Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake report a water temperature of about 73-degrees this past weekend and plenty of excellent smallmouth bass fishing. The early part of June usually means smallmouth bass at the lake and fishermen so far have not been disappointed with this year’s action. Casting soft plastics such as tubes or whacky rigged plastic worms under the numerous floating docks is the ticket for smallmouth bass this time of the year. Topwater lures such as poppers or skipping bugs are also a good choice and have the added the excitement of a surface strike. The post-spawn largemouth bass will soon follow the smallmouth bite as the lake’s waters warm up even more and the month of June progresses further.
Mark Hoekzema was kind enough to send us this report and a picture of the pugnacious rascal known as the rock bass, red-eye or goggle-eye. I was out fishing in Western MD last weekend and although river levels are high for this time of year, they were definitely fishable and in some cases very nice. The Casselman was perfect and fishing was very good. I had the luck of catching a Casselman Grand Slam + 1; a brook, brown, and rainbow trout, plus a smallmouth and goggle eye bass. I have attached a picture of one of the two goggle eye bass I caught. My best action at all locations was on various streamers.
The upper north branch was a bit muddy still at Wallham, but cleared nicely down at Lost Run. I had a 20+ inch rainbow on that torqued my fly rod tremendously. I never landed the fish though.
John Mullican sent in this wonderful report and a picture of fisheries biologist Mark Toms with one beautiful smallmouth bass that was caught and released while they were conducting an electro-fishing survey on the upper Potomac.
The upper Potomac is in great shape and the fishing has been great as well. Water temperatures have now climbed above 80°F. Smallmouth bass have been slamming topwater lures during the morning and especially during the evening hours. Grubs, tubes, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jerkbaits have all been effective during the heat of the day. Catfishing has really picked up as well. Anglers fishing at night using cut bait and chicken livers have been the most successful.
Although high fuel costs are causing some boaters to stay home, great fishing can still be had without a boat. As water levels in our warmwater rivers and creeks fall, wading can be an enjoyable way to cool off and catch fish. Many of the small tributaries to warmwater rivers offer a mixed bag of redbreast sunfish, rock bass, fallfish, and smallmouth. Generally, the fish will be smaller than those found in the larger rivers, but the action can be steady and there is probably a small stream/creek close to home. Be sure to ask permission before fishing on private property. A simple, easy to carry selection of light (1/16, 1/8 oz) jig heads with small plastic grubs, some poppers and small crankbaits, and you're ready to fish.
Bill Donnellan sent in this report and a picture of one whopper of a walleye caught back in late May at Jennings Randolph Reservoir. Pictured is a 27.25 inch, 8 lb 4 oz walleye caught by Mike McDaniel of Hedgeville, WV in Jennings Randolph Lake recently. Jennings Randolph Lake’s walleye population is characterized by having a lot of walleye just under the 15 inch minimum size limit, but there are some lunkers in there! The lake has relatively low fishing pressure and has a good population of smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rainbow trout, and some jumbo rock bass. This is a great place to “get away from it all”.
Fishermen are starting to shift their fishing activities to early morning and evening hours to beat the summer heat and to time their fishing with the feeding activities of the largemouth bass in the central and southern regions. Warm water temperatures have the largemouth bass sulking in the cool waters of shade and deeper water during the day. Casting soft plastics such as whacky rigged 4” Senkos or similar type plastics under docks or near deep sunken wood can often elicit a strike. During the early morning or evening hours topwater lures such as plastic frogs or buzzbaits can be cast over shallow grass beds where largemouth bass are prowling for a meal. Michael Gallo of California caught and released this nice largemouth at St. Mary’s Lake on a Pearl Zoom Super Salt Fluke.
Fishermen looking for largemouth bass in the many tidal rivers and creeks within the two regions are finding their best fishing also confined to the early morning or evening hours and especially on a falling tide. The tidal Potomac is showing a water temperature of 84-degrees now and fishermen report largemouth are being caught along the edges of deep grass on soft plastics and topwater lures. In the tidal creeks the deep edges of spatterdock fields are also a good place to find prowling largemouth bass.
Most kids are now getting out of school so it is a great time to spend some time fishing with them and there are a number of freshwater species they can fish for such as bluegills and catfish. Cameron Taylor caught this nice 15” bullhead catfish at Piney Run Lake this past weekend while fishing with worms.
Summer time temperatures have fishermen and largemouth bass settling into a summer mode of behavior based on the desire to beat the mid-day heat. Largemouth bass can be found in the shallower waters of the regions tidal rivers, creeks and freshwater lakes during the evening through the early morning hours where they will prowl the shallows for prey. That prey can be in the form of most anything from small snakes, frogs, and small fish to even a baby duck. There are a number of topwater lures that are fishermen’s favorites for this shallow water fishing such as buzzbaits and soft plastic frogs. Forty years or more ago it was lures with names such as Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers and Crazy Crawlers that caused a surface commotion in the low light hours or even in darkness that drove largemouth bass to strike.
Fishermen are reporting water temperatures in the Nanticoke and Pocomoke Rivers in the upper 70’s, the top water bite has been good in the early morning hours just before sunup and if that can be timed with a good ebbing tide the fishing can be especially good. During the late morning hours casting soft plastic around deeper sunken wood and under docks can also be very effective.
Fishing for channel catfish continues to be good to excellent in many of the tidal rivers in the eastern region. The Elk River continues produce some excellent channel catfish opportunities. Other rivers such as the Nanticoke, Choptank and Chester also offer very good fishing for channel catfish. Michael Virts caught this 7 lb channel catfish near Chestertown recently in the Chester River on a nightcrawler.
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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.