Fishermen at deep Creek Lake who crave hard water conditions are starting to report ice forming in some the coves of the lake this week. Ice fishermen are gearing up and eternally hopeful that ice will form quickly and thick so they can get out and enjoy the sport they have been waiting all year for.
Trout fishermen with grit are enjoying the lack of other fishermen on the regionís rivers and streams. The trout donít mind the colder water at all and with recent precipitation water flows are in good condition. Alan Klotz forwarded this report to us. Stephan Farrand and Tracie Gibbons braved some cold, snowy Garrett County weather to fish the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area recently. They had a great day catching some gorgeous trophy rainbow trout! Between the two anglers, they landed 17 trout using size 18 Pheasant Tail nymphs and size 20 Brassies.
John Mullican sent us a report from the upper Potomac River about the smallmouth bass and walleye fishing there. River levels are in the cautionary to danger levels at most ramps with temperatures falling into the upper 30s. Please use caution and wear your PFD (required by law between November 15 and May 15) if venturing out. Snow, ice, leaves, and river mud is a slippery combination so check the ramp before backing down! In spite of the recent snow and cold temperatures, fishing has been very good for smallmouth bass and walleye. Small jigs fished slowly on the bottom in areas of reduced current have been the most productive. Hits will be subtle so pay attention to your line for the ďtickĒ that signals a bite.
Itís cold out there and water temperatures are equally cold but there is still some good fishing out there for freshwater fishermen who pick their days and dress warm. Largemouth bass are holding deep this time of the year and often this is near deep sunken wood, rocks or steep channel edges. Grubs in dull colors such as avocado or root beer are a favorite lure for bass fishermen when hooked up with a light jig head such as ľ-ounce. They are bumped along the bottom slowly and the pick up will be very subtle. Small crankbaits are often another good choice and slow rolling spinnerbaits over sunken wood or similar structure is also a good way to fish. Peter Schumacher was fishing in Rocky Gorge this week and working the steep edges slowly when he caught and released this fine looking largemouth bass.
The lower Susquehanna River below the Conowingo Dam has been offering good fishing for walleyes and smallmouth bass this week despite low flows coming out of the dam. At times fishermen are reporting the releases are little more than a trickle. Small swim shads, tubes and jigs bounced along the bottom has been a winning combination. Fishermen are catching yellow perch and chain pickerel in many of the regions tidal rivers this week. Jig/minnow combinations and spinners have been good choices for both. Chain pickerel are very active in the colder waters and offer fishermen some exciting action when many other types of fishing are slowing down. The upper reaches of the regions tidal rivers also offer protection from cold winds and a restful place to fish. Richard White holds up a nice chain pickerel he caught and released on the upper Severn River.
Fishermen will no doubt be picking their days this week as they try to deal with cold weather and more rain. Flooding and stained water prevail in many of the regions tidal rivers and their tributaries. Some of the more protected small lakes and ponds may offer some better fishing conditions and protection from wind.
Largemouth bass are holding deep now and are slowing down in the colder waters. Look for them to be holding deep along river channel edges and especially near deep structure such as sunken wood. Large trees that fall into tidal waters with the crowns sunk in deep water are good places to slow roll spinnerbaits along the bottom and wood. Grubs with a light jig head are also a good option. In the Pocomoke River cypress knees that are in deep water are also a good place to look for largemouth bass.
Chain pickerel do not seem to slow down in the chilly waters of December and they can offer some fun fishing action. The thick grass beds of summer have receded to a large degree so the chain pickerel are roaming more and it is easier to fish the more open water. Spinners, spoons and live minnows are all good options when fishing for chain pickerel. Mark Tacka holds up one that he caught in a backwater near Salisbury.
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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.