The Chesapeake Bay is full of fish and crustaceans, but there are times of the year that are better for fishing (especially if you have a particular fish in mind), than others.  There are many strategies to fishing and they range from determining when to go out and what’s biting. The important of a Cheapeake Bay fishing report is never to be underestimated, but equally important is knowing what season best suits the type of fish you enjoy fishing. All fish have a particular biology that makes them live and work the way they do. This information was not found overnight – it took several hundreds of years to observe – and even today their biology changes before our eyes.

A common fish in the Bay area is bass, but historically bass are predominantly active in the spring and early summer because the waters warm to temperatures that are perfect for spawning. It is also a part of bass’s biology that alerts their bodies when it is the right time to spawn, and for that matter where to spawn.  Naturally an active time to fish for bass is in the spring and the summer because their body type is more conducive to the warmer waters.  Crab fishing is a completely different story.

For crab fishermen – lobsters too because they share a lot of the same biological features – the winter and late fall is ideal.  There are exorbitant amounts of crab and lobster in the Chesapeake throughout the year, but the fall and winter is the most ideal time to fish for them. The casual fisherman may not know of the importance of seasonal fishing, which is okay.  But to fully maximize the fishing venture, focus seasonally on a catch you really want to catch.

The Chesapeake Bay is full of hundreds of species of fish so there is year ‘round fishing.  Relying on the information from a Chesapeake Bay fishing report, though, will go a long way in determining success or failure.  Fishing isn’t an exact science, which is why a fishing report works to the benefit of everybody.  A good report, however, should focus on the fish or seafood that is most prevalent for that season.  Consider the reasons why fishing tournaments in the Chesapeake Bay happen around certain times of the year.

Whichever way one likes to go, fishing is an activity that is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people across the world and varies in age range.  Whether professional or amateur, anglers will find enjoyment in their craft.

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Getting a License in Virginia

Because Virginia features both fresh and saltwater fishing, licensing can be a little tricky.  Two separate governmental organizations oversee the regulation of fishing in the state dependent on whether a person decides to fish inland or in ocean waters.  The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries sells licenses for fishing inland of saltwater online, at 1-866-721-6911, or in person at many locations throughout the state.  They offer the following licenses…

  • Freshwater Fishing in City or County of Residence
  • Freshwater Fishing Statewide
  • Freshwater and Saltwater Statewide
  • 5 Day Freshwater Fishing Statewide
  • 5 Day Freshwater and Saltwater Statewide
  • Various Boating Licenses
  • Senior Angler
  • Disabled Angler
  • Designated Stacked Trout Area
  • Nonresident Legacy
  • Lifetime

The Virginia Marine Resources Commissionoversees recreational fishing through the tidal areas and beyond.  They sell the following licenses…

  • Individual Saltwater
  • Individual Saltwater / Freshwater
  • 10 Day Saltwater
  • 5 Day Saltwater / Freshwater
  • Various Boating Licenses
  • Sport fish
  • Lifetime

You can get your saltwater fishing license online or by phone at 1-866-721-6911.  Virginia has created a list of exemptions for returning anglers such that they need not register for a license every year so long as they are participating in the Fisherman Identification Program.  In a statement made by the MRC, “This is part of a nationwide effort to collect contact information annually for everyone who fishes recreationally in the country’s salt waters. Doing so will help federal fishing effort surveyors improve their ability to contact anglers periodically and ask them how often they go fishing, where in general they go fishing and what they caught.”  The general rule of thumb is that you must possess a valid license or you must have registered in the F.I.P.  Check the Resource Commission’s website for regular updates and changes in exemption policy.

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Now that you have decided to make a run at the Bay, it is time to get your license(s) together.  The Chesapeake Bay shoreline travels through both Maryland and Virginia and while a good portion of the estuary is surrounded by Maryland, you may be interested in heading south for some of that great saltwater fishing.  While out pulling the big sport, you may also get the urge to dig a few oysters or take in a bushel or two of crab.

Though each state has different licensing and regulation, both make a distinction between in and out-of-state fishermen.  Typically, fees for the non-resident are going to be much higher than for the native son or daughter.

