Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are seeing lake water temperatures climb to the 68-degree mark this past weekend. They are also staring to see stained water along some shorelines due to weekend boat traffic as the summer season begins to kick into gear. Skipping tubes under floating docks has been a very effective method of catching smallmouth bass lately. Most of the smallmouth being caught are in the 12” to 16” size range and are aggressively going after baits. The largemouth bass are still spawning and a second spawn is reported to be underway. Largemouth bass are being caught on secondary points leading to the shallower spawning coves; the smallmouth bass are of course done spawning and explains their aggressive post-spawning behavior.
Walleyes are being caught out on the main lake points on crankbaits and grubs. Drifting with live minnows is of course a good way to fish for walleyes and can also pay dividends with trout, large yellow perch and smallmouth bass. Chain Pickerel and crappie can be found hanging out near most tree blow downs where the water is deep and a few pike are being caught in the coves.
Many readers may remember fisheries biologist Ken Pavol who retired a few years ago; well Ken sent us a report on how he is spending his retirement. The bass were on fire today on DCL, the first time out for me this year. Harold and I had constant action for 4-5 hours. Even though we probably missed two for each one we hooked, we still landed over 40. Most were 10-12" with several going about 14". Not much on the larger side but Harold had a real nice one about 17" come off after it jumped. We started at 10:00 and 56 degree water temp that went up to 63 by about 4:00. I caught all of mine on a foam head slider I bought for snook. It ducks under a few inches on the strip and floats back to the surface. I attached a picture of a bass like many we got today. The males are on the beds and were very aggressive.
The upper Potomac River water levels have been dropping and fishermen are now seeing water temperatures hit the 70-degree mark. Casting tubes and soft plastic jigs near underwater ledges has been producing some good smallmouth bass fishing. Trout fishing in the many of the regions trout waters continues to be good and the north branch of the Potomac is certainly one of the most productive. Rod Gross was fishing on the North Branch with friends when he caught this nice rainbow trout on a spinner.
Fishermen found themselves dodging the recent heat by fishing the early morning hours and being beat off the water by oppressive heat. Of course many others made the most of their scheduled fishing trip and either stuck it out or retreated to shaded shores. The largemouth bass that many pursue are still holding to their aggressive post-spawn mode of behavior and are aggressively striking a wide variety of lures; basically everything from topwater over grass to jigs fished close to the bottom.
This is a picture of a largemouth bass that was caught in Prettyboy Reservoir on June 7, 2008 by John Saintsing. According to our scale, the fish weighed in at 5.2 pounds. The water temperature was approximately 75 degrees. This bass was caught on soft plastic worms. We were also successful in catching many small mouth bass on the same soft plastics. The majority of the fish were caught under laid down trees and rocky points. At the end of the day a total of 29 bass, mostly small mouth in the 2-3 lb range and 3 rock bass were caught.
Fishermen report that the tidal Potomac is slightly stained and that the early morning topwater bite has begun in earnest. Buzzbaits and poppers have been favorite choices for this type of fishing over thick grass beds. Spinnerbaits and soft plastics have been working well near sunken wood during the day.
Bluegills are spawning in most lakes and ponds within the two regions and can be readily caught in the shallows on a variety of small ultra-light lures and of course the old standard of a piece of earthworm under a bobber. Crappie are holding near tree blow downs in deeper water areas of the regions lakes and reservoirs or tidal rivers such as the Potomac or Patapsco. Fishing for channel catfish remains excellent in many tidal rivers from the Susquehanna south to the Potomac.
Fishermen continue to find largemouth bass in an aggressive post-spawn phase and are enjoying good fishing in many tidal rivers and freshwater lakes. The water temperatures are still cool enough that the bass are moving freely but present hot weather may soon elevate water temperatures to the point where bass will be holding to a typical summer pattern of early morning shallow water feeding and moving to deeper and cooler water during the day. Most of the tidal rivers that offer good largemouth bass fishing such as the Sassafras, Nanticoke, Wicomico and Pocomoke are seeing grass beds near full development so these are good places for early morning hour fishing with topwater lures such as buzzbaits. The outside edges of grass beds and spatterdock fields near channel edges are always a good place to fish on the last half of a falling tide in the tidal rivers. Any kind of deep sunken wood is also an excellent place to find largemouth bass holding this time of the year. Grubs, other soft plastics and spinnerbaits are good choices for these spots. This is the time of the year when no dock that offers shade should be over looked for a lurking largemouth bass looking for a little shade. A soft plastic bait skipped under a dock is usually hard to resist by a fish holding there.
Fishing for channel catfish continues to be very good in the Sassafras, Bohemia, Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers. Most any kind of cut bait can be used but blueback herring is always the best bet. Nightcrawlers, chicken liver and blood baits are also good choices.
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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.