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Maryland DNR Posts July Fishing Update

July 9th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Maryland is full of outdoor adventures, and getting out on the water is one of the most enjoyable. Being the captain of your own vessel can be a thrill and a learning experience for our younger anglers, under the watchful eye of adults tagging along and capturing those special moments.

Remember that hot weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival. During the open portion of the summer season, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources will run its striped bass fishing advisory forecast so anglers can better plan their fishing to lessen mortalities.

Image of Striped Bass Advisory Forecast showing green flag days Thursday through Tuesday; yellow flag day on Wednesday.

Forecast Summary: July 6 – July 12:

Sunny, warm, and relatively calm weather continues, with chances of rain on Saturday and Tuesday. Chesapeake Bay surface water temperatures have reached 80 degrees, and Maryland rivers are running in the mid-70s. Expect continued warming as the week progresses. If you are seeking areas with cooler waters, fish the surface early in the day, or fish deeper waters or upwind areas. 

Coolest oxygenated bottom waters can be found from about Kent Island north to near Tolchester. At the following locations, adequate oxygen conditions can be found from the surface to these depths: from the Virginia state line up to the Gooses Reef buoy, 35 feet to the bottom; Little Choptank up to the Choptank River, 25 feet to 35 feet; Bloody Point, 20 feet to 25 feet; Bay Bridge, 15 feet to 30 feet; Swan Point, 30 feet; and Still Pond up to the Susquehanna Flats, surface to bottom. Poor deep water oxygen conditions are present in most tributaries, where there is adequate oxygen down to about 20 feet

Expect average flows for most Maryland rivers and streams all week. There will be above average tidal currents Monday and Tuesday because of the upcoming full moon on July 14.

There will be average water clarity for most of the main Bay as well as many rivers and streams. To see the latest water clarity conditions, check Eyes on the Bay Satellite Maps on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

As always, 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.

Upper Chesapeake Bay

Photo of man in a boat holding a striped bass

Photo by Dave Taylor


Fishing for striped bass at the Conowingo Dam pool and the lower Susquehanna Flats areas is still very slow. Most of the striped bass are located south in the Pooles Island and Tolchester region. There certainly are plenty of flathead, channel, and blue catfish to keep anglers entertained in the lower Susquehanna River. The flatheads tend to take up residence in the dam pool waiting for injured gizzard shad coming through the power generation turbines, so fresh cut bait is almost a sure thing for catching a flathead. Blue catfish and channel catfish will be found farther down the river. Near the railroad bridge and the Havre de Grace area is a haven for large blue catfish. 

The best striped bass action in the upper Bay continues to be found in the various lumps and knolls stretched from Pooles Island to the Still Pond area on a good running tide. Anglers are using spot they are catching off Sandy Point, for live-lining with very good success. A fair percentage of the striped bass are slightly undersized so care must be taken when releasing them. Rising water and air temperatures dictate that releases need to occur with the fish still in the water to protect their gills, and by regulation the use of non-offset circle hooks is mandated. Visit the DNR website for responsible catch-and-release procedures and for tips on using circle hooks.

Trolling along the channel edges in the upper Bay is a viable option for anglers this week. Most are pulling umbrella rigs behind inline weights to get down deep where the fish are suspended. Bucktails dressed with white sassy shads or twistertails are most popular with the striped bass. 

The Key Bridge and the mouth of the Patapsco River offer good locations for live-lining spot or casting jigs near the bridge pier bases or the channel edges. Light-tackle jigging is also popular at the Love Point rocks and any channel edge or knoll where striped bass can be spotted on depth finders. 

Casting along shoreline structure in the Bay and the lower sections of the tidal rivers in the early morning hours and late evenings is a fun and very productive way to fish for striped bass. Casting poppers over grass and shallow areas is an exciting way to find explosive surface action. Casting white paddletails in some of the slightly deeper waters near rock jetties or piers is a fun and effective way to catch striped bass this week. 

Fishing for white perch is good in the tidal rivers. Anglers who can find them have been putting some nice sized white perch in the ice chest. Casting small spinners, roadrunner type lures, or small soft plastic jigs is a good way to target them near shoreline structure in the early morning and late evening hours. A simple bottom rig with a No. 4 or No. 6 hook baited with grass shrimp or pieces of bloodworm will catch them in deeper waters.

Blue and channel catfish can be found in all of the region’s tidal rivers; the blue cats tend to be in the lower sections of the rivers or out in the Bay. Any kind of cut bait works well, or items like chicken liver, clam snouts, or scented baits can be good choices. Northern snakeheads can be found in every tidal river within the upper Bay, and most are being caught on surface lures such as buzzbaits, chatterbaits, or soft plastic frogs when fishing over grass.