Getting a License in Maryland

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will be your contact point for picking up a license in the Free State.  Anglers under the age of 16 are not required to obtain a license in most instances unless they intend to go crabbing.  You can order your license online by clicking here or you can order by phone at (1-800-918-2870).  The following are offered…

  • Resident Senior Consolidated Licenses
  • Non-Tidal / Freshwater Licenses
  • Trout Stamps
  • Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fish Licenses
  • Various Boat Licenses
  • Pier Fishing License
  • Crabbing Licenses
  • Complimentary Licenses to the Blind and certain VFW

As per the DNR website, questions regarding Maryland’s sport fishing license requirements may be directed to Fisheries Service via e mail: customerservice@dnr.state.md.us or by calling (410-656-9526).

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Everyone knows how great the fishing is in the Chesapeake Bay, but little do people know that it is a haven for sport fishing.  It happens yearly (several times yearly) – depending on the type of fish or crustacean you want to fish, the opportunities are there.  The Chesapeake Bay consists of major rivers and streams from Maryland and Virginia.  Rivers like the York River, Patuxent, Rappahannock, and Susquehanna all combine to form this bay.  It’s no wonder the fishing is lively in these parts.  Because each of these unique waters offers something different, professional fishers can take advantage of the various fish within the Bay such as:

  • Catfish
  • Bass
  • Anchovy
  • Clams
  • Oysters
  • Crabs
  • Lobster
  • Croaker

It makes no difference what kind of fishing is done. Constantly the Chesapeake Bay is a haven for sports fishing due to the “network” of fish living in the waters.  The Bay is a large haven for the economy there.  Because many of the local restaurants and shops rely on these fish, it is easy to see why it would also be a popular place in which to fish for sport.

To gain an advantage, there are many things that can be done but the biggest advantage of all is utilizing a Chesapeake Bay fishing report.  These reports are made to be accurate so parties can best take advantage of their situation.  The waters in the Bay are unpredictable – but there is a reason why hundreds upon thousands of travelers fish the waters every year.  Relying on these reports does not automatically disqualify you. It merely gives an advantage where the advantage is warranted.

Fishing is abundant. Sport fishing in the Bay is actually designed for two reasons: 1) help with the overpopulation in the Bay and 2) to show the main reason why fishing can be so popular in the Bay.   While the fishing can be hit or miss for the casual fisher, the competitive sports fishermen can take full advantage of a Chesapeake Bay fishing report. They are easily accessible, so long as there is an Internet connection nearby.

Sport fishing is one of the oldest competitive sports to date – more so than baseball.  To find the area where the sport fishing tournament is taking place, check in the local newspapers and local fishing and game preserve.  Once the date and time is narrowed time, take time to download and print a fishing report to net the best benefits out of the excursion.

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Quality Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay

It happens on just about a daily basis.  Anglers go fishing, waking up at the break of dawn – then they come home empty after several hours of frustration.  Fishing is a great activity to partake in, but believe it or not fish isn’t guaranteed to be caught if there is body of water.  It takes a sense of strategy on the one hand, but it also requires accurate information.  This information should never be underestimated.  In fact, information is so valuable that some even pay for it.  A Chesapeake Bay fishing report is crucial to anglers of all levels – and it helps ease the frustration level by not coming home empty handed all the time.

Why It is Important

Whether the information construed is which bait to use to how low or high the tides are going, any information is better than none.  At the very least, it allows strategy to take place; good for beginner or professional.  The Atlantic Ocean is teeming with fish and other sea life that the angler can diversify their fishing on a daily basis.  As much of the bay is fed by the Atlantic and river sources there are options available.  The bay consists of rivers, an ocean, lakes, man-made waterways, and ponds.  Flowing through several states it is a mecca for fishermen all over the world.

To fully enjoy the experience and maximize the return on investment (your trip out to the fishing location) take a Chesapeake Bay fishing report.  As there are many charters in the bay region that go on fishing trips there is something to be said about going on an individual trip armed with an adequate fishing report.  Charter groups also take advantage of fishing reports that can be used for their tours.

