How about a little more rain and wind? It is too bad that duck and goose season is not open instead of deer and striped bass. This is of course the time of the year when fishermen must pick their weather if they wish to enjoy themselves while fishing. Freshwater fishermen can often find some protected areas; especially if they are fishing sheltered trout water somewhere in the forests of western or central Maryland. Those that wish to fish the lakes and reservoirs and larger rivers will be bundling up a bit more and wearing life jackets just in case of an unplanned dunking from a small boat. Fishermen who yearn to fish out on the open waters of the Chesapeake for the last of the 2009 striped bass season will be looking for or wishing for warm heated cabins and plenty of hull underneath them. Whichever you choose be safe, have fun and remember that nature shows no forgiveness.
The 2009 striped bass season closes this coming Tuesday December 15th and there will be plenty of fishermen out this weekend trying to catch one of the behemoths that have been trading up and down the shipping channel this month. Catches are not what they were in November but there is still plenty of fish and opportunity out there. Trolling large parachutes, bucktails, spoons and diving plugs has been the ticket for the large fish and many fishermen are also pulling smaller offerings for striped bass under 28”. Trolling baits at 25’ to 35’ deep and off planer boards is been reported as the most productive combination and the steeper edges of the channel are traditional some of the better locations to troll. Pat Berling and Lee Holt hold up a big one for the camera that was caught while trolling in the Potomac River near Piney Point.
Freshwater fishermen who choose largemouth bass as their intended quarry are finding the largemouth holding deep. In the tidal rivers the bass are holding along steep channel edges or any kind of deep structure such as sunken wood or rocks. Slow rolling spinnerbaits along the bottom or slowly working small crankbaits or grubs are the best choices to entice sluggish bass to pick up a bait. The pickup for most freshwater fish this time of the year are often very subtle; even for smallmouth bass and walleye that do much better in colder waters. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing has been good in the lower Susquehanna River and upper Potomac River this week.
Trout fishermen are finding plenty of elbow room and good trout fishing in many of the state’s managed trout waters this week. This can be some very exciting fishing for those fishermen with the grit to deal with cold fingers and icy rod guides; but the rewards are extraordinary. Stephen Farrand enjoyed a wonderful fly fishing experience on the Youghiogheny Catch & Release Trout Fishing Area recently and sent in this captivatingly beautiful picture of a rainbow trout being released.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area are enjoying the fall migration of large striped bass and bluefish along the coast this week. Large bluefish are chasing bait through the surf and along the shoal areas off the beaches. Large striped bass are mixed in and are being caught by fishermen casting plugs or using cut bait in the surf. Fishermen venturing out of the inlet to the inshore shoals are catching large bluefish and striped bass by trolling or jigging.
Quote of the Week:
“There is always one way to separate the men from the boys” he said. “That is to watch and see if a feller’ll do a thing the hard way, when all the other fellers are sitting around grumbling and quarreling that it can’t be done”.
Robert Ruark, The Old Man and the Boy
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 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file
size small, under one megabyte. 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. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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