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Fishing Conditions Forecast

December 5 - 11, 2018

forecast iconWith Bay temperature at 45°F and dropping, Bay fish are moving towards (or are already at) their winter holding areas, or migrating out of the Bay. With plenty of cool waters and oxygen from surface to bottom, eliminate waters with poor water clarity from recent, heavy rains. In addition, look for concentrations of fish in some of the warmer bottom waters (>50ft are averaging 56°F, at least 10°F warmer than surface waters) located from the Bay Bridge south to near the Maryland State line, on areas with good structure such as underwater points, oyster bottom, reefs, channel edges, and large schools of baitfish.

The following fishing condition details are a big-picture view, for more information and up-to-date fishing conditions in your area of the Chesapeake Bay, be sure to check out Eyes on the Bay’s Click Before You Cast.

Fishing Condition Details:

  • Pattern Stability - It will be cool all this week. Expect windy conditions on Thursday. Expect sunny/partly cloudy conditions with daytime air temperatures in the upper-30s to low-40s with nighttime temperatures in the low-30s.

  • Salinity –  Recent rains will keep Bay waters running fresher than normal since May

  • Oxygen – Most places have adequate oxygen down to the bottom.  As a new feature, check out the VIMS modeled oxygen forecast which identifies the deepest depth you can fish with adequate oxygen for Bay gamefish.

  • Temperature – At the NOAA Buoys, water temperatures continue to cool, with the Gooses Reef at 45°F, Mallows Bay at 43°F and Point Lookout at 47°F. Water temperatures should continue to drop this week due to the cooling air temperatures. Deeper waters over 50ft are substantially warmer than the surface (>50ft are averaging 56°F, at least 10°F warmer than surface waters) in areas from the Bay Bridge south to near the Maryland State line.  

  • Clarity – The Main bay is still turbid down to the Bay Bridge, and the Potomac River has below average water clarity down near Colonial Beach. 

  • Moving water – Expect the already above normal flows on most Maryland rivers and streams to increase again this week as a result of rain Saturday and Monday.  There will be above average tidal currents on Monday and Tuesday as a result of the new moon on Friday, December 7th. For shallow water fishing, fish the moving water times during low light conditions before sunrise (~7:12am) and after the sunset (~4:44pm).

  • Putting it all together – The best fishing areas could be further refined by intersecting these prime areas with underwater points, drop-offs, and large schools of baitfish.

For more detailed and up-to-date fishing conditions in your area of the bay, be sure to fully explore Click Before You Cast. Feel free to drop us a line with comments or suggestions!