March 31, 2010
Fishermen all over Maryland are enjoying the beautiful weather that is bathing the landscape with warmth and sunshine. Many find themselves poking around local waters such as hidden ponds and creeks that dot the landscape for the first time this season. Each return trip brings an embrace of memories of past encounters with wily largemouth bass or perhaps an unexpected large fish such as a trophy sized trout. You can even point out the spot and of course will try your luck there once more. Perhaps you might even find your thoughts drifting back to a time when a young child bubbled over with enthusiasm and wonder to be fishing. We all find bits and pieces of these feelings when we return to home waters; enjoy them they are part of the fabric of fishing.
Water temperatures took a jump this week and the catch and release fishing for striped bass at the Susquehanna Flats area also took a jump in a positive direction. Fishermen reported some great action by trolling and casting spoons or crankbaits as well as light tackle jigging in the lower river. The hickory shad catch and release fishing is about as good as it gets at Deer Creek and fishermen are also catching nice white perch in the Susquehanna River. Catch and release trolling for striped bass in the shipping channel of the middle and lower Chesapeake Bay picked up this week and fishermen are enjoying some good action. Steven Oxenreider holds up a nice striped bass from the Susquehanna Flats for the camera before slipping it back into the water.
The Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers saw their first striped bass spawn this Monday and Tuesday as did the Potomac River. White perch are moving down the tidal rivers from the upper watershed spawning areas and providing good fishing for fishermen. Shad darts tipped with grass shrimp, beetle spins and spinners have all been good choices to use when fishing the middle and lower regions of the tidal rivers.
Freshwater fishermen have been enjoying some excellent trout fishing opportunities for put and take trout fishing this week as stocking crews continue to replenish trout on a regular basis. Good water levels and weather have created a wonderful atmosphere for trout fishing throughout Maryland. Fishermen are very fortunate this year in regards to the quality of trout that are being stocked; many are real bruisers and a fish of a lifetime for many anglers.
Deep Creek Lake is completely open now and fishermen have switched to fishing from the shoreline and small boats. Smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, crappie and trout are all being caught. Quite a few trout are being stocked into the lake and fishermen are enjoying the action.
Water temperatures in the states lakes and tidal waters are about optimum for largemouth bass fishing this week. Largemouth bass are in their pre-spawn phase of chowing down on as much food as they can find to build up the winter weight loss. Grass beds are emerging and they offer a good place to cast spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics as well as creek mouths, points and sunken wood. It is a wonderful time of the year for largemouth bass fishing and most anglers have their favorite “home turf” or local spots they love. Small ponds usually are high on the list and Ben Brockmeyer shows off his first big one of the season before returning it back to his favorite Harford County pond.
Just about every species of freshwater fish has one thing on their mind this time of the year and that is eating. Crappie are schooled up in about 10’ of water and drifting through a school with a couple of lines with minnows on them will produce some fine eating. Chain pickerel, bluegills and channel catfish are busy prowling for food so there are some fine fishing opportunities to be had there also.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area are still seeing water temperatures below 50-degrees this week along the beaches. There is not much happening in the surf fishing arena except some comfortable weather and plenty of solitude; which is really not so bad. Tautog fishing at the inlet area continues to improve this week and the tautog fishing on the wreck sites is very good with most fishermen being able to catch a limit of 4 nice fish.