Different Fishing, Different Reports

Reports can be written by particular industries or they can be written by individuals. In any case they offer valuable information for the everyday or casual fisherman.  There is a reason why the Chesapeake Bay area is known as the fishing capital in the world.  With its diverse sea life there is much to look forward to.

Depending on where you decide to fish, the report will change. Deep sea fishing is far different from lake fishing.  The time of day you decide to go will also change the report and the way you handle your report. Any time you decide to go fishing, a Chesapeake Bay fishing report is great to have.  Take advantage of the benefits that it offers and enjoy your fishing experience that much more.

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Chesapeake Bay Report

May 5, 2012

The Chesapeake Bay area is full of fish and wildlife.  It is a popular place to go for novice and professional anglers alike. Because the bay area is so big there are plenty of places to go and fishing can take place during all times of year, depending on which part of the bay is fished.  In order to have quality fishing, one should take advantage of a Chesapeake Bay fishing report, designed specifically to provide anglers with detailed information that is necessary and gives them a competitive edge in fishing.  Fishing is not an exact science; nor is it a sport that can be mastered quickly.  Many factors from the weather all the way to which fish are biting are detailed on the report.

Fishing Reports

Because many factors take into account how the fishing is that day, it is imperative to have proper intelligence when the time is needed.  There is no sense in wasting time.  The Chesapeake Bay is home to dozens of species and they all have different migration patterns depending on several factors.  A quality Chesapeake Bay fishing report has the information that is necessary to enhance the fishing experience and a new report can always be generated for different days in different areas.  Some items included on a good report will include:

  • Weather
  • Fish that is Being Fished
  • Fish Patterns
  • Areas Where the Most Activity Takes Place
  • Water Levels

All of these items are valuable and they help the angler determine a strategy.  “Blind” fishing is okay but maximizing the outing is made possible through a report.

For professional anglers, they take having a report seriously. It helps them with strategy. Even for the beginner, it is good to get into the habit of having a report.  Chesapeake Bay fishing reports can be obtained in print based form or electronically.

The Chesapeake Bay is frequented by vacationers and outdoor lovers from all over the world. They flock to the bay area because of the abundant fishing and other outdoor activities that take place.  There is a reason why millions of people make their way to the bay area.  Fishing is a pastime that can be taken on by people of all ages.  With a well written, properly reported fishing report to read the fishing will take on a different meaning.

Next time, anglers, when fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, ensure that you have an updated fishing license and fishing report on hand.

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Bay Reports

April 1, 2012

Bay Reports- State, Commercial, and Local

  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources is hands down the best reporting coming out of the bay.  The have the time and resources to keep people on the water so the information you are getting is both current and accurate.  This is where you will find anything and everything on the bay’s resident Rockfish and Stripers, commercial fishing, local activities and programs.


  • Virginia Marine Resources Commission has discontinued their reporting of saltwater activity but still offer a good bit of reporting and information concerning the southwest portion of the bay.


  • Chesapeake Bay Program will give you all the raw stats you need about the area.  Reporting is solid and goes hand-in-hand with detailed descriptions of the food pyramid, watershed and quality of water information, habitats, and animals and plants of the shoreline.  Volunteers need look no further as the program has several ways that an environmentally conscious fisherman can get involved in the restoration and preservation of the Bay.


  • FinTalk.com has a group of regulars on the water and were in fact in the running for the largest Rockfish caught in Maryland, 2008.  While the reports are a bit out of date, they have a very active forum where questions and answers are welcome.


  • Sawyer Fishing Charters keeps weekly reports coming and they are finding the good waters.  25” Rockfish and 35” Striped Bass are commonly recorded.  As well as showing off the top locations, this group is good for seasonal weather reports.


  • Chesapeake Angler.com has a comprehensive and detailed reporting system broken down by state, and salt or freshwater.  The offer reporting information on some of the North Carolina shoreline as well.

So we can’t all be local, but we can fake it ‘till we make it!  If you are headed to the Bay, make sure to take the time to arm yourself with a good set of reports and maps so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor as much as any native born bay fisher.

Happy fishing and good luck!

