Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: March 26, 2008

Next Update: April 2, 2008


Overview

Welcome to spring, the waters and landscapes of Maryland are shaking off the grip of winter and fishermen are venturing Take a kid fishing with you.out to their favorite fishing holes in increasing numbers. This Saturday the 29th of March marks the traditional kick off the Maryland’s trout season; “Opening Day” the very mention of the word conjures up all kinds of memories from the past and future fishing expectations. Older trout fishermen may remember the days of their youth peddling to the nearest trout waters where trout from the state trout hatcheries were transported by trucks with “Fish and Game” emblazoned on the doors. These were the days of fishing for trout in local waters with brightly colored salmon eggs or more likely than not good old garden worms from the back yard. Somehow we felt ourselves kin to those almost folk lore status trout anglers bedecked with all the accouterments and fly rods we could never afford; standing in some pristine mountain stream that we read about in the pages of Field and Stream. Armed with our trusty Garcia Mitchell spinning reel, metal worm box on one’s belt and if you were really up town maybe a canvas creel and a pair of hip boots; we were ready. More often than not; as most will remember hip boots were too expensive for feet that were still growing so wet and muddy sneakers were much more common. They might have been hatchery trout but by golly they were trout; a different league from the yellow perch and chain pickerel that were our usual prey. A few things have changed since then, hatchery trucks now say “Fish and Wildlife”, salmon eggs and worms have been replaced with what might be labeled as crack for hatchery trout; the Berkley Power Bait; but Opening Day of trout season is still Opening Day. Have fun and make sure you share the excitement with a young angler; take a kid fishing with you.

Fishermen anticipating the catch and release fishery on the Susquehanna Flats taking off in earnest are finding themselves still waiting for launch although the countdown has started as water temperatures are now slightly above the mid forties. A few fish are being caught by fishermen using circle hooks and cut herring; warmer water temperatures and clear water hopefully are just around the corner. Farther down the bay fishermen are shaking the bugs out of gear and boats by trolling the shipping channel in the middle and lower bay regions and practicing some catch and release. At times fishermen are also jigging with good success over concentrations of large fish caused by bait moving into the regions.

Joshua Kaptur of Odenton sent us this report from the lower bay about what one can only label as catch and release fishing at a time of the year when most of us would like to have a lot more hull under us and warm dry clothes. Donned the dry suit (want to emphasize the danger of kayaking in cold water without one) and launched the kayak to flat seas on Tuesday morning, March 18th, with the winds scheduled to pick up as the day progressed. I had about a half hour paddle to get to the spot I wanted to fish but was still able to squeeze in several hours of fishing in Calvert County before I got blown off the water around lunchtime. Found isolated but schooled up bait and marks on my fish finder and had a banner day both trolling (stretch 25 was hot) and jigging (10” BKD on a 1.5 oz jig was hot). Lost count of the number of fish I caught (and released to fight another day), but about a dozen of them were in the upper 30’s and low 40’s (inches). Big fish of the day for me, and a new personal kayak record, was 41.5 inches; unfortunately no picture of that one, since I was at the mercy of nearby boats to help with pictures. Yes, guys in larger boats; one can only imagine the comments Joshua must have received.

Robert Bacon caught and released this fine looking 5-1/2 lb largemouth bass while casting a Clouser minnow fly at Prettyboy Reservoir.The yellow perch spawning runs are about over now and white perch have quickly filled in the gap for fishermen fishing the upper reaches of the tidal rivers and creeks. Freshwater fishermen have been enjoying good fishing for largemouth bass throughout Maryland as warmer water temperatures have fish on the move and looking for food. Most other species of freshwater fish are also behaving much in the same manner and fishermen are enjoying a wide variety of fishing opportunities. Robert Bacon caught and released this fine looking 5-1/2 lb largemouth bass while casting a Clouser minnow fly at Prettyboy Reservoir.

A new state record blue catfish was caught last Sunday by a member of a fraternity of fishermen who love their catfish and for good reasons. This fishery has blossomed in recent years in the tidal Potomac River and these fish are brutes. Ron Lewis from Point of Rock was fishing in the Fort Washington area of the Potomac Sunday morning for blue catfish and he knew what he was doing. Armed with a fresh chunk of gizzard shad that he caught himself, stout tackle and a bottom rig consisting of a 6/0 hook and 4-ounce sinker strategically placed in the river channel; Ron was ready for business. A photo of Ron Lewis and the blue catfish that was caught.A behemoth of a blue cat picked up the bait and the battle was on which lasted quite a while based on reports from passing fishermen motoring by. Once Ron had the big cat along side the boat he and his partner realized it would not fit in a landing net so they had to haul it into the boat by hand. At the boat ramp Tom Hagan was summoned by cell phone and Tom graciously brought his large live well that could handle such a large fish and it was eventually transported to where else but the live display tank at Bass Pro Shop in Arundel Mills Mall. Central Regional biologist Mary Groves verified the species and certified weight at 67.10 lbs beating the existing state record of 65-1/2 lbs set by Josh Fitchett in 2006 in the same region of the Potomac. This whopper of a catfish measured 51’ long and had a girth of 34-1/2”.

Oceanside fishermen continue to catch a few tautog inside the Ocean City Inlet along with a few undersized striped bass. Surf fishermen are mostly catching spiny dogfish and skates at this time. The fleet from Ocean City venturing out to the inshore wreck sites is reporting limits of large tautog or near so around the rails of the head boats recently. Boats headed offshore for “deep drop” trips are reporting good catches of large sea bass and tilefish.


Quote of the Week:

"There is no substitute for fishing sense and if a man doesn’t have it, verily, he may cast like an angel and still use his creel largely to transport sandwiches and beer."

Robert Traver





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A Couple of Closing Notes...

Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please reference the Catch and Release information located at URL: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/articles/catch_release.shtml
Include the following information:

  • Date
  • Angler(s)
  • Hometown(s)
  • Photo credit
  • Location

  • Weight/length of catch

  • Bait/lure

Important Note: If anyone in your picture is under 18 years of age, we must have a photo release signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture.

Send your photos and information to Keith Lockwood

Until next week,

Tight Lines,

Keith Lockwood
MD DNR Fisheries Service

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