Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | March 23, 2011

Welcome to the first full week of spring; the changes in air temperatures and nature holds a lot of anticipation for everyone and especially so for fishermen. Many young and older fishermen will have a hard time sleeping this Friday as the opening day of trout season approaches. Fishermen have been busy getting equipment together and for many there will be a spot somewhere in the backyard that is dug up from the search for worms. Others will just unscrew the lid of a jar of Power baits and still others will place their faith in spinners or a carefully tended nymph fly. Be it soggy sneakers, mud stained blue jeans and a spinning rod or the newest pair of waders and a fly rod; we are all brothers of a tribe.

In our daily travels or perhaps our ventures out on the states waters many are seeing the results of a lot of runoff coming down the tidal rivers and its effect on the bay. The flows at the Conowingo Dam are very high and there is a lot of floating debris and discolored water in the bay. Check out this link to Eyes on the Bay and check out the recent satellite images. HeavySpringShowersBringFloodsToChesapeakeBay.pdf

Although the weather has been teasing us with some beautiful days, the waters of the lakes, rivers, streams and of course the bay and ocean are much slower to react to the warm embrace of a spring time sun. It is official now, spring has sprung and fishermen have been enjoying some wonderful fishing opportunities throughout the state. Fisheries biologists and volunteers have been busy stocking trout in many of the various trout management waters and this coming Saturday March 26th is the grand opening for most trout fishermen. Most streams are in great shape and baring another deluge between today and Saturday; fishermen should see near perfect conditions.


Stocking Trout - Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood


If anyone has been reading the Angler's Logs you will see that I have been on the road a lot in recent weeks and in my travels I've come across a lot of fishermen fishing for white perch in the upper reaches of the bay's tidal rivers. Although high water has been a problem at times, generally speaking it has been a very good season so far for catching white perch. Many of the traditional spawning run intercept locations such as Gray's Run at the head of the Bush River, Allen's Fresh on the Wicomico and Wayson's Corner on the Patuxent have all lived up to their reputations. Fishermen can still find white perch in these areas but some of the better opportunities will now occur in channel areas farther down the tidal rivers and creeks. Bloodworms and grass shrimp on a bottom rig is perhaps one of the most popular ways to fish for white perch when the water is cold and deep.

Fishing for largemouth bass in the tidal rivers and impoundments has been rapidly improving as water temperatures rise and the bass become more active. Most fishermen are using crankbaits and soft plastics slow and deep near grass edges and sunken wood. This time of the year the sunny side of a tidal creek or river or even a lake can offer the best fishing since fish will seek out the warmer water. The water temperature in the tidal Potomac River near Indian Head area is currently running around 57-degrees. Aron Weiner holds up a nice largemouth bass he caught and released at Piney Run Reservoir recently.


Piney Run Reservoir Largemouth Bass - Photo Courtesy Aron Weiner


In between the recent high water in the upper Potomac fishermen have been enjoying some excellent catch and release fishing for large walleyes and musky. Water levels have not been too forgiving lately and it has to be frustrating for anglers to sit bank side and just watch. Equally frustrating is the slow retreat of ice at Deep Creek Lake. Some of the cove areas are open and the edges are opening up but generally the fishing there is in a bit of a limbo at the moment. Better to go trout fishing this weekend.

The annual spring migration of spawning striped bass into the spawning reaches has begun in earnest this month and the fish are already in the Choptank, Nanticoke and Patuxent Rivers. Last week there was even a hint of fish spawn in the air on the Choptank. The striped bass headed for the Susquehanna Flats should be there soon since this is one of the later spawns in the Chesapeake. Water conditions are not good due to the huge amount of runoff water coming down the Susquehanna. There has been some catch and release fishing occurring at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant discharge and it was quite good last month. As water temperatures in the bay approach 50-degrees the fishing there has tended to be a little less reliable. Jigging with soft plastics there will continue to be a draw.

There are reports of tautog being caught at the Ocean City Inlet locations from the jetties to the Route 50 Bridge. Water temperatures have been fluctuating in the mid 40-degree range depending on the tide. There are reports of a few striped bass being caught in the surf along with skates. A couple of the Ocean City head boats have been running offshore and fishing some of deeper wreck sites for tautog and catching fair numbers. Perhaps one welcomed surprise on these trips is the amount of nice codfish that are being caught. It has been tough for fishermen choose whether to send down a piece of crab or a chunk of clam.

Some people go to therapists; fishermen go fishing! -Seen on a bumper sticker traveling up the Pulaski Highway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.



Latest Angler's Log Reports


Jim Curtis
Recreational Angler
Hampstead, MD
Total Reports:
1
Sent in on: August 28, 2014 Permalink

Prettyboy Bass

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Prettyboy Reservoir
Tags: Smallmouth Bass

I caught this Smallmouth Bass yesterday evening at Prettyboy Reservoir, in Baltimore County. It was 19.5 inches long, caught on a small curly tail jig in about 20 feet of water.

 PHOTOS 

Mike Bonicker
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
1
Sent in on: August 28, 2014 Permalink

Crab Report with Oddities

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid Bay
Location: South of Kent Island
Tags: Blue Crab, Remora, Horseshoe Crab

This is my first post but I had a couple strange catches while crabbing this past Saturday that I wanted to report. My father-in-law and I crabbed south of Kent Island from 6:30 until 11:30 and managed a full bushel of 70 crabs. Nothing huge but half were 6 to 7 inches and the other half were 5 1/4 to 6. The strange catches were 2 horseshoe crabs and an18" striped remora (unfortunately I didn't get a picture. We use mostly 30" hoop traps and it got stuck in the netting) I guess that the horseshoe crabs could indicate the salinity is up in that area (along with LOTS of jellyfish). I know remoras usually hang with large sharks and other such creatures so I was really surprised to see that one without thinking that maybe a large shark could have been in the area.

DNR Response: Small Remora are an uncommon visitor to the Chesapeake Bay and can swim freely or even hitch a ride on a sea turtle and of course sharks. Small Cobia are also found in the bay this time of the year and look very similar except they lack the suction disk on the top of their head. Salinities in the mid bay area right now are about 11.5 ppt on the surface and 19 ppt on the bottom which is about normal for this time of the year. Horseshoe Crabs are not uncommon in the bay up to the Bay Bridge.


James Berry
Recreational Angler
Chesapeake Beach, Md
Total Reports:
34
Sent in on: August 28, 2014 Permalink

Hunting For Blue Cats

Type: Tidal
Region: Southern
Location: Potomac River
Tags: Blue Catfish, Invasive

I have been out looking for snakehead fish on the Potomac with my bow at night and have not seen very many. I have seen some large blue cats and changed over to hunting them. We were able to shoot all we wanted once we found where they were. These were taken on 8-25-14. Some over 50 lbs.

 PHOTOS