Maryland Overview
Trout Season is Here!

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March 31, 2010

Photo by Mark Staley. Click to enlarge.

This past Saturday was the official opening day of trout season; like any opening day there is a certain brand of anticipation as varied as the individuals that venture forth on that particular day. Opening day of trout season seems to cast aside all the pent up exasperation of the winter blues and each angler holds deep a personal history of past opening days and for the uninitiated there is the great unknown. Many of us older anglers can remember what a big deal going trout fishing near our local waters meant or maybe visiting grandparents and staying over to fish even seemly better trout waters. Whether it was dad, grandpa or a friends father who took you for the first time; it was a very big deal. Kids tend to look at things like this. I donít think there is an angler that canít relate in detail about catching their first trout. There were the typical numbed fingers, wet sneakers, muddy pants that come along with being a kid; but that all fades away with the remembrance of that first feeling that something alive was definitely on the other end of your line. There was also of course the lusting for all the accouterments that those ďexpertĒ adult anglers had just downstream from you; the worm box on the belt, wicker creels, trout nets, waders or hip boots, fly vests and sometimes even fly rods.

A lot of the gear has changed in all those years; some fishermen still use worms but the Powerbait is the number one bait these days for Put and Take trout fishing. Ultra-light spinning outfits are more affordable and we have Thinsulate, Gortex and polar fleece. There is one thing that will never change and that is what it means to a kid who has someone to take them trout fishing, spend time with them and to share this American tradition; for that is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to a youngster.

Fishermen are reporting that they are beginning to catch and release striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area this week. The water releases from the Conowingo Dam have returned to normal so the waters have cleared up. Boaters should still use caution in regards to sunken logs just below the surface. Light tackle jigging catch and release fishing for striped bass at the warm water discharges at Brandon Shores, Calvert Cliffs and Morgantown Power Plants picked up this week as did the trolling scene in the shipping channel. Water temperatures in the bay at present are holding around 48-degrees and warmer weather later on this week will push those numbers up a notch.

Fishing for white perch in the upper reaches of the major tributaries to the Chesapeake continues to be good this week. Fishermen are reporting the action can tend to be hit or miss lately but the best action has been coming from fishing some of the deeper channel areas. Beetle spins, minnows on a drop shot rig or grass shrimp have been good choices for baits and yellow perch are also being caught.

Freshwater fishermen are finding largemouth bass near emerging grass, steep edges and sunken wood. Recent cool weather and rain have lowered water temperatures but conditions later on this week should improve with warmer weather in the forecast. Slow retrieved spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics fished slow and close to the bottom have been good choices for baits.

Despite cool weather the opening day of trout season went well this year with fishermen enjoying excellent fishing in the Put and Take waters. The phones at the Fisheries Service were ringing on Monday with fishermen reporting rainbow trout from 6lbs to 12lbs being caught in stocked waters. Many just couldnít believe the size of the fish and couldnít figure out how such a wily trout could survive so long without being caught. Trout fishermen owe a big thank you to the trout hatchery program guys for taking the initiative to grow these trophy sized trout to spice up the mix for area trout fishermen. If you catch one; send us an email and picture so we can forward it to them to let them know you appreciate their efforts. They just might try to raise even more of these brutes for you.

Oceanside fishermen at Ocean City braved some chilly weather this past weekend to fish for tautog at the Ocean City Inlet area. Fish were caught but the season is just beginning. The best catches occurred on the bottom of the ebb tide. Saturday a few boats ventured out to some of the inshore wreck areas and experienced good fishing for tautog. Tautog fishing will improve as water temperatures warm up. Fishermen found some good trolling and jigging action for striped bass within 3-miles of the beaches.

Fishermen are beginning to send in fishing reports for our Anglerís 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.


"Ö Perhaps the greatest satisfaction on the first day of the season is the knowledge in the evening that the whole of the rest of the season is to come."
-- Arthur Ransome