Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)

Top Fishing Charter Destination: Chesapeake Bay

May 31, 2019

Chesapeake Bay Fishing

Chesapeake Bay Fishing

The Chesapeake Bay has always been one of our favorite places to fish! Families who live in the area or vacation here can never go wrong booking a day of fishing with a local Chesapeake Bay fishing guide. Whether you’re in Maryland fishing the Upper Bay, or in Virginia fishing the Lower Bay – there are many great year-round fishing opportunities in Chesapeake Bay. Let’s take a look at why the Chesapeake Bay is one of our top fishing charter destinations…

There are four major rivers that flow into the Chesapeake Bay and toward the Atlantic Ocean: the Potomac-Shenandoah River system, the Rappahannock River, the York River, and the James River. The fresh water from these and more than 150 other rivers join with the saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean to form the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. And with all that water, comes a whole lot of fish!

Striped Bass (or Rockfish, as its known in the area), is by far a favorite fish for Chesapeake Bay fishing charters. Regulations are different throughout the Bay, so we recommend fishing with a FishAnywhere Professional Charter Captain or Fishing Guide to know any bag or size limits when fishing. Catch-and-release for Striped Bass may be required during certain seasons; your Chesapeake Bay fishing guide will have this information and can de-hook any fish that may not be a keeper.

Fishing the Chesapeake Bay is a year-round sport for the many travelers and locals in the area. Whether you’re in Baltimore, Maryland; Washington D.C.; or Virginia Beach, Virginia – access to the Chesapeake Bay is never far. When planning your Chesapeake Bay fishing charter we recommend wearing layered clothes, bringing your sunglasses, hat and rain jacket, and don’t forget your enthusiasm for a great day on the water!

What Fish are in Chesapeake Bay?

Striped Bass are the most known and sought-after fish species in the Chesapeake Bay, but there are more than 350 fish species large and small in these waters. Some are year-round inhabitants of Chesapeake Bay, while others swim in and out for feeding, spawning, or finding shelter. Among the various Chesapeake Bay fish species you’ll find:

Striped Bass from Chesapeake Bay

  • Striped Bass (Rockfish)
  • Tautog
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Red Drum
  • Black Drum
  • Black Sea Bass
  • Crappie
  • Trout
  • Yellow Perch
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Blue Catfish
  • Bluefish
  • Bluegill
  • Sheepshead
  • Croaker
  • Flounder
  • Spot
  • Shad
  • Carp
  • Bull Shark

Best Season to Fish Chesapeake Bay

As we’ve mentioned, Chesapeake Bay fishing is available year-round. The peak months for Striped Bass fishing are April and May. We recommend booking a private Chesapeake Bay fishing charter early in the year as they tend to book up fast during the spring season. During the fall (specifically October and November) is another good time to fish the Bay as Rockfish (Striped Bass) are in a feeding frenzy before the cold temperatures move in.

Summer months are great for trolling or jigging for Striped Bass, though we’ll also see Perch, Spot, and maybe some Black Drum as well. In September Bluefish and Spanish Mackerel are at their peak season and these are typically caught trolling or jigging as well. If you’re looking to go bottom fishing, the fall season is the time to target Spot, Perch, Croakers, and Trout. Red Drum is also known to be available in the fall. In the winter, Chesapeake Bay anglers are known to fish the edges and drop-offs of the bay and some local rivers. The temperatures are cold but the fishing is hot!

Popular Fishing in Chesapeake Bay

Anglers of all skill levels are able to fish the Chesapeake Bay; with a FishAnywhere Professional Charter Captain or Fishing Guide you’re sure to catch that next trophy. Kayak fishing is very popular in the river systems in and around the Chesapeake Bay. When the temperatures drop another popular technique in the northern rivers and tributaries is ice fishing. Casting with lures is also commonly found in the Upper Bay and river tributaries of the Bay. Largemouth Bass is the most popular fish commonly targeted this way. Even though the Chesapeake Bay is an estuary, there are certain areas that offer excellent Largemouth Bass fishing. Trolling, bottom fishing, and jigging are other popular fishing techniques for harvesting Striped Bass, Cobia, and Mackerel.

Fly Fishing Chesapeake Bay

Fishing Chesapeake Bay

There really are a variety of fishing options when it comes to the Chesapeake Bay: From freshwater fishing in the feeding river systems or saltwater fishing near the Atlantic Ocean, to brackish fishing (the mixture of freshwater and saltwater) throughout the Bay. It’s an anglers’ dream come true to fish the Chesapeake Bay. Throughout Maryland and Virginia are plenty of Chesapeake Bay fishing charters available; start your search on FishAnywhere.com and let your journey to the best Chesapeake Bay fishing trip begin today!

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