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Fishing Conditions Forecast

August 8 - 14, 2018

forecast iconThis upcoming week will be defined by the very warm Bay waters and poor water clarity resulting from the high river flows entering the Bay.  The bright spot is the recent oxygen conditions, with the Bay experiencing some of the best on record. Since most of the water column has been recharged with oxygen, expect rockfish to move deeper towards cooler waters during daylight hours. As of Friday 7/27, the coolest waters from surface to bottom are from the Susquehanna Flats, down to the Still Pond area. The temperature break appears to be near the Gunpowder Neck area, with cooler areas up-Bay and warmer waters down-Bay. Currently, at the NOAA Buoys, Annapolis surface water temperatures are reporting at 83°F, Gooses at 84°F and Point Lookout at 84°F (remember, rockfish will avoid waters > 84°F).  From the Bay Bridge north, most areas have adequate oxygen from surface to the bottom. For anglers, continue to seek the best combination of clear, cool, oxygenated waters. This means fishing deep, or early in the morning. There will be above-average tidal currents all week as a result of the upcoming new moon this Sunday, August 12th.

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 - We will have the same weather pattern again this week. Expect warm, sunny conditions for most of the upcoming week with possible rains and thunderstorms Saturday through Tuesday. There will be generally low winds, except during possible T-storms. Expect daytime temperatures in the upper-80s/low-90s, with night-time temperature in the 70s.

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

  • Oxygen – Recent storm-related winds have mixed Bay waters and recharged oxygen throughout the water column providing the Bay with some of the best July oxygen conditions since we began tracking oxygen conditions in 1985. Expect gamefish to be able to move deeper in the water column as they seek cool, oxygenated waters. Check out the Don’t Fish Below this Depth map for the most recent conditions.

  • Temperature – Since the recent rains, Bay temperatures have cooled, but mostly in the upper bay area from the Susquehanna Flats to Still Pond with surface water temperatures at ~70°F on the Flats and Turkey Point and Still Pond at 76°F (as reported on 7/27). Bottom waters at these locations are fully oxygenated with temperatures in the low-70s. From Gunpowder Neck south to the Bay Bridge, surface waters are running >80°F and fishable bottom waters are at 78°F. Check Water Temperatures by Depth (results from 7/27) for conditions in your area. At the NOAA Buoys, daytime water temperatures are running very warm, with Annapolis at 83°F, Gooses at 84°F and Point Lookout is 84°F. Expect water temperatures near sunrise to be slightly cooler than daytime temperatures.  

  • sediment plume satellite imageClarity –  Expect poor water clarity from Susquehanna, Potomac, and near most rivers and streams entering the Bay, as a result of the recent heavy rains. The main plume from the Susquehanna has reached below the Bay Bridge (see image at right). In addition, an algal bloom is beginning to appear below the Bay Bridge along the western shore down below the Patuxent river. On the Potomac River, poor water clarity is present down to upriver of the Wicomico River.

  • Moving water –  Expect above-average flows most rivers and streams entering the Bay from recent rains.  In addition, predicted showers/T-storms Saturday through Tuesday, may have localized flow impacts.  There will be above average tidal currents all week as a result of the upcoming new moon this Sunday, August 12th. For shallow water fishing, fish the moving water times during low light conditions before sunrise (~6:16am) and after the sunset (~8:06pm).

  • 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!