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Great Shellfish Bay

March 5, 2012

“Great Shellfish Bay”, Chespiook as the Native Americans new it, is the largest enclosed body of water in North America with access to the ocean.  We now call this great estuary Chesapeake Bay and while the name might have changed, some things haven’t.  Crabs, clams, oysters and many different types of fish are still harvested from this area as now millions of people stream through to hunt, boat, and fish.  Several millions of bushels of clam, crab, eel, and oyster are taken annually.

There are over 300 species of fish that are known to inhabit Chesapeake Bay.  Resident fish may be purely freshwater and stay out of the tides or estuarine, moving in and out of salt-water and tidal areas.  Migratory fish tend to stay out of the Maryland portion of the Bay.  Most of them like a very salty environment and are found in plenty near the opening of the estuary.  Migratory groups include fish both moving to and from saltwater to spawn.

Bay Dimensions

The Chesapeake Bay is massive.  1,726 square miles of Maryland and 1,511 sq. mi. of Virginia State are covered.  195 miles long and 30 miles as its widest point, the bay has a greatest depth of 174 feet and experiences tidal ranges of up to 3 feet along its 4,600 miles of shoreline.  With a staggering 18 trillion gallons of water to fish, it seems that having a good report of the area might put both the seasonal tourist and the local vet at an advantage.

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Ice Fishing

February 1, 2012

Ice Fishing

Higher-than-average winter temperatures are not good news for ice fishermen. No consistent cold weather means little to no ice. Only in mid-January has the Bay experienced enough cold days to make ice fishing safe. Patience and persistence have been key, as people are reporting little to no activity for long stretches. Fishermen are reminded to use extreme caution around thin ice, use safety equipment and always fish with a friend.

Prize Catch

Only weeks into 2012 an exciting catch was made off Cape Henry – a record-setting striped bass. On what was a slow day, with only one catch hours before, the angler reeled in a bass that came in at 74 pounds and measured 56 ½ “.  While it took a long time to reel him in, it wasn’t until the bass broke the surface that the gentleman realized he had a whopper on his hands. Verification pending, this man’s catch of a lifetime is a new Virginia state record.

Overall, the Bay fishing reports show that there are plenty of fish out there for the taking – particularly Bluefish tuna. Get them while they last.

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The start of a new year brings renewed enthusiasm and hopes of packed waters to anglers.  Let’s take a look at the latest fishing reports for the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States.

Light Tackle Fishing

2012 is shaping up to be a strong year for light tackle fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. Fishermen have had good luck in the Bay Bridge area. Bass fisherman generally have two options in the wintertime: fish in deep holes or fish in warm water discharges.

  • Warm Water Discharges (WWDs)

Since this has been a mild winter, deep hole fishing may bring better luck, as warm water discharges have been inconsistent, due to the fact that water temperatures have remained fairly consistent. It normally takes a dramatic change in temperature to bring fish out in warm water discharges, and there simply hasn’t been one due to this year’s gentle winter.

  • Deep Hole Fishing

Many a white perch and striper make it through the winter by stacking up around rock piles, of which there are many in the Bay Bridge area. Although they are plentiful and easy to spot, they may not be easy to catch. If this is the case, have had success aggravating them until they bite. Techniques to try include using brightly-colored bait in contrasting colors or banging the bottom on every cast to catch the fishes’ attention.

Shoreline Fishing

This winter, the Bay has seen an abundance of Bluefin tuna and rockfish along its shores.  A seemingly endless supply of Bluefin tuna has been the talk of the Bay. For so many of these fish to concentrate so close to the shore, in mid-January no less, is a rarity. The fact that the fish have remained in these waters for most of January is simply amazing. Reports of massive catches of handsome-sized fish have been streaming in steadily for weeks. While anglers speculate and throw out theories on why this phenomenon is occurring, don’t waste time. Get out there and catch your share before your chance passes!

Striper activity has been heaviest from Cape Henry to Rudee Inlet. Those who have tried their luck in the area are reporting that most of their catches have been keepers, with the average striper ranging in weight between 50 and 60 pounds. The few anglers who have torn themselves away from the Bluefin oddity and ventured into deeper waters are reporting average catches of blueline tailfish, grouper and wreckfish.

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