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Fishing Conditions Forecast

June 20 - 26, 2018

forecast iconAs the first day of summer approaches on Thursday, June 21st, the recent, heavy rains continue to impact Maryland waters as above average flows reduce surface salinities and water clarity in many areas of the upper Bay.  Besides some rain on Friday and Saturday, anglers will experience warm, sunny fishing conditions for most of this upcoming week.

Main-Bay water temperatures have reached 78°F as a result of recent, warm and sunny conditions. Expect the continued warm, sunny weather to continue to push water temperatures towards the low 80s. These warmer temperatures will result in rockfish seeking cooler, deeper waters with adequate oxygen levels. Areas from Gunpowder Neck and Swan Point south to the Bay Bridge are showing poor bottom oxygen conditions below about 13’ to 16’. However, other portions of the main Bay and tidal rivers have much better oxygen conditions so be sure to check the full forecast and the Don’t Fish Below this Depth for conditions in your area. There will be above average tidal currents this Saturday through next Tuesday as a result of the full moon on next Thursday, June 28th

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 - Expect very warm, sunny conditions for most of the upcoming week with mostly low to moderate winds. Expect daytime temperatures in the mid- to upper-80s to low-90s and nighttime temperature in the 70s. Chance of rain and T-storms on Friday and Saturday.

  • Salinity –  Local rivers and streams will be running fresher than normal due to the recent, frequent rains. This influx of freshwater has decreased Bay salinities below the long-term average. The most recent salinity map shows the fresh/low salinity water hugging the western shore and extending below Kent Island. Recent rains pushing fresh water down the Bay is causing dense, high salinity water with low oxygen levels to move up the Bay in the bottom waters. 

  • Oxygen – As a result of the higher salinity bottom waters moving up the Bay, poor oxygen conditions from Gunpowder Neck down to the Bay Bridge will force anglers to fish shallower than normal to avoid dropping below 3 mg/l or the 'Don’t Fish Below this Depth'. Avoid fishing below depths of with poor oxygen conditions at the following locations: Baltimore Harbor (26’), Swan Point (13’), Bay Bridge (16’), South (10’), Kent Point (23’). In the Potomac River and most other areas of the Bay, there is adequate oxygen to the bottom.  To see June oxygen levels by depth, just click on any station on the Don’t Fish Below this Depth map.

  • Temperature – Main-Bay water temperatures have reached the upper-70s, as a result of recent, warm, sunny conditions. At the NOAA Buoys, Annapolis is 78°F and the Gooses Reef is 78°F with recent daytime temperatures into the low 80s. For most of the main-Bay waters, surface waters are significantly warmer (+2 to 5°F) than bottom waters so fish deeper to find the cooler water rockfish prefer. 

  • Clarity –  Expect continued below average water clarity in most of Bay waters as a result of the recent, heavy rains. In addition, expect algal blooms fueled by nutrients carried by rains to return to mid-Bay waters (Patapsco south to Poplar island area) as a result of the recent sunny weather.

  • Moving water –  Due to the recent heavy rains, expect above-average flows for the Potomac and for some smaller shore rivers and streams entering the Potomac and the lower eastern shore portion of the Bay. There will be above average tidal currents this Saturday through next Tuesday as a result of the full moon on next Thursday, June 28th. For shallow water fishing, fish the moving water times during low light conditions before sunrise (~5:40am) and after the sunset (~8:35pm).

  • 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!