Maryland Area Fishing Reports 2020

Maryland Area Fishing Report 2020

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Lower Susquehanna River

12/31/20 REPORT This will be our last fishing report for 2020. With the Rockfish all but done in the upper Chesapeake bay and Susquehanna River and according to Fishtalk the lower bay is about done for the year as well, the only report from Fishzooers is Blue Catfish. The fish caught were deep 40+ feet and the best bait is Mud Shad if you can find them however chicken thighs will do the trick if you cant get Mud Shad.. Looking ahead to 2021 the first week or so will likely be quiet due to the large number of spill gates opened at the dam last week. Once the River cleans up it will be all Yellow Perch and Blue Catfish. We will also have to wait and see what further restrictions are imposed for Striped Bass in 2021 since the Young Of the Year (YOY) survey was not very encouraging just 2.5 well below the 11.5 average once again. Look for the invasive species fishing to blow up in the upper bay and the Susky. This past year there was a few reports of 40+lb blue cats caught in the lower susquehanna with plenty of high teens and 20s around. Also according to DNR biologists the Snakeheads have found a home here as well along with the flatheads. While these fish don't have stripes they also don't have any size or possession limits, there fun to catch and tasty too.

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Lower Susquehanna River

12/21/20 REPORT Not much to report from last week with the winter storm and first blast of ice/snow/wind of the season. Pushing water temps in the lower Susquehanna River and upper bay to around 40F and pushing our striped bass fishing here to a close. I did see some reports from the lower bay about some keeper size stripers being caught in deep channels with BKDs and Crippled Herring jigging the bottom but I also heard they were slow biting and those who caught had to work hard for them. Wednesday  12/16/20  Fishzooers tried walleye fishing just before the winter storm rolled into the area. It was exciting because I kept feeling what I thought were bites but it was sleet hitting my braid. The water was so clean I did see one walleye chasing my lure but no takers for me. I did see one other guy catch 2 barely keepers on soft plastic. Sunday  12/20/20 Once again tried for walleye 2 hours before dark and managed to catch one keeper size (released) and lost one. I did see one other guy catch 5 it looked like he released them all.

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Lower Susquehanna River

12/14/20 REPORT Once again last week saw warmer then usual temps in the area which made for some excellent fishing on the lower susquehanna river and upper bay.  12/12/20 Fishzooers had about the same result as Friday maybe just a little slower but all fish were caught trolling x-raps, again keeper size Rockfish, walleye and smallmouth. Sunday 12/13/20. The strong NW wind made trolling difficult but once agin the rockfish and smallmouth were biting the x-raps. Most noteworthy was a 30" (approx) Musky hit the x-rap on the troll. We got it to the side of the boat with one hook hanging on by a tread. After 3 attempts to net it it unfortunately got off. Super rare catch for the lower Susquehanna River.

30" (approx) Susky Musky hooded but got off at the boat 

20" Smallmouth caught on the lower Susquehanna River

Doubled up Rockfish on the troll

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Lower Susquehanna River

12/07/20 REPORT Winter weather is starting to effect the fishing patterns in the Upper Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. Water temps last week were in the high 40s in most areas. These colder temps would typically moved striped bass to deeper more comfortable water however many nice keeper size fish are still being caught in 4-6 feet and some even on topwater baits. Bottom line is Fishzooers reported very good fishing last week in the area.  Wednesday 12/02/20 evening - Another 20+" walleye was caught the hour before dark on a deceiver fly pattern. Conowingo Dam discharge was 42,000 cfs water clarity was stained but fishable water temp 48.9 -  Friday 12/04/20 -  Fishzooers fished in in the rain before the Nor' easter rolled into the area and were rewarded with an excellent rockfish bite. Seems like most of the usual Striped Bass offerings were catching fish. With a good number of shorts there were some above keeper size caught as well as walleye and smallmouth bass. The Rockfish were caught trolling, casting, on fly, jerk bait, x-raps and soft plastic. There were no reports from the weekend due to the high winds and gale warning on the Chesapeake Bay.


