their one fish limit in the cooler for the day. The blues can be caught using many of the same methods you would use for stripers including chunking, live lining, and even jigging with soft plastics. Make sure to participate in CCA Maryland’s Great Chesapeake Invasives Count if you plan on targeting blue catfish, snakehead, or flathead catfish this year. Anglers can register and log their catches which will enter them for a chance at monthly prizes and help fisheries managers understand the movements of our invasive fish.

Many anglers have flocked to the Susquehanna Flats and lower Susquehanna River with the opening of striped bass season starting on June 1st. The Conowingo Dam is a popular destination to fish for stripers and it is offering good numbers of fish right now. It is a good idea to get there early as the shoreline can fill up quickly. Those with large rods are casting far out into the current to get bites. A three-way rig with a bell sinker and bucktail is the perfect setup to get your bait down in the current to where the stripers will be sitting. Just make sure to bring extra gear as the bottom is very rocky and snags are common. Many slot fish (19 to 24 inches) have been caught this week at the dam, but there have also been over-slot fish caught. If you catch a fish outside the slot, make sure to handle it with care and take the time to revive it to ensure it swims off strong. This will be especially important as water temperatures rise over the next few months.

February 2, 2024
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, February 23 Update: Despite the cold and wind there are still anglers out searching for a bite this time of year. We had a report from an angler in the lower Susquehanna who was out targeting smallmouth bass… Read more...
January 5, 2024
Way North 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
Way North Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report, December 29 Update: It is the second week in a row that we have received heavy rainfall across our region. This does not make fishing easy for this section of the Bay as runoff from these rains will flood… Read more...