No matter how seasoned one is as a fishermen, catching a noteworthy fish brings out excitement that is too often suppressed deep within us. Our daily trials can take a toll on our sense of childlike fun. This photo made me smile and caused me to relive a few moments that I shared with friends when catching a truly exciting fish. Fishing brings joy, no matter how the fish is taken or if it is an invasive fish that carries the distinctive name of northern snakehead.
This fishing forecast for the third week in August will be a repeat of the last several weeks. Anglers will see very warm water, low winds, and a chance for an afternoon thunderstorm Wednesday and Thursday. The same general fishing pattern will continue. Focus on areas with adequate oxygen and the coolest water just above the “Do not fish below this depth.”
Recent water monitoring indicates that most of these deeper, cool main bay areas with adequate oxygen are registering a warm 81 degrees. The other way to find cooler water is to fish the shallows near prime daytime areas at first light or after sunset when surface water temperatures can be several degrees cooler.
Bay surface salinities are still below normal for this time of year but are improving slightly. In most shallower bay waters, anglers will find adequate oxygen from the surface down to about 20 feet for bay gamefish. Exceptions are the Magothy, West and South rivers, which have adequate oxygen down to only 10 feet or less.
To avoid low oxygen conditions in the deep channel waters from the Bay Bridge down to the state line and the lower Potomac River, avoid fishing deeper than about 23 feet. However, at the Bay Bridge and the Potomac River, from Colonial Beach downriver to Tall Timbers, avoid fishing below 15 feet. In these areas, windy conditions may force low-oxygen water into areas of shallow water. For oxygen forecasts, see VIMS Depth to 3 mg/l. Expect poor water clarity due to algal blooms from the Patapsco River down to Chesapeake Beach, the Choptank River, and the Colonial Beach area of the Potomac River.
As recorded at the real-time buoys, bay water temperatures continue to be very warm. For the mid, upper, and lower bay, Choptank River, and lower Potomac River, water temperatures are in the low to middle 80s. Water temperatures at Little Falls have risen to the upper 80s. Expect normal flows from most Maryland rivers and streams this week. There will be above average tidal currents Sunday through Tuesday as a result of the upcoming full moon on Thursday, August 15.