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Fishing Conditions Forecast

May 22 - 28, 2019

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The recent and forecasted warm air temperatures in the 80s (⁰F) should warm up most surface Bay waters to the low- to mid-70s over the next week. Salinities are still running low for this time of year. In most Maryland Bay waters, anglers will find adequate oxygen from the surface to bottom for Bay gamefish. However, to avoid low oxygen conditions in the deep channel waters from the Bay Bridge down to the Maryland State line, avoid fishing deeper than ~30 feet. As recorded at the real-time NOAA and DNR buoys, Bay water temperatures have heated up from the warm, sunny weather. Check below for details on water temperature in your neck-of-the-woods. Expect reduced water clarity in the mainstem down to the Chester River and also on the Potomac River, down to Colonial Beach from recent rains. Expect elevated flows from the Susquehanna, Potomac and most other rivers and streams due to recent rains farther up in the watershed.  There will be above average tidal currents through Thursday as a result of the recent full moon this past Sunday, May 19th.

For more information, continue with the 'Fishing Condition Details' below.

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 daytime temperatures in the mid- to high-80s and night temperatures around 70⁰F which will continue to help increase water temperatures over the next week. Expect chance of rain or thunderstorms Thursday and from again from Saturday through Tuesday. Sunrise around 5:46am and sunset at about 8:20pm.

  • Salinity – Bay surface salinities are below normal for this time of year. This is due to the higher than normal flows last year and the continued elevated precipitation in March.

  • Oxygen – In most Maryland Bay waters, anglers will find adequate oxygen from surface to bottom for Bay gamefish. However, to avoid low oxygen conditions in the deep channel waters from the Bay Bridge down to the Maryland State line, avoid fishing deeper than ~30 feet. To see oxygen levels by depth, check the VIMS depth to low oxygen maps.

  • Temperature – As recorded at the real-time NOAA and DNR buoys, Bay water temperatures have heated-up from the recent warm, sunny weather. For the upper/mid-Bay, at Tolchester (69⁰F) and Patapsco River (71⁰F) and Annapolis (69⁰F), water temperatures are hovering around the upper-60s/low-70s. For the mid/lower Bay, the NOAA Gooses buoy (surface) is holding slightly above 69⁰F and the bottom temperatures are stable at 61⁰F. Choptank area water temperatures are also rising to the low to mid-70s, with Cambridge at 72⁰F, Harris Creek at 74⁰F and the Tred Avon at 74⁰F. For the Potomac River, at Lewisetta, surface water temperatures near the mouth of the river are have warmed to 71⁰F while temperatures near Washington DC are holding at Little Falls at 71⁰F. Smaller, shallow, dark bottomed rivers and streams and downwind areas on a sunny day will continue warm faster and will often hold water temperatures well above the mid-70s.

  • Clarity – Expect reduced water clarity in the mainstem down to the Chester River and also on the Potomac River, down to Colonial Beach from recent rains. Conditions for the localized areas will likely degrade as a result of the predicted thunderstorms this Thursday and again Saturday through the rest of the week. 

  • Moving water – Expect elevated flows from the Susquehanna, Potomac and most other rivers and streams due to recent rains farther up in the watershed.  There will be above average tidal currents through Thursday as a result of the recent full moon this past Sunday, May 19th.

  • Putting it all together – The best fishing areas could be further refined by intersecting these prime areas with underwater points, hard bottom, 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!