If you are planning a trip to the Chesapeake Bay, you’ll encounter fresh and saltwater fish from largemouth bass to sharks. The best way to find and catch these popular fish, like striped bass, is to use a fishing chart. These are navigation charts that include important knowledge about fishing hotspots in the area.
If you live in the vicinity of Chesapeake Bay, you better be making use of it! We mean it! This area is spectacular. From boating to fishing, even kayaking and tubing, the waters of Chesapeake Bay are perfect. We want to focus on the fishing though, because who doesn’t love getting out on the water, being away from it all, and reeling in some big ones? We’ll talk about the different types of fish you can expect to hook, the best spots, and even some great Chesapeake Bay charts to help you navigate the waters. Here we go!
Types of fish to expect
According to some estimates, there are about 350 species of fish living in the Bay. Many are there year round, braving the winter and the summer, while others make a migration to the area for just a short period of time either to feed, find shelter, or spawn. Some of the migratory fish include black drum, bull sharks, bluefish, black sea bass, mackerel, cobia, red drum, spotted seatrout, striped bass, summer flounder. We just listed some of the favorites to catch, there are quite a few others you might encounter as well.
Since the Bay is an estuary you will find both fresh and saltwater fish. You’re more likely to find the freshwater fish closer to the rivers and streams as they flow into the Bay. For freshwater species you will find largemouth bass, channel catfish, brook trout, blue catfish, eels, northern pike, rainbow trout, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and quite a few more. The estuary fish will tend to stay closer to shore during summer, then move into deep waters in winter. These fish include silver perch, winter flounder, white perch, striped bass, and others.
Striped bass are probably the most popular fish to catch in these waters. They can grow anywhere from 2-3 feet in length on average, but some can get up to 6 feet! This is what makes striped bass fishing so exciting. You may have a 10 lb fish on the line or a 125 lb catch. These fish stick around year round and feed on worms, squid, anchovies, menhaden, and crustaceans. They spend their summer and winter in deep channels to avoid the extreme temperatures. During spring, they will travel upstream to spawn in freshwater.
Where to fish
Lucky for you, there won’t be too much guessing during your next Chesapeake Bay fishing excursion. Waterproof Charts has a fishing chart just for this area! Our Northern Chesapeake Coastal Fishing chart offers a detailed look at the bay, and includes fishing spots provided by local guides familiar with the area. They provide their knowledge to help you catch more fish! These navigation charts offer not just valuable location information, but tell you where you need to go to catch fish. There is also this handy website which offers the coordinates for popular wrecks and reefs in Chesapeake Bay.