The anticipation of the opening day of the Spring Trophy Striped Bass Season is running high for fishermen within driving distance of the Chesapeake or those fortunate to live on or close to its shores and waterways. Fishermen have been venturing out into the bay waters in unprecedented numbers these past few weeks practicing catch and release in the open waters of the bay. They have been deploying their planer boards, testing their gear and locations. It is fair to say they will notice a bit more company on opening day morning. A bit of advice from someone who watched the action last year from a helicopter; “be nice”. The wide spread use of planer boards is going to cause some maneuvering issues so try and go with the flow and remember you’re out there to have fun. Another thought to think of also is what does that striped bass mean to you as a trophy and is it possibly a pre-spawner? Many fishermen will also often opt to release larger fish over 40” and keep a fish in the 30” range if they are looking for table fare. Fishermen may also encounter a few pre-spawners that are running behind the pack that are already on the spawning grounds at the head of the bay. Life is full of choices so consider those that you make in regards to the health and welfare our striped bass populations. The good news is that there was a massive spawn last week in the Nanticoke and Choptank Rivers and those fish are on their way out to the bay and should arrive into the open waters of the bay by the weekend. Below is a shot of a number of striped bass in the Nanticoke River last week; doing their best to ensure the future of striped bass on the east coast and the Chesapeake Bay.
The catch and release fishery in the Susquehanna Flats area is currently going full tilt and fishermen are reporting catching and releasing big fish till their arms ache. The water temperatures are in the mid-50’s now and water conditions are good. The hickory shad catch and release fishery at Deer Creek hit high gear this past weekend and the action is expected to continue for the next couple of weeks. Wayne Blottenberger considered by many who fish Deer Creek and the lower Susquehanna for hickory shad as the Chief Steward of the fishery, enjoys a little action with his dog Syd this past weekend on Deer Creek.
Freshwater fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities in the western region for a wide variety of fish species. Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are catching largemouth and smallmouth bass and the walleye season opens today the 16th of April. Trout fishermen are enjoying the rewards of a generous stocking program by fisheries crews in many of the regions waterways. Scott Windle Holds up a nice catch from the Blue Hole section of the upper Potomac River.
Fishermen are finding a wide variety of freshwater fishing opportunities in the central, southern and eastern region tidal waters. White perch have moved down into the middle and lower areas of the tidal rivers; large blue catfish are being caught in the tidal Potomac and channel catfish are abundant in many of the tidal rivers in Maryland. Largemouth bass are entering their pre-spawn feeding behavior mode and are actively feeding in freshwater lakes and tidal rivers. Sean Hall holds up a fine looking largemouth bass from the Middle River before releasing it back into the river.
Oceanside fishermen in the Ocean City area are catching tautog in the inlet area and a few flounder are beginning to be caught in the back bay areas. Surf fishermen continue to find spiny dogfish and clear-nosed skates in the surf and not much else at this time. The boats venturing out to the wreck sites off Ocean City have been reporting good catches of tautog.
Quote of the Week:
"Nature encourages no looseness, pardons no errors."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, if you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we run this time year.
Click here for
this week's gallery (5 photos).
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.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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