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Fishing Conditions Forecast

October 17 - 23, 2018

forecast iconIt will be windy Wednesday, and again on Saturday, as another chance of rain rolls in. Expect sunny/partly cloudy conditions most of the other days with air temperatures in the mid-50s to mid-60s, with night-time temperatures about 10°F cooler (temperature details below). These breezy, colder air temperatures continue to chill and uniformly mix Bay waters, providing plenty of cool, well-oxygenated water from the surface down to the bottom.  The upper-Bay and upper-Potomac are still suffering from poor water clarity from high river flow inputs. In the mid-Bay look out for an algal bloom near Gooses (clarity details below). So for this week, avoid areas with the worst water clarity, and focus on main-Bay areas with good structure, such as underwater points, oyster bottom, reefs, channel edges, with large schools of baitfish. There will be above average tidal currents from Saturday through Tuesday as a result of the full moon next Wednesday, October 24th.

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 windy Wednesday, and again on Saturday, as another chance of rain rolls in. Expect sunny/partly cloudy conditions most of the other days with air temperatures in the mid-50s to mid-60s (°F) with night-time temperature in the upper-40s to low-50s.

  • 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 – The recent cool weather, rains and winds are providing ample places with substantially cooler water for Bay gamefish. At the DNR and NOAA Buoys, water temperatures are moderate, with Susquehanna River at 64°F and Gooses Reef at 70°F, and Point Lookout at 70°F and should continue to drop as cooler air temperatures prevail.  

  • Clarity – Expect poor water clarity from the high flows coming from the Susquehanna and most western shore rivers and streams to continue. Expect the Susquehanna River’s muddy water to continue to keep upper Bay waters down to the Bay Bridge with below average water clarity. In addition, there is still poor water clarity on the Potomac River down to about the Wicomico River from the high flows. In the mid-Bay, from Bay Bridge down to Little Choptank River, including Eastern Bay, expect poor water clarity near the Gooses due to an algal bloom. 

  • Moving water – Expect above-average flows from most western shore rivers (including Potomac and Susquehanna) and streams entering the Bay due to recent rains.  There will be above-average tidal currents Saturday through Tuesday as a result of the full moon next Wednesday, October 24th. For shallow water fishing, fish the moving water times during low light conditions before sunrise (~7:21am) and after the sunset (~6:20pm).

  • 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!