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Fishing Conditions Forecast

November 13 - 19, 2019

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As we move towards turkey day, Bay water temperatures are falling quickly. The recent cooler weather reduced Bay and river water temperatures to the upper-40⁰s to mid-50⁰s (location details below), and this cooling pattern will continue over the next week. The warmest waters continue to be found in the bottom quarter of the water column. Bay fish have lots of cool, oxygenated waters to roam, and will be present chasing shallow schools of baitfish. However, focus on the warmer, deeper waters near prime habitat areas for larger concentrations of baitfish and hungry gamefish, as they migrate to the their winter holding areas. As always, make sure to focus on moving water periods for best results.

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Fishing Condition Details:

  • Pattern Stability - Cool conditions Wednesday, but slightly warmer for the rest of the week (day: mid-40⁰s to low-50⁰s / night: mid-30⁰s to low-40⁰s). Windy conditions Wednesday and Friday/Saturday with north winds to ~15 - 25 knots. Chance of rain on Friday, and again on Monday and Tuesday. Sunrise next week around 6:50am and sunset at about 4:52pm.

  • Salinity Bay surface salinities are largely back to normal conditions.

  • Oxygen –  After turnover a few weeks ago, there is now adequate oxygen throughout the entire water column of the Bay:
    • Stateline up to Point no Point: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Point No Point up to Little Choptank: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Little Choptank up to Choptank River: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Bloody Point: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Bay Bridge: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Swan Point: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Still Pond up to the Susquehanna Flats: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    • Maryland rivers: adequate oxygen to the bottom
    For oxygen forecasts, see VIMS Depth to 3 mg/l

  • Temperature (⁰F) – Main-Bay surface waters are running several degrees cooler than water temperatures found in the bottom quarter of the water column. As recorded at the real-time NOAA and DNR buoys, daytime Bay water temperatures have continued to cool over the last week and are as follows:

    • For the upper/mid-Bay:
      • Susquehanna River at Darlington: mid-40s
      • Tolchester: 48°F
      • Baltimore/Patapsco River: 55⁰F
      • Annapolis (DNR Arundel on the Bay and NOAA Annapolis buoys): 53⁰F

    • For the mid/lower-Bay:
      • NOAA Gooses buoy: 55⁰F (surface)
      • Bishops Head: 44⁰F
      • Choptank: Cambridge 49⁰, Harris Creek 46⁰, and Tred Avon 49⁰F

    • For the Potomac River:
      • NOAA buoy (surface) near Point Lookout: ~56⁰F
      • Near Washington DC at Little Falls: 50⁰F

    To see water temperature by depth, check out our interactive “Water Temperature by Depth map.”

  • Clarity – There will be reduced water clarity from the Susquehanna Flats down to Betterton as a result of some spill gates being opened last week at Conowingo Dam. On the Potomac, there is reduced water clarity from Occoquan down to the 301 bridge. To see the latest water clarity conditions on NOAA satellite maps, check “Eyes on the Bay Satellite Maps.” 

  • Habitat –To see locations of key Bay bottom habitat, see the ”Bay Bottom Habitat Mapper.”.

  • Moving water – Expect normal flows from most of Maryland’s rivers and streams this week. There will be above-average tidal currents through next Monday as a result of the recent full moon on Tuesday, November 12th.

  • 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 a step-by-step way to find the best fishing areas based on water conditions, be sure to check out Eyes on the Bay’s Click Before You Cast. Have a safe and enjoyable fishing trip, and as always, drop us a line with comments or suggestions.