Maryland Fishing Report

November 16th, 2018

As we dust off the snow from yesterday, we look forward to a few days with no precipitation in the forecast! Cooler temps have moved in leaving upper bay waters hovering in the mid-upper 40º range. This week was a pattern of deeper fish being caught and the trolling bite was definitely the ticket. Black Friday is just around the corner and we have some great sales going on from 11/21-11/25. If you want to get a jump on your holiday shopping, you can head over to our Black Friday page and pre-order some hot deals! Also we are running a gift card special which is for every $50 gift card purchase you will get a $10 gift card to keep for yourself! You can buy gift cards here.


Over the last week we’ve had a decent cold front come through which slowed the bite down for a couple days. The front dropped main bay water temps down to the mid to high 40ºs in the upper bay and the low 50ºs in the lower bay. With that, many of the better quality fish have been caught in the southern bay area near Solomons, Point Lookout and the Hoopers Island area. In the middle bay area, we’ve seen the best fishing between the Magothy River and the Chester River.


Joe Jankowski landed a couple fish trolling the Severn this past week. Joe reports the fish were holding in 30′ of water and bit the deepest tandem in their spread. Nice work Joe!

Trolling in the middle bay area has produced not only the most fish over the last week, but the best quality fish as well. Anglers trolling the Addiction Baits 6oz (4oz/2oz) tandem Purple head/White Shad rig had good success. Areas like the mouths of the Patapsco, Magothy, Severn and Chester rivers as well as the Eastern Bay area. One thing we’d like to suggest this week is GO BIG! We haven’t had too many reports of big fish being caught but now is the time for the 9″ baits to come out! Anglers looking to troll a lighter spread can use deep diving cranks from Nomad Lures or Manns. Both work well for catching stripers and put less stress on rods when being trolled.

Some quality alternatives to troll when looking for stripers here in the Chesapeake Bay. These lures get down to 30′ and put less stress on trolling rods.

From Lou: “Nice rockfish 26” caught in between Poplar and Tillman’s island buoy 84a in the channel 54 feet deep using a tandem rig with a one ounce holographic shad with white skirt and a 3/4 oz. yellow head yellow tail shad no inline weight running at about 5 feet 100 feet back out on a planer this rig caught five fish from 3-3:30 when the fish that had been at 40 feet all day came up to 15 feet in the afternoon. BITE WAS AT FULL HIGH TIDE.”


Overall, topwater has been relatively slow going this year. One of the better areas that is still producing some decent topwater action would be in the Patapsco near the Key Bridge and the Inner Harbor. Anglers in 5′-10′ of water near submerged structure in the Magothy, 7ft Knoll, and even in the Eastern Bay near Poplar Island have all had slow success. Try using baits like poppers, walk the dog baits and the Smack-its which we have in stock.


The Jigging bite has been good this past week especially in deeper water. Anglers fishing the deep shipping channels near the target ships have had success with an occasional fish over 30″. We’re recommending throwing larger baits this week like the new Bust Em’ Baits Fatboys on a 1.0oz-1.5oz. jig head. Some of the better areas in the middle bay area were between the Magothy and Chester rivers specifically near Baltimore Light. Overall the bite seemed to be better further south near Solomons, Point Lookout and Hoopers Island.

The new Bust Em’ Baits Fatboys have a larger profile, denser plastic and really trigger those bigger fish to bite.

Try a Coltsniper jig from Shimano next time your jigging. These can be cast or vertically jigged off the bottom.

Live Bait

Fishing for Rockfish with live bait this past week was most successful with live Eel. Anglers live-lining eels around bridge pilings and deep drops had lots of fun catching fish over 30″ in the Narrows as well as in the Magothy River.

Yellow Perch

The Yellows are starting to pre-stage for their Spring spawn. You’ll start to find them in the creeks and in some tidal rivers in the area. As the water temps continue to drop, we’ll start to see more and more of them. Some of the better spots to try would be Tuckahoe Creek, Beachwood Park in the Magothy and near Greensboro. Try baits like live minnows, spinnerbaits like the #3 Mepps Spinners and Shad Darts tipped with Bloodworms or Minnows.


Eric Packard landed a few Pickerel while fishing at St. Mary’s Lake this week. He reported that this was caught with a little swimbait near submerged weeds.

More and more river dragons have been caught this past week! The new Savage Gear swimbaits we just stocked are going to be a sure-fire way to get some big ones to bite! These baits look super realistic and even have a little garlic scent to them! Mepps #3 Spinners are also going to be a good way to target them and as always live minnows will also work really well. As far as location, areas like Tuckahoe Creek, Magothy River and other tidal rivers in 2′-8′ of water have been good places to start.

Roostertails are excellent cold water lures that catch a variety of fish especially Pickerel.