Maryland Overview
How sweet it is!

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March 24, 2010

“How sweet it is”; many of us older fishermen remember Ralph Kramden bellowing out those famous words on the TV sitcom The Honeymooners from the fifties. Well that about wrapped up most fishermen’s feelings this past week or anyone else for that matter. It seemed hard to believe that we were up to our hips in snow only a month ago. Spring peepers are singing, flowers are blooming, ospreys are working on their nests and the fishing scene in Maryland is coming to life.

Photo by Jay Fleming. Click to enlarge.

Striped bass are moving up the Chesapeake Bay and the major tidal rivers that support spawning runs. Fishermen took advantage of this weekend’s beautiful weather to practice some catch and release fishing. Fishermen are trolling the shipping channel and catching and releasing fish from the Maryland/Virginia Line to the Bay Bridge. Shore based fishermen caught and released them from Sandy Point State Park, other prominent points and fishing piers. Stout surf fishing outfits and bottom rigs baited with bloodworms were the favorite rig to use. The Brandon shores area of the Patapsco and the warmwater discharges at the Calvert Cliffs and Morgantown Power Plants were favorite locations for fishermen to jig for some catch and release action such as these fishermen who greeted the dawn jigging at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant.

The white perch spawning runs are peaking this week at the upper reaches of most of the bay’s major tidal rivers. A few examples are where Route 4 crosses the upper Patuxent River, the Choptank River from Greensboro to Red Bridges and the Chester River near Millington. Most fishermen enjoy using small jigs tipped with grass shrimp, bloodworms or earthworms; often under a bobber.

Fishermen are beginning to see water temperatures rise in the freshwater lakes, ponds and tidal rivers where they enjoy fishing for largemouth bass. Largemouth bass can be often found shallow as they seek sun warmed waters and a variety of soft plastics, jerkbaits and crankbaits are good choices to entice a strike.

Freshwater fisheries crews have been busy stocking trout and report that they are back on schedule after last weeks flooding conditions and will have everything in order for this Saturday’s trout season opener. The weather forecast for this coming weekend looks good so it should be a wonderful weekend to get out with family and friends and enjoy some trout fishing close to home. Check out the spring trout stocking schedule to see which local waters near you have been stocked.

High and mud stained water will prevail for a few more days but fishing conditions should improve in most areas by the weekend. Fishermen are finding largemouth bass holding deep along edges and very slow retrieves close to the bottom can be rewarded with a bump from a bass picking up a bait. Crappie are active this time of the year and can be found schooling up in deeper waters. Chain pickerel love cold water and are active now and with grass beds retreated; open water is easier to find.

Fishermen in the Ocean City area took advantage of the weekend’s beautiful weather to give tautog fishing at the inlet area an earnest try and most were not disappointed. Tautog were caught mostly on the ebbing tide which tends to warm up the chilling 45-degree water. Boats that carried fishermen out to some of the wreck sites also found tautog fishing to be good.

Fishermen are beginning to send in fishing reports for our Angler’s Log as the fishing scene begins to warm up this spring. Be sure to consider sending in your own reports and start your own log.

To Send in a report and start building your angler profile please send your report to fishingreports@dnr.state.md.us. Reports are checked and verified by DNR staff. The most trusted reviews will earn the badge.


"There was one spring when everything seemed nice; it came early and stayed put, so that you got out the baseball stuff a month ahead of schedule and started to think about fishing and summer vacation, all in one bundle."
-- Robert Ruark, "The Old Man And The Boy"