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Fishing Conditions Forecast

Weekly Fishing Conditions Forecast Summary

May 18 - 24, 2022

forecast iconFor the first full week of rockfish season, expect sunny conditions this week and warming water temperatures. As reported from the NOAA buoys, main Bay surface water temperatures have increased since last week to the mid-60s and will likely continue to rise all week. Warmest Bay waters will be found near the surface, as well as, near river mouths. Maryland rivers are currently running in the mid to upper-60s (⁰F). Oxygen levels are adequate for Bay fish throughout the water column.

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 -  Warming temperatures throughout the week (day: 70s-80s / night: 60s-70s). Rain and thunderstorms possible Wednesday night and again Sunday through Monday. Expect 10-20kt winds, with gusts higher, Wednesday through Thursday, and calmer winds 10-15kt the rest of the week. Sunrise next week around 5:48am and sunset at about 8:17pm.

  • Salinity –  Flows to Maryland waters are running normally, so salinity is about 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

    For information on Maryland’s main Bay oxygen conditions, see Maryland’s latest hypoxia report.
    For oxygen forecasts, see VIMS Depth to 3 mg/l.

  • Temperature (⁰F) –  Main Bay surface temperatures have increased to the mid-60s. Expect continued warming as the week progresses. Maryland rivers are currently running in the mid to upper-60s. 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): 69⁰F
      • Tolchester: 66⁰F
      • Baltimore/Patapsco River: 61⁰F
      • Thomas Point: 64⁰F
      • Annapolis NOAA Buoy: 65⁰F

    • For the mid/lower-Bay:
      • NOAA/DNR Gooses Reef buoy (surface): 66⁰F
      • Bishops Head: 75⁰F
      • Choptank, Cambridge: 68⁰F

    • For the Potomac River:
      • Point Lookout NOAA buoy (surface): 65⁰F
      • Lewisetta: 70⁰F
      • Mallows Bay: 66⁰F
      • Near Washington DC at Little Falls (USGS): 69⁰F

    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 most of the main Bay, as well as many rivers and streams. However, expect reduced water clarity from algal blooms in the Tolchester region of the main Bay, as well as, the Bush, Gunpowder, Back, Patapsco, upper Chester, Severn, South and middle Potomac Rivers. 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 above average flows for most Maryland rivers and streams all week due. There will be above average tidal current conditions through Friday as a result of the previous full moon on Sunday, May 16th.

  • 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.