As autumn arrives, bringing moderate temperatures and windy conditions, fishing opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay are looking increasingly promising. According to the latest weather forecast for September 20 through September 26, the Chesapeake Bay’s surface water temperatures are set to decline to the mid-70s. This decrease in temperature, coupled with improving oxygen conditions in Maryland waters, provides an optimal environment for various types of fishing.
The forecast anticipates rain for the weekend and windy conditions from Thursday through Sunday. This shift in weather could lead to better fishing opportunities, given that cooler water temperatures often enhance fish activity. Salinity in the Bay remains above average, and areas from Tolchester to the Bay Bridge are advised to avoid fishing below 30 feet. For detailed local conditions, Eyes on the Bay’s Click Before You Cast offers updated information.
The Conowingo Dam pool remains a hotspot for striped bass, particularly during early mornings and late evenings. Fishing for blue catfish is also prominent in the lower Susquehanna River and the Chester River. Bay anglers have experienced increasing success around Pooles Island and the Patapsco River, often employing eels and soft plastics as bait.
Water clarity in Maryland’s Bay, rivers, and streams is expected to remain average, although an algal bloom affects visibility in the Sassafras, Bush, Gunpowder, and Back Rivers. Tidal currents will be stronger next Tuesday due to the September 28-29 full moon. Anglers can check the latest water clarity conditions through Eyes on the Bay Satellite Maps.
In the upper Bay, large schools of blue catfish and good numbers of spotfish are noticeable. In the middle Bay, water temperatures are expected to decrease to around 70 degrees, which may improve striped bass fishing. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are also active in these waters.
Lower Bay fishing is undergoing seasonal changes as summer species like Spanish mackerel prepare to migrate south. Fishing for spot remains abundant, especially in the Tangier and Pocomoke sounds. Large sheepshead are another highlight, with Brian Summerlin breaking the state record last week with a 16.6-pound catch.
Fishing for largemouth bass and northern snakeheads is also rising as cooler temperatures set in. For freshwater enthusiasts, the fall trout stocking program begins in October, offering an additional avenue for fishing adventures.
This seasonal shift in weather conditions is not only affecting fish but also the crustaceans. Crabbers report that the largest crabs are coming from deeper waters of 12 to 15 feet, an indicator for those looking to catch crabs in the upcoming weeks.
So whether you’re an angler looking for your next big catch or someone who enjoys the serene environment of the Chesapeake Bay, the onset of fall brings new and exciting possibilities. As always, make sure to stay updated on the latest conditions to make the most out of your fishing experience.