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Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | June 17, 2010

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockood, click to enlarge.

Fatherís Day is approaching and what better time is there to spend some personal time with dad or your children? It is a natural and very wonderful relationship that only gets better by doing things together in a unique and bonding way. Children certainly learn by watching their fatherís and want to share in their fatherís passions especially when itís something fun like an outdoor adventure. So if you take them out for fatherís Day make it into an adventure and fun for them. They learn by doing and watching, Happy Fatherís Day.

Chesapeake Bay

Fishing for striped bass this week has basically been focused around trolling and chumming. The trolling is taking place near channel edges where bait is being swept along in the swift currents. Often the striped bass are holding over structure such as drop-offs or actively chasing bait either on the surface or below. If diving birds and thrashing fish are not present; keep an eye on those depth recorders and look for slicks and gulls resting on the water. Umbrella rigs with 4Ē and 5Ē swim shads such as Storms have been a hot ticket lately. Tandem rigged bucktails dressed with sassy shads and spoons are also working well. More than a few fishermen are reporting that the larger fish seem to be hitting the spoons.

In the upper bay region the Mudís, Triple Buoys, Love Point and the mouth of the Magothy have been favorite places to troll this week. Also some fishermen have been bottom bouncing along the channel edges leading to Baltimore Harbor and the sewer pipe just north of the Bay Bridge. In the middle bay region the Bloody Point/ Poplar Island area has been a good place to troll as is the False Channel and the western side of the shipping channel. The Parkers Creek area has been a particularly good place to troll lately as bait seems to be attracting school sized striped bass to the area. Southern region fishermen have been focusing their trolling activities in the Cove Point/ Gas Docks area and the eastern side of the shipping channel near Buoys 72 and 72A.

Chumming has been popular in many traditional areas of the bay from Swan Point and Love Point south to the Hill, Hackettís and Buoy 72 and the lower Potomac River. A good strong tide is important for this type of fishing in the bay as well as fresh chum and bait. Upper bay fishermen are still reporting that the largest fish are being caught early in the morning and on the bottom. Small spot are becoming more common in the lower regions of the bayís tidal rivers and most fishermen are eager to start live lining spot along the channel edges for striped bass.

More and more fishermen are anchoring up on channel edges or drifting for croakers along edges and shoals. The croakers can be found in most of the traditional locations but size is another story. It seems to be harder and harder to find croakers over 14Ē and those 19Ē+ croakers are just common enough to keep your hopes up. Flounder continue to be more abundant in the lower bay and Tangier Sound. White perch are being caught on the shoals near river mouths and the lower sections of the tidal rivers and creeks from the Susquehanna River south. Recreational crabbers are reporting fair to good catches in most of the bays tidal rivers and creeks from the Bay Bridge south.

Photo Courtesy Dan Villanueva, click to enlarge.

Freshwater

Freshwater fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities for largemouth bass throughout the states fresh and tidal waters. The bass tend to be orienting to thick grass and similar types of cover so weedless lures such as buzzbaits being retrieved over the grass or soft plastics dropped through the grass are a good bet. Water temperatures are beginning to rise to the point that largemouth bass will begin to look for cool shade during the day and just hunker down. The early morning and evening hours are beginning to be the most productive as low light and cooler water temperatures spur fish into feeding. Neil Villanueva was fishing at Smallwood State Park with his dad and brother when he caught and released this whopper of a largemouth bass.

Smallmouth bass fishing is very good this week at Deep Creek Lake and fishermen are also catching a mix of bluegills, pike, chain pickerel, walleyes and largemouth bass there. The smallmouth bass are eager to slap topwater lures and the feisty rock bass are also giving a good account of themselves. Liberty and Prettyboy Reservoirs are good places to try for smallmouth bass for fishermen in the central region.

Trout fishermen are finding plenty of trout still lurking in the deeper pools of stocked waters throughout the western and central regions and very few fishermen. Few fishermen direct their attention to trout fishing this time of the year but it can be a very peaceful and productive time to fish.

Photo Courtesy J D Eddy, click to enlarge.

Ocean

Ocean City fishermen are seeing surf water temperatures hit the 70-degree mark this week and with that summer migrants are beginning to arrive in the form of kingfish, croakers and sandbar sharks. Striped bass are still being caught in the surf, inlet and back bay areas but the action is steadily slowing down. Tautog are still at the inlet area but warmer waters will cause many of them to soon head for deeper and cooler waters. Small bluefish continue to move in and out of the inlet and flounder fishing remains steady. The first yellowfin tuna showed up last weekend along the 100 fathom line and the catches have been good. Makos, threshers and a few dolphin have also been coming in from boats fishing offshore. A few boats have been venturing out to the canyon areas for deep drop trips and doing well. JD Eddy went with a few friends last week and scored on a mix of deep bottom species including these two tilefish.

Entries continue to arrive from citation centers around the state for award certificates and automatic entry into this yearís Maryland Fishing Challenge. A new round of Diamond Jim releases will take place next week for the July round of the search for Diamond Jim. Be sure to checkout the website for more information on how you can enter. http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge

The Maryland Hot Spot map has been updated to show MARI Artificial Reefs and historic fishing grounds. View it here.


ďHe didnít tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.Ē

-- Clarence Kelland

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Keith Lockwood
-- Fisheries Biologist