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If you’re planning to go spring fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, these tips can help increase your chances of a successful trip. As a team of fishing enthusiasts at Atlantic Marinas, we’ve compiled the following suggestions:

  1. Know the water temperature: As the water temperature rises, fish become more active and feed more frequently. Target areas where the water is warmer (receive the most sun exposure and have the least amount of shade).
    • One area that is known to be relatively warm in the springtime is the tidal portion of the river, which is closer to the Chesapeake Bay. This area tends to warm up more quickly than other parts of the river, as the saltwater from the bay can help to increase the temperature.
    • Another area that may be warm in the spring is the shallow areas of the river, particularly those with sandy or rocky bottoms. These areas can warm up quickly in the sun, and may be particularly attractive to fish and other aquatic life.
  2. Target spawning areas: Many fish species move into shallower waters to spawn in the spring. Look for areas with structure, such as weed beds or fallen trees, where fish may be spawning.
    • Understanding the spawning patterns of different fish species can be important for identifying the best times and locations for fishing. Many fishing regulations also include restrictions on fishing during spawning periods to protect fish populations.
  3. Use live bait: Fish are often more willing to bite live bait, such as worms or minnows. Using live bait can increase your chances of catching fish.
  4. Use lighter tackle: In the spring, fish may be more cautious about biting, so using lighter tackle can make your bait appear more natural and increase your chances of getting a bite.
    • Light wire hooks are often used in conjunction with lighter tackle to minimize the weight of the rig and increase sensitivity. These hooks are typically used for targeting smaller fish species.
    • Jigs and soft plastics are often used with lighter tackle to mimic the natural movements of smaller baitfish and other prey. These lures can be effective for a wide range of species, including bass, crappie, and trout.
  5. Try different depths: Fish may be at different depths depending on the time of day and the weather conditions. Experiment with different depths to find where the fish are biting.
    • The average depth of the Patapsco River can vary depending on the location and the conditions. In some areas, the river can be quite shallow, while in others it can be relatively deep. Depending on factors such as tidal flow, water level, and sediment deposition, the Patapsco River near the Key Bridge in Baltimore averages 10-20 feet, while in deeper sections of the river closer to the Chesapeake Bay average 20-40 feet.
  6. Pay attention to the weather: Spring weather can be unpredictable, and changes in weather conditions can affect fish behavior. Overcast days can be great for fishing, as fish may be more active, while sunny days may cause fish to retreat to deeper waters.
  7. Be patient: Fishing can require patience, and this is especially true in the spring when fish may be less active. Don’t give up if you don’t get a bite right away, and be willing to try different techniques and locations until you find success.

By following these tips, you can have a more enjoyable time on the water and increase your chances of catching fish. We’d love to see your catch! Share your photos on our Facebook page or send them to Remember to follow fishing regulations and practice catch and release to help preserve fish populations. If you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region and looking for a marina for your fishing boat, consider Atlantic Marinas in Maryland.


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