Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are seeing some dramatic changes in the lakes fisheries as water temperatures begin to dip below 60-degrees. Largemouth bass have left the shallow areas around most floating docks and tend to be holding in about 10’ water near grass beds. Smallmouth bass are generally holding in approximately the same depths outside of grass beds searching for crawfish moving along the bottom. Walleyes are reported to be holding in about 10’ to 25’ of water as are yellow perch along the deeper shores of the lake and deep grass beds. Crappie are holding near bridge piers and large pickerel and northern pike are cruising the deeper coves looking for forage.
Fishing for largemouth bass in many of the regions lakes and smaller ponds has been very good lately as largemouth bass feel an urgency with the decrease in water temperatures to build up fat stores for the winter. Richard Berke holds up a big one for the camera that he caught and released at an Emmitsburg pond.
Trout fishermen have been enjoying excellent fishing opportunities in many of the regions stocked waters due to the generous fall stocking of large brown and rainbow trout. Fishermen in the upper Potomac are reporting good fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye this week. The river is still running low but it is clear and much of the heavy grass has broken up and floated down river. Andrew Ralowicz caught his nice 5-pounder on a deep diving crankbait this past weekend.
Fishermen have been enjoying good to excellent fishing for largemouth bass in many of the regions lakes, ponds, reservoirs and tidal rivers this week. Cool water temperatures have allowed largemouth bass to move freely through a wide range of depths in their search for food. In many areas the cooler water has caused thick summer grass beds to die back and in the process crawfish and small fish have lost their protective shallow cover and largemouth bass are looking for an easy meal. Smallmouth bass in a few of the reservoirs such as Liberty, Prettyboy and Rocky Gorge are on the constant watch for crawfish moving along the bottom. Most any kind of crankbait, soft plastic jig or hair jig that resembles a crawfish is the ticket to good fishing. Jim Marcinko holds up a nice smallmouth bass from Triadelphia Reservoir for the camera before releasing it.
A number of other freshwater fish such as chain pickerel, yellow and white perch, channel catfish, crappie and bluegills are also very active this time of the year. Crappie will be schooling up near deep structure and as thick grass beds break up chain pickerel will be found in more open waters.
The tidal Potomac River water temperature is now down to about 60-degrees and high tides and winds have hampered fishing lately. Fishermen report that the grass beds are breaking up and largemouth bass are being found more often now in deeper water along channel edges. Southern Region fisheries biologist Mary Groves reports that her sampling crews are out electro-fishing tidal largemouth bass populations for their fall survey. Mary sent us this statement for anglers who may see the crews out doing their survey work and a picture of a couple of nice slab crappie before they were returned to the river.
Inland fisheries biologists are conducting annual tidal largemouth bass fall electro fishing surveys in selected tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay. Surveys in both the tidal Potomac and Choptank Rivers for largemouth bass have been completed but several more days of sampling on the Potomac River will take place for northern snakeheads and blue catfish. The Upper Bay (Swan Creek to Northeast River), Marshyhope, Wicomico, Middle and Patuxent Rivers have yet to be done. Sites are randomly selected in advance and consist of 250 meter stretches parallel to the shoreline or along the edge of submerged aquatic vegetation beds. All largemouth bass within these sites are collected and held in an aerated live-well. Upon completion of the sample, fish are weighed, measured, examined for injuries or other anomalies, and then released back into the water. Largemouth bass collected in this manner have been known to feed within hours of release. For more information contact Mary Groves (301-888-2423, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The beautiful fall weather has started to settle in on the eastern shore in the leaves should begin to show full color in about a week or so. There are few things as splendid as fishing a favorite fishing spot with the color of the fall foliage in the background. Once the leaves start to fall they can of course be a little pesky in the tidal waters as they float down river but most fishermen don’t mind fouled hooks now and then. Grass beds are beginning to break up and spatterdock weeds will begin to wilt soon with the first frost. Small bait fish and crawfish will be moving to deeper cover and largemouth bass will be waiting for them. Largemouth bass are starting to hold along channel edges now and deeper sunken wood. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tubes, grubs and soft plastics are all excellent choices to work the deeper cover. Tides have been running high earlier this week but the weather is expected to settle out before the weekend. There is a possibility of rain on Saturday; which is much needed on the eastern shore to bring up flow levels in the rivers and creeks.
Nick Carter sent this email regarding the clearing of fallen trees in the upper Choptank; which would be of interest to fishermen. The fallen tree snag notching effort is complete. I have paddled the whole route; from MD Rt. 287-Sandy Island Bridge (Goldsboro-Sandtown Road) to Greensboro, and it looks good, even with flows as low as they currently are.
Much credit for excellent work to Joe Church and the field crew from Dave Kibler's company, to George Jamar from Caroline Rec & Parks who got the financing straightened out, and many thanks to the Town of Greensboro, who, through the good offices of the other Dave Kibler, put their grant money towards the project, and to DNR for making the funding available. Thanks again to Sue Simmons, Caroline Rec & Parks for getting behind the idea. Thanks to Mike Beebe and Q.R. Walsh for helping out with the documentation and the snag survey.
The gage datum at Red Bridges is at + 3.51 feet above sea level and that is approximately bank full flow and currently, the staff gage is showing about 1.98 feet, hence the water level is about 1.53 feet lower than bank full. This provides about 11 cfs flow. The 11 years 1996-2006 October average flow is 75 cfs, so you can see it's really way down.
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
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.