The waters off the Maryland coast are teeming with a bounty of summertime species, bringing joy to anglers and seafood enthusiasts alike. The warm and salty waters have created the perfect conditions for a thriving ecosystem, resulting in impressive numbers of various fish species.

In the Chesapeake Bay and lower Potomac River, bluefish and Spanish mackerel are putting on a spectacular show, mixing in large schools that create a dazzling display of water spray as they feast on bay anchovies and peanut bunker. Anglers in the lower Potomac, specifically from Ragged Point to the mouth, have reported larger schools of blues ranging from 3 to 5 pounds.

Fishing enthusiasts looking to reel in some exciting catches will be delighted to find that red drum and speckled trout are appearing in the shallows, offering ample opportunities for lure casters. Moreover, the creeks are teeming with puppy drums, measuring 8 to 12 inches, interspersed with an excellent run of white perch. If you’re pursuing a bigger game, the mid-bay is home to slot-sized redfish, ranging from 18 to 27 inches, while bull reds or channel bass, weighing between 30 to 50 pounds, are schooling up to pose a challenge for avid anglers.

The Patuxent River has become a hot spot for spot fishing, with these delicious species being caught as quickly as anglers can pull on the tides. White perch, snapper blues, and keeper-sized croakers, with a minimum size requirement of 9 inches, are also abundant in the area. Additionally, plentiful spot can be found in both the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

For those seeking an exciting battle with big catches, blue catfish have been spotted in the fresher areas of the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers. These catfish are fun to catch and make an excellent addition to the dinner table. Adventurous anglers have reported sightings of massive catfish weighing over 50 pounds, ready to pounce on fresh-cut bait.

The awaited striper season is now open in the bay and Patuxent River. Anglers can witness stripers aggressively striking topwater and swimming lures at dawn and dusk. Come August 21st; the Potomac River will also join the fray, with a daily limit of two fish per angler, measuring 20 to 31 inches.

Crabbing enthusiasts have reason to rejoice as well. Crabs have begun to come ashore, feeding and preparing for their upcoming shedding cycle. Crab pots in the creeks are brimming with large and succulent crabs, ready to be harvested. Trot liners have also reported decent yields in the deeper creeks and rivers, and the daily catch is expected to improve as the moon approaches its first quarter on August 24.

Meanwhile, freshwater fishing remains excellent, particularly during the cool mornings and evenings. Anglers can enjoy the tranquility of freshwater fishing while basking in the natural beauty of Maryland’s waterways.

Southern Maryland’s waters offer a bountiful fishing season this summer, with a diverse array of species in abundance. Whether it’s the thrill of reeling in the big game or the satisfaction of catching delicious crabs, anglers and seafood enthusiasts will have a memorable and fruitful experience on the water. As always, fishermen need to adhere to the appropriate regulations and fishing limits to ensure the sustainability of the marine ecosystem for generations to come. Happy fishing!

Ken Lamb of St. Mary’s Tacklebox provided information for this article.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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