How to Go Charter Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay

How to Go Charter Fishing on the Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay straddles the eastern shore of Maryland and parts of Virginia. The region is known for sailing, rolling coastlines with sedge and saltgrass wetlands, and lots of deep water fishing. Charter operations provide a method of getting you onto the water to fish, without you having to bring all your own gear, equipment or boat. Booking a Chesapeake Bay Fishing Charter can provide the trip you want, with the amenities you desire.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Maryland and Virginia fishing licenses
Step 1
Plan your charter trip based on the species you wish to catch. The fishing seasons for Chesapeake Bay begin in mid April for striped bass. June and July opens up opportunities for flounder, sea trout and black drum. July allows fishing for shark, mackerel, cobia and trout.
Step 2
Determine how many will be in your fishing party. Use the Chesapeake Bay's tourism offices to find reputable fishing charters. Be prepared with a list of questions for your chosen charters when shopping around. Ask how long the trips last, how many people are allowed onboard, what is provided and where they depart.
Step 3
Ask your charter operator if it arrange for fishing licenses for guests. If not, ask if you need a Maryland or Virginia fishing license for the trip, if you need both and how to obtain the licenses.
Step 4
Arrange the departure time and write down the address of the harbor or dock where your charter departs. Inquire if other anglers not in your party will be on the boat. Ask if they provide lunch, snacks or drinks. If not, bring an iced cooler with your provisions.
Step 5
Be prepared with sun protection including sunscreen, hats, a long-sleeved shirt and soft-soled shoes. Wear polarized sunglasses to reduce sun glare off the water, while still maintaining the ability to look into the water with specialized filtered lenses.
Step 6
Make arrangements with the crew or captain to have your catch smoked, shipped, cleaned and filleted if needed.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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