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Fishing Conditions Forecast

Weekly Fishing Conditions Forecast Summary

May 22 - 28, 2024

forecast iconWarm but wet weather this week will make for unstable fishing conditions in Maryland’s waters. As reported from the NOAA buoys, main Bay surface water temperatures have warmed into the 70°F's. River temperatures have also risen to the mid/upper 60s. On the Potomac River, avoid the low oxygen areas below 15' between the Wicomico River and St. Georges Island. With Maryland’s part of the Bay running fresher than average, there will be abundant areas with suitable salinity hunting blue catfish. For rockfish, there is plenty of cool, oxygenated waters in the lower portion of the tidal rivers as well as the Bay when searching out Maryland’s State fish. As always, the best fishing areas could be further refined by intersecting them 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 check out Eyes on the Bay's Click Before You Cast.

Fishing Condition Details:

  • Pattern Stability - Warm this week (day: 70s/80s and night: 60s). Rain is likely Thursday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. Expect winds most of the week to be 5-15kt. Sunrise next week around 5:46am and sunset about 8:21pm.

  • Salinity - Rainfall to Maryland waters has recently increased so salinity is slightly below normal for this time of year.

  • Oxygen - Recent oxygen conditions are as follows:
    • Stateline up to Point Lookout: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Point No Point up to the Gooses: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Little Choptank up to Choptank River: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Bloody Point: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Bay Bridge: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Swan Point: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Still Pond up to the Susquehanna Flats: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Potomac River: Adequate oxygen to bottom

    For oxygen forecasts, see VIMS Depth to 3 mg/l.
    To identify your local conditions, see "Don't fish below this depth."
    For information on Maryland's main bay oxygen conditions, see Maryland's latest hypoxia report.

  • Temperature (°F) - Main Bay surface temperatures have risen to near 70s(°F). River temperatures are also holding in the mid/upper 70s. As recorded at the real-time NOAA and DNR buoys, daytime Bay water temperatures are as follows:

    • For the upper/mid-Bay:
      • Susquehanna River at Darlington (USGS): 70°F
      • Tolchester: 72.7°F
      • Baltimore/Patapsco River: 73.2°F
      • Thomas Point: 73.0°F
      • Annapolis NOAA Buoy: 74.7°F

    • For the mid/lower-Bay:
      • NOAA/DNR Gooses Reef buoy: 71.6°F
      • Bishops Head: 77.4°F
      • Choptank, Cambridge: 70.5°F

    • For the Potomac River:
      • Point Lookout NOAA buoy (surface): 72.7°F
      • Lewisetta: 74.3°F
      • Mallows Bay: 75.5°F
      • Washington DC at Little Falls (USGS): 73.0°F

    To see water temperature by depth, check out our interactive “Water Temperature by Depth map.” For water temperatures in some of Maryland’s smaller rivers and streams, check “NOAA’s Mid-Atlantic Water Temperatures.”

  • Clarity - Expect average water clarity for the Maryland portion of the Bay. 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 average flows for the Maryland rivers and streams. There will be above average tidal current conditions all week as a result of the full moon on Thursday, May 23rd.

  • 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.