The first reports of large striped bass in and around the Susquehanna Flats came in this past weekend. Most of the fish that were caught and released over the weekend came from the lower portions of the Susquehanna River below the Route 95 Bridge. The area around the Railroad Bridge and Garrett Island was a good place for fishermen casting large crankbaits and soft plastic jigs. Jonathan Harris from Westminster reported catching and releasing a 54-pounder on a crankbait Saturday.
The first hickory shad were seen in the lower Susquehanna River this past weekend and a few anglers caught their first hickory shad of the season. Surface water temperatures at present are ranging from a low of 45-degrees in the mornings to 50-degrees on a sunny afternoon. The Conowingo Dam has been releasing water on a schedule of twice per day lately and generally speaking the flows coming through the dam have been rather minimal due to the lack of rainfall in the Susquehanna River watershed.
Fishermen are also targeting white perch that are entering the area in some of the deeper holes and channel areas with small tandem jigs and bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworms. Fishing with small minnows on a small jig can also be a good way to target some of the post-spawn yellow perch that are still holding in the area. Channel catfish are frequenting the channel areas and fishermen that are using cut baits and circle hooks for striped bass have been catching them. Those fishermen that specifically target the channel cats can really make a haul of some good eating.
Mid/Lower Bay Regions
The weekend weather brought a lot of fishermen out onto the bay waters to shake the bugs out of their new multi-rod setups and planer board arrays. A number of fishermen found themselves shaking their heads and wondering just what it is going to look like out on the bay on April 18th. Some of the better steep edges of the shipping channel were crowded this weekend as boats jockeyed for position to have enough room to make those broad turns that planer boards require. Through all of this fishermen caught and released a number of striped bass; most were reported to be less than 40” and many were between 32” and 36”. The most productive lines tended to be off the planers and the center distant line. Chartreuse parachutes dressed with white or chartreuse sassy shads seemed to be the go to combination.
The warm water discharge at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant came alive this past weekend and the early birds got the fish this weekend. The early morning falling tide offered the best fishing and also those fishermen that arrived at daybreak had the most elbow room. Most fishermen are using ¾-ounce BKD’s or Bass Assassins in a chartreuse/lime green pattern with sparkles but pearl can also be a good choice. A few anglers have been using butterfly jigs with good success and they tout the fact that they have fewer hang-ups. Unfortunately when you do, you leave a big chunk of change invested in bay bottom real estate.
White perch are moving up the major tidal rivers and creeks and can be found holding in some of the deeper channel areas. Fishermen are using pieces of bloodworms on bottom rigs and are fishing from shore and small boats.
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