20" Walleye caught on a deceiver fly pattern


Upper Chesapeake Bay - Lower Susquehanna River - Florida Keys

11/30/20 REPORT With unseasonably warm weather continuing, favorable fishing conditions were reported again last week. With morning water temps in the low to mid 50s the evening top water bite has been slightly better with water warming up throughout the day  Monday 11/23/20 evening - 22" walleye was caught the hour before dark on X-rap RX-10 "Perch" color a few other were seen caught on fire tigers. Conowingo Dam discharge was 32,000 cfs water clarity good - Wednesday evening 11/25/20 -  Slow Walleye bite with Conowingo Dam discharge scheduled for 23,000 cfs for the evening bite, the actual flow was only around 5,000 which made the fish spread out more and snagging the bottom. Still caught a 15" on a chartreuse and white gulp which was released and saw a few others about the same size caught. A good top water bite was was reported from down river with a 22" and 25" striped bass caught along with dinks and a few Smallmouth Bass mixed in. Conowingo Dam discharge was 5,000 CFS, water clarity was good. Saturday 11/28/20 - Blue Catfish were reported off Perryville caught on chicken breast with garlic and kool aid (i didn't catch the cool aid flavor) 2 were the size in the photo below and 10 smaller ones were caught. Sunday 11/29/20 - First report in by a fishzooer on the troll. 12 Striped Bass and 1 Smallmouth were caught towards evening, of these were 2 keepers 20 and 21 inchers. Sunday 11/29/20 From the Florida Keys - after 10 days of hook and line fishing the water finally cleaned up enough to spearfish. Fishzooer Liquidaddicted reported a good number of Grouper and snapper most notable were cobia, a nice black grouper and a 30" mutton snapper in the photos below.


22" Walleye Susquehanna River

25" Striped Bass Susquehanna River

Blue Catfish off Perryville

Black Grouper Florida Keys

30" Mutton Snapper Florida Keys

Cobia Florida Keys

Striped Bass Lower Susquehanna River

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Susquehanna Flats - Deal Island

11/23/20 REPORT Warmer temps the past week made for a good week of fishing in the Lower Susquehanna River and Chesapeake Bay area. Monday 11/16/20 Deal Island aboard Kingfish II Fishzoo anglers limited out on Striped Bass each of 2 days with the largest being 28" live lining and jigging did the trick! Thursday evening 11/19/20 -  Good Walleye bite on fire tiger jerkbait and chartreuse and white deceivers. Conowingo Dam discharge was 32,000 CFS, water temp 56F, clean and clear. Friday evening 11/20/20 - Again good Walleye bite on fire tiger jerkbait and chartreuse and white deceivers. Conowingo Dam discharge was less than Thursday at 23,000 CFS, water temp 56F, clean and clear. Saturday afternoon/evening 11/21/20 Fishzooers started on the flats with no bites, boils or birds, water temps 51F, water was clear but allot of floating debris and duck hunters. We decided to run up river and glad we did as there was good action on top water plugs mostly undersized fish, one keeper to hand and a few others in the high teens. We left them still biting at dark. Water temp 55F, clean and clear. Most bites came from about 3-5 feet depth.

Two day limit for anglers aboard the Kingfish II out of Deal Island Maryland

18" Walleye caught on Jerkbait Lower Susquehanna River

Susquehanna River Level Friday morning 11/20/20

19" Rockfish caught on top water plugs lower Susquehanna River

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Susquehanna Flats

11/17/20 Not much new to report from fishzooers for the upper Chesapeake Bay and tribs... the past week provided up and down days on the water. Monday evening 11/9/20 on the flats just before sundown with good Rockfish action until dark. Again mostly dinks with a few keepers mixed in entirely on topwater. Wednesday 11/11/20 Lower Susquehanna River flathead and blue catfish bite was a no-bite. Trip was salvaged by running to the flats for sundown with consistent top water stripers... again small but fun. Friday 11/13/20 as "luck" would have it we fished the flats again except this time we were not able to find the schools. A few birds around but no bites under them. We moved around and managed one 17-18 to hand and one blowup on the popper... slow night! Water was clean and clear, temp 58F. GOOD NEWS is after tropical storm Eta visited the area with a few inches of rain the Susquehanna River is still low and clean.

Upper Chesapeake Bay - Bush River, Susquehanna Flats

11/09/20 The Rockfish bite is ramping up nicely with the cooler water (60F on the flats and bush) in the upper bay and rivers. Fishzooers are getting consistent action and good numbers of rockfish on top water plugs. While mostly dinks there are a few keeper size fish mixed in. Also with the favorable water temps the Blue Catfish feeding more aggressively. Heard of a 40+ lb blue caught in the Susquehanna River last week.

Susquehanna Flats & River - Harford County MD

10/26/20 The Rockfish bite on the Susquehanna Flats and Lower River continue to be a bit sluggish. Fishzooers managed a couple of fish close to keeper size over the weekend fishing topwater on both the flats and up river. Casting at diving birds yielded a few boils and a number of hookups that came off they seemed to be mostly small ones with a couple of larger fish mixed in. On Saturday the wind made fishing really difficult on the flats so we tried up river and again the bite was slow with just a few boils and one near keeper size Rockfish that came tight. Water temp was 68 f and clarity was very good. With this cold front and as the water temps drop into the low 60s the bite should improve.



