The 2007 fishing season is just a memory now that we find ourselves starting the journey through 2008. Many fishermen have been hitting the fishing shows looking over what’s new in boats and fishing tackle or looking for good prices on equipment and tackle replacements and upgrades. A number of other fishermen took advantage of the warm weather during the last weeks of December and the first weeks of January to do what they like to do most, Fish. Many fishermen continued to catch large striped bass in the lower bay region by trolling or jigging; just for the fun of it even though all fish had to be released. Fishermen reported excellent fishing until the cold weather moved in after the first week of January. Fishermen in the upper tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River have been enjoying good fishing for chain pickerel and crappie and will continue as long as the waters remain ice free.
Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake began to see ice forming only to have it recede in the warm up but fishermen took advantage of the warm weather and open water and did just fine. Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this short report from last week. No Ice- No Problem. With the January thaw taking off all the ice that had formed on Deep Creek Lake, fishermen have been fishing the shallow ends of coves with good success. Minnows fished under slip bobbers are taking walleye, yellow perch, chain pickerel, and northern pike. Pictured is Jeff Haines with a trophy northern pike that he caught on a golden shiner. Jeff returned the big fish to the lake to fight another day.
Alan Klotz also sent this exciting report about a recent trout stocking in western Maryland. The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute made another generous donation of 2,400 lbs of nice rainbow trout (each trout about 2lbs each!) to the State of Maryland. These trout were stocked in the Town Creek Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Area, the Youghiogheny River Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Area, and the Youghiogheny River Put and Take Trout Fishing Area in Friendsville. Reports from the NRP field officers indicate that the Freshwater Institute rainbow trout stocked in the Casselman River Delayed Harvest Area in December are providing a lot of action for fishermen.
John Mullican and his fishing buddy Steve Peperak took advantage of the mild weather last week and filed this report. Smallmouth, walleye, and muskie fishing have all been excellent this winter. When river temperatures drop down below 37°F the smallmouth action drops off, but walleye fishing remains strong. During the winter spells of mild weather, however, can mean terrific smallmouth action. Steve Peperak and I landed nearly 40 smallmouth between 13 and 17 inches last weekend in the Point of Rocks to Brunswick area. Look for relatively deep spots with little current. Hair jigs, tubes, and grubs fished near the bottom were the ticket.
Anglers in the Ocean City area are reporting that they are still catching large striped bass within three miles of the beach while trolling Mojo’s, parachutes and Stretch 25’s and 30’s. Ocean City fishermen are also reporting that tautog fishing on the wreck sites has been good and the tog are large.
As is always the case one never can readily predict what Mother Nature will throw at us in regard to weather and 2007 will certainly be remembered by many as the year of severe drought conditions. The lack of rain made it pretty difficult for our freshwater fisheries; causing low flows in streams and creeks and extremely low water conditions in many of the reservoirs in the central region. Higher salinities marched up the bay making it tough for oyster survival but good for some types of summer fishing such as summer flounder, Spanish mackerel and bluefish and recreational crabbing in the upper bay. Maryland fishermen experienced another excellent spring trophy striped bass season and finished off the year with one of the best fall fishing seasons for large fall migrant striped bass that fishermen can remember.
The biologists that administer many of the fisheries programs involved with the management of the fisheries resources in Maryland have taken the time to write to everyone about their activities for the year 2007. These reports under the three headings commonly used in the fishing reports cover our Chesapeake Bay tidal fisheries, our freshwater non-tidal fisheries and lastly the Atlantic Ocean and coastal fisheries. You are encouraged to pick and choose topics or fisheries that you are interested in or to read them all at your leisure. The biologists have done a wonderful job and deserve our thanks and gratitude.
State Record Fish: A number of impressive fish were caught by anglers this past year; a total of nine new state records in all. Sam Beauchamp of New York, New York started off the run for records with a new state record tautog in the Atlantic Division that was caught at an artificial reef site off Ocean City on March 11th that weighed a whopping 20 lbs, 11 oz. Ron Callis of Ocean City set a golden tilefish record with a 59.2 lb beauty caught on May 27th near Poorman’s Canyon. Mike Horsey finished off the Atlantic Division honors with a 67 lb cobia caught near the wreck of the Marine Electric while trolling a ballyhoo/Islander combination on July 18th.
There were to be four new state records in the Chesapeake Bay Division this year two involved the same species. Sid Stollings of Reisterstown started things off on March 30th with a 4 lb. crappie he caught in Dundee Creek. Charlie Barron of Manassas, VA brought in a whopping 10 lb Atlantic Spade fish which he caught at Buoy 72 on July 15th. Kevin Bautista of Waldorf set a new record for a Spanish mackerel at 11.67 lbs on September 22nd near the Target Ship; only to have Dean Mitchell of Dagsboro, DE eclipse that record with a Spanish mackerel at 12.4 lbs in the same area on October 6th.
Freshwater anglers accounted for two new state records this year; both involved bullhead catfish. Danny Graves of Reston, VA pulled in a 2.76 bullhead from Piney Run Lake on March 31st only to have Zelijko Koretic catch a bullhead in Loch Raven Reservoir that surpassed it with a weight of 3 lbs, 6 oz on August 11th. To view the entire gallery of Maryland's 2007 State Records click here.
Last Cast: The Maryland fishing community lost two of its own this past year. Kyle Wilson who made his last cast much too early in life for another fishing hole where perhaps the walleyes that he pursued with such a passion on the upper Potomac will appear in wonderful bounty. The second is Harvey Schreter who had lived an amazingly full life for 91-years as a world explorer and adventurer but called the trout streams of the central region his own and actively became a steward of them. Charlie Gougeon wrote the following words about Harvey. We are saddened to report the passing of a long time supporter of our Central Region Fisheries program. Mr. Harvey Schreter, who resided in Baltimore, Maryland, was a member of Trout Unlimited and remained a steadfast supporter of fish management activities within the Central Region for more than two decades. Even at 91 years of age, Harvey could be found climbing into his chest high waders on the Gunpowder Falls or Little Patuxent River for a day of trout fishing. He was always complimentary of our work and us as fisheries biologists, and he frequented many of our fish surveys over the years to observe our work on new or developing fisheries. A year never passed without Harvey checking in on us to inquire about our planned fish sampling or to get directions to some new trout stream destination in the Central Region. We’ll miss that for sure, but life goes on and so too will Harvey’s memory.
Click here for link to table of up-to-date stocked trout areas.
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
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 320 pixels. Please keep the file
size small. 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:
Include the following information:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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