Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake continue to enjoy good fishing for walleyes and yellow perch along the main points of the lake that are associated with steep edges and deep water. Small crankbaits such as Rat-L-Traps and jigs such as grubs and jig/minnow combinations are all good choices. Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found near points leading to coves and especially the rocky ones. This is the time of the year to find northern pike in the coves and near some of the floating docks that are beginning to appear along the shorelines. Itís pretty hard to beat a shiner under a bobber for this type of fishing although they will strike lures such as spinnerbaits and jerkbaits. Trout can of course be found this time of the year and the hump out in front of the state boat ramp always seems to hold trout and attract fishermen.
Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in a report from the Savage River Reservoir and the river down stream and a notice to trout fishermen. The Savage River Reservoir is still drawn down in order to perform necessary repairs on the damís release gates. The scope of work and the duration of the repair have not yet been determined, however we should know what to expect by the end of this month. Until then, trout stocking has been postponed in the Savage Reservoir. The 4,000 trout that were designated for the reservoir may be stocked at a later date if the reservoir refills this spring. Otherwise these trout will be stocked in nearby stocked trout waters.
The Savage River downstream of the reservoir has cleared up remarkably in the last couple of weeks, and at this writing, was flowing about 125 cubic feet per second. The Bluequill hatch should be starting soon, providing the some of the best dry-fly fishing the Savage has to offer. The Savage Reservoir Put and Take stockings are postponed until we get word on the re-filling of the reservoir.
John Mullican sent in this report from this past weekend on the upper Potomac River. Although the weather has been dreary, the Potomac basin hasnít received much rain. As a result, the river is very clear with water temperatures in the low 50s and flows are below average. Fish activity slowed down following last weekend's cold front and East winds. Warmer temperatures are predicted for this week and activity should improve for the weekend. When flows drop and the water is clear look for most fish to move away from the shallow shorelines into deeper areas. Michelle Mount was fishing with her husband on the upper Potomac when she caught and released this fine looking smallmouth bass.
Fishermen continue to enjoy a wide variety of freshwater fishing opportunities in these two regions as waters warm up and many fish have increased their feeding activities. Largemouth bass are beginning to move into the shallow waters of the regions lakes and reservoirs seeking out warmer water temperatures and food. Crawfish are on the move also in many of the larger lakes and reservoirs also headed for shallower waters and will seek cover in emerging grass beds. Most any kind of soft plastic jigs or crankbaits that mimic crawfish is a good bet this time of the year. Largemouth bass are also feeding on a wide variety of small fish such as bluegills. Young John Lepore was fishing from shore for bluegills recently with his dad and well; his dad sent in this story. While fishing for trout at Myrtle Grove WMA my 7 year old son John caught and released this hog of a bass. Here's the story; I had one rod set up with powerbait and another set out with a night crawler to catch bluegills so he could stay occupied catching them while waiting for the trout to bite. The rod he was using was a browning 4 ft light action spinning rod with 4 lb test and size 14 hook. He was winding one in when this bass came out of the grass about 5 feet from shore and swallowed the bluegill. When that happened the pole doubled over and drag started screaming for about 50 yards, I saw the whole thing happen and I was determined to let him fight it. It finally slowed down and began to rise to the surface. While tightening and loosening the drag for him he managed to pull it to shore where I lipped it and needless to say we were both jumping up and down. I didn't have a scale but would say it was about 9 lbs and around 24 inches. This is his biggest fish to date and the biggest largemouth Iíve ever seen up close.
Fishermen have also been of course trout fishing in many of the ďPut and TakeĒ trout waters within the two regions and enjoying themselves. Most fishermen are using items for bait such as Powerbaits or of course the old standard earthworms. At times spinners will work and certainly fishing nymphs is hard to beat this time of the year for fly fishermen. Mike Kelly certainly seemed to enjoy himself and sent in this picture and a short report. I caught this 17 inch 2lb rainbow in the Gunpowder with a worm. I used my Mitchell lightweight trout rod that my Dad gave me 20 years ago. The fish made 3 great runs but was able to bring it in. Enjoyed this trout with my Uncle the very same night; very tasty....Picture is with my 16-month old son Colin.
The white perch are completing their spawning runs in the upper reaches of the regions tidal rivers and creeks and are beginning to move down river a bit. The best fishing tends to be in the deeper channel areas rather than the shallows and itís pretty hard to beat the light jig/grass shrimp combination.
Fishermen in the tidal portion of the Potomac River have been having a tough time catching largemouth bass lately due to the cold front that settled in on the region but that can change quickly with warmer weather. Largemouth bass are feeding heavily on crawfish in the newly emerging grass and on rocky points. Sunken wood in the main river or in the creeks is also an excellent place to fish with crawfish imitations. Currently the water temperature in the tidal Potomac is running around 51-degrees.
Freshwater fishermen in the eastern region continue to target spawning white perch in the upper reaches of the regions tidal creeks and rivers. The white perch have dropped down the waterways a bit but they can be found in good numbers in some of the deeper areas of the upper rivers and creeks. Fishermen are reporting a lot of small throwbacks but also report often moving to other areas can pay dividends when a school of larger perch are found. Grass shrimp on a small jig is one of the most popular ways to fish and when fishing from shore often a bobber is used to keep the bait at the proper depth. Bottom rigs baited with grass shrimp or bloodworms or earthworms are also effective.
Fishing for channel catfish in the middle sections of the many of the regions tidal rivers has picked up with warmer water temperatures and the fish are aggressively feeding. Fresh cut baits of menhaden, gizzard shad or alewife herring are good choices as is chicken liver. Nightcrawlers and earthworms are of course a good bait for channel catfish but many areas are seeing large numbers of small white perch moving through the area and the worms donít seem to stand much a chance lasting too long. The striped bass are now spawning in the Nanticoke and Choptank Rivers and fishermen should take caution to give them a wide berth. The spawning reaches are closed to catch and release fishing for striped bass.
Largemouth bass fishing continues to pick up in the region; especially in the tidal rivers since it usually takes a little longer for the rivers to warm up. Slow retrieves of small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics near creek mouths, sunken wood and sunny shorelines are good choices to find active bass. The smaller lakes and ponds have warmer water temperatures at this time due to their shallower nature and a variety of freshwater fish in these areas are feeding very aggressively at this time. Largemouth bass can be found in the shallower waters, near emerging grass beds and of course sunken woods. Chain pickerel continue to be aggressive and accessible since the thick grass beds that they seem to get lost in during the summer, have not yet fully developed.
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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.