Skip to Main Content

Fishing Conditions Forecast

Weekly Fishing Conditions Forecast Summary

September 20 - 26, 2023

forecast iconAs we move into the first day of Fall, the Bay is beginning to cool. The upcoming week should provide moderate temperatures with windy conditions on Thursday through Sunday and a chance of rain on Saturday. Overall conditions should result in Bay surface water temperatures decreasing to the mid 70s (°F). Bay salinity is still above average. In Maryland Bay waters, oxygen conditions continue to improve below Bloody Point to the State-line with most places recording suitable fishing depths down to at least 35'. In the Tolchester to Bay Bridge area, avoid fishing below 30'. The Patapsco area has suitable oxygen conditions down to bottom'. Check the areas of low oxygen map to help determine your maximum fishing depth in your area.

NEW FEATURE! Striped Bass Habitat Conditions

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has developed a striped bass habitat conditions mapping tool that applies our newly developed water temperature and dissolved oxygen-based thresholds for Maryland's resident striped bass. This tool will help you identify your local fishing hotspot (Swan Point Bar, Summer Gooses, etc.) based on current conditions so you can find the best locations to fish.

Click here to explore the Striped Bass Habitat Conditions Mapping Tool

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 - Cool all week (day: 70s/ night: 60s) with chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. Windy from Thursday night through Sunday morning with winds 15-25kt and gust higher. Winds 10-15kt for the rest of the week. Sunrise next week around 6:54am and sunset at about 7:02pm.

  • Salinity - Flows to Maryland waters are running below average, so salinity is above 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 ~33 ft
    • Little Choptank up to Choptank River: Adequate oxygen to bottom
    • Bloody Point: Adequate oxygen to ~23 ft
    • Bay Bridge: Adequate oxygen to ~23 ft
    • Swan Point: Adequate oxygen to ~26 ft
    • 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 dropped to the mid/upper 70s. River temperatures are also holding in the mid 70s/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): NR
      • Tolchester: 74.1°F (23.4°C)
      • Baltimore/Patapsco River: 71.8°F (22.1°C)
      • Thomas Point: 62.6°F (17.0°C)
      • Annapolis NOAA Buoy: 75.2°F (24.0°C)

    • For the mid/lower-Bay:
      • NOAA/DNR Gooses Reef buoy: 74.3°F (23.5°C)
      • Bishops Head: 67.8°F (19.9°C)
      • Choptank, Cambridge: 69.6°F (20.9°C)

    • For the Potomac River:
      • Point Lookout NOAA buoy (surface): 74.3°F (23.5°C)
      • Lewisetta: 70.3°F (21.3°C)
      • Mallows Bay: NR
      • Washington DC at Little Falls (USGS): 73.2°F (22.9°C)

    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 Bay water clarity for Maryland's Bay, rivers, and streams. However, expect poor water clarity from an algal bloom the on Sassafras, Bush, Gunpowder, and Back 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 average flows for most Maryland rivers and streams all week. There will be above average tidal current conditions next Tuesday as a result of the upcoming full moon on Friday, September 29th.

  • 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.