Deer Creek - Harford County MD

10/21/20 FYI - Stocked with 500 Golden/Rainbow Trout

Rising Sun Pond - Cecil County MD

10/21/20 FYI - Stocked with 200 Golden/Rainbow Trout

Susquehanna Flats - Harford County MD

10/14/20 Fishzooers braved the SW wind for the evening bite. Once the wind calmed down about 12 undersized Rockfish were brought to hand with as many boils and short strikes most on Creek Chubs one on fly. Grass was definitely a problem! Only thing picture was the sunset.

Big Elk Creek - Cecil County MD

10/09/20 FYI - Stocked with 600 Brown Trout

Lower Susquehanna River - Harford County Side

10/10/20 wading the Hartford side and with topwater and same result minus the smallmouth.

10/11/20 Again waded the Hartford side with topwater and again a few boils and chasers but nothing came tight. The river was crystal clear and the lowest I've seen it in a while. water temp was low 70s and no bait around anywhere.

Susquehanna Flats - Havre de Grace MD

10/09/20 Fishzooers tried the flats and got beat to death with the southwest wind waves. It looked like there was a lot of life on the Susquehanna Flats but just too rough to fish.  Pulled the boat and went up river on the Harford County side and fished topwater and caught one smallmouth and a few boils and chasers.


Chesapeake Bay - Cape Charles VA

Fishzoo anglers had good success last weekend on the lower Chesapeake bay Cape Charles area targeting speckled trout. Weeding through a good number of smaller fish they managed a few nice keepers in the 16-20 range. All were caught on white Gulps using a 1/4 oz jighead and popping cork in 2-4' of water off the grass flats. Lots of hits and short strikes too.


Offshore - Ocean City MD

Always an adventure with Captain Joe! 2 Fishzoo & members did a Friday Saturday overnighter in the Washington and WOW what a trip! In the box - one 150 lb Bigeye, one 135 lb Bigeye, one 65 lb Wahoo and about a dozen slinger Mahi. We had a couple of other bites that didn't come tight and lost 2 spreader bars that appeared to be bit off. We also tried for Swordfish on the deep drop at night with no bites despite news that many were being caught in the Washington.


Chesapeake Bay - Cape Charles

Fishzoo members fished the bay and tidal creeks around Cherrystone and Kiptopeke State park for a few days. Loads of Speckled Trout, Puppy Drum and Grays but no keepers. All were caught on white gulps 4" using a popping cork rig. Fun fishing just all shorts. The largest trout was about 12" and the largest Pup was maybe 16"


White Marlin Open - 2020

The White Marlin Open is the worlds largest billfish tournament.

The 2020 White Marlin Open wrapped up Sunday night August 10th with 2 new tournament record fish, (97 & 77 LB White Marlin). The 433 registered boats braved the COVID-19 world pandemic and a menacing hurricane to haul in fish that were collectively worth $6.8 million dollars during the weeklong event – it represents the most tournament money ever awarded in fishing.

Congratulations to Liquidaddicted and crew aboard "The Unreel" for grabbing 3rd place in the Small Boat daily tuna category....


Read the entire story here


Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries

Saw this on Twitter today "Eric Clyne caught this blue catfish in the Lower Potomac River on Sunday, August 16. We believe it was close to 70 lbs and it measured 50 inches".



REMINDER - Rockfish season closed until September 1st

Chesapeake Bay & Tributaries

Lots of other action to be had with Large Drum being caught in the lower bay with blues and spanish mackerel mixed in. Lots of invasive species to target as well especially upper bay and tributaries. DNR is asking anglers to voluntarily participate in a survey to determine the numbers, size and location of invasive species such as snakeheads, blue catfish and flatheads.


Maryland anglers are encouraged to submit their catch information to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources volunteer angler surveys. These mobile-friendly volunteer surveys can easily help turn a fishing trip into a scientific expedition by submitting basic data directly from a smartphone.

The department has sever

al volunteer angler surveys for various species and programs, including artificial reef initiative, freshwater fisheries and striped bass. New this year, anglers can submit a catch of the invasive northern snakehead

“Data collected from snakehead anglers will help out significantly in understanding the species, their movement, and size,”

Inshore - Winter Quarter was slow last week with the storms and wind over the weekend one fishzooer reported catching a few keeper sea bass and one trigger.

Ocean City Inlet - busy weekend with the airshow but one fishzooer managed to catch a nice 19" in flounder drifting white gulps

Fishzoo angler Mike-o shown below with this huge red drum