Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: May 28, 2008 Next Update: June 4, 2008

Freshwater Fishing Reports

Western Region:

Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake reported good fishing over this past weekend and made mention that they saw a little more boat traffic then they are used to seeing. Water temperatures are still cool in the lake; fishermen reported that there still are largemouth bass spawning in some of the coves. Crappie are moving into some of the lakes coves and can be caught with a bobber/minnow combination. Pike fishing remains good in the coves and are caught in much the same way as crappie only large shiners are used under a bobber. Fishing for smallmouth bass has been reported to be excellent; fishermen are finding the best success with tubes and similar baits worked slowly along the bottom.

Many other lakes in the western region hold good populations of fish and Alan Klotz sent in this report of a family fishing trip. BluegillsSummer season is officially here, and now is a great time to fish in Western Maryland lakes for some great panfish action. The kids and I spent Memorial Day canoeing on Garrett County’s Broadford Lake and had a blast catching nice keeper-size bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and black crappies. The best areas to catch these fish were to pick out some shoreline structure such as cattails or overhanging brush with some depth. The kids just used a small piece of nightcrawler on a # 10 hook suspended about 2 feet under a small bobber. Other good panfish hotspots in Western Maryland include Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park, Piney Reservoir near Frostburg, Youghiogheny Reservoir near Friendsville, Deep Creek Lake, and the Savage Reservoir (it is now at full pool). All these bodies of water contain good numbers of panfish and now is the time to fish for them as they are in shallow water and very eager to bite.

On the trout fishing scene, streams and rivers are flowing higher than normal but are clearing up. I fished the Youghiogheny River Catch and Return Area earlier this week, and it was flowing high but clear. The famed Green Drake hatch came off like clockwork on Memorial Day weekend, as well as good hatches of sulfur mayflies, tan caddis, and a black midge that the Griffith Gnat imitates well. Trout usually seem to take the Green Drake emerging nymph; however I did see a good trout taking the duns as they were floating downstream, and ending up landing the 14 inch rainbow using the Green Drake dry fly. I kept with the dry fly landing several other rainbows and one brown before dark. This hatch should continue for another week or so, and just observing this hatch of these big mayflies is worth the effort to visit the Yough.

John Mullican sentSmallmouth Bass us this report from the upper Potomac and a word about the boating advisories on the river. The upper Potomac is getting back into shape after weeks of above average rainfall. Though still high, it is clearing up well and temperatures are in the low 60s. Most of the larger bass have already attempted to spawn, but there are still quite a few late spawners. Fishing over the holiday weekend was fantastic with bass eagerly taking flukes, tubes, grubs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. The majority of bass have been running between 11 and 13 inches with plenty of 15 and 16 inchers thrown into the mix.

The advisories are issued by the Maryland Natural Resources Police when conditions are deemed hazardous, generally this would be when the river level reaches the red lines on the ramp. These advisories are just that, they advise you when conditions are hazardous. There is no fine or enforcement for going on the river during the advisory; but one needs to understand their limitations and their boating abilities. Like Clint Eastwood said, “A mans got to know his limitations." What is hazardous for a canoe is not the same thing for a good river boat. These words of wisdom remind me of signs that are posted on the north shore of Oahu and Maui concerning surfing in big wave conditions. “When in doubt, Don’t go out”

Central/Southern Region:

Fishermen continue to talk about cool water temperatures in many of the larger bodies of water in the central region and the interesting fact that largemouth bass can be still seen spawning in some of the larger reservoirs. Smaller farm ponds and the upper reachesLargemouth Bass of some tidal rivers have not been affected as much by the cold runoff of recent weeks. Tyler Judd was fishing in a Worthington Valley farm pond when he caught and released this beautiful post-spawn largemouth bass.

There is no question that this has almost been a record breaking wet month of May and it certainly has been a cool one. Southern Regional biologist Mary Groves mentioned some largemouth bass observations while talking about their snakehead investigations in the southern region. Due to the colder weather we still have largemouth spawning in the tidal Potomac so I'd expect that the reservoirs are experiencing the same thing. We've been out on the tidal Potomac searching for northern snakeheads as part of a Virginia Tech. graduate student project. Basically, we are collecting snakeheads and examining stomach contents. One largemouth bass is also collected in the vicinity of where we capture the snakehead and their stomach is pumped, contents collected, and the fish released. The project is looking at correlations (or lack of) between snakehead and largemouth bass food preferences. We collected 27 northern snakeheads from Piscataway Creek alone; one was 12 lbs and close to 30 inches in length. Maryland Inland Fisheries has been assisting on the Maryland side of the Potomac and Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fish is assisting on the Virginia side.

Martin Cribb sent in this report from Prettyboy Reservoir and his observations about the largemouth bass spawn from a week and a half ago. I just wanted to let you know that I caught and released a 20 3/4" largemouth at Prettyboy on Saturday the 17th. I would estimate she was at least 6 pounds with her being pre spawn. Her tail was red and beat up from being on a bed. However, I think it was off a bed because I caught it way up in a downed tree on the main lake. I also caught a few more largemouth off a beaver hut. All fish caught on soft plastic worms w/ 6 pound fluorocarbon line and spinning rod. The water temperature was hovering around 60- degrees.

Many of the tidal rivers and creeks flowing into the Chesapeake and Potomac River are still running cloudy from runoff but conditions are improving quickly. Fishermen are reporting that dark colored tubes and similar soft plastics are working well in the cloudy water; especially around sunken wood, grass and rocks.

Eastern Region:

Fishermen in the upper eastern and middle shore tidal rivers such as the Sassafras south to the Nanticoke are seeing cloudy water conditions improve and water temperatures are climbing due to warmer weather. Fishermen in these rivers are reporting that darker baits such as soft craws and tubes worked very slowly along sunken wood, old docks and blow downs have been working well. Spatterdock beds near river drop-offs have also been productive locations to find largemouth bass. As usual these areas tend to have the best largemouth bass bite on a falling tide. The Wicomico and Pocomoke have been running a bit clearer although the Pocomoke especially always has a deep brown color due to tannin in the water. Soft plastic craws and similar soft plastics have been doing well near most any kind of sunken wood during a falling tide. Locals on the Pocomoke also report that Nassawango Creek has also been producing some nice largemouth bass.

Fishermen continue to enjoy good to excellent largemouth bass fishing in the numerous farm ponds and small lakes that dot the eastern shore landscape. The largemouth bass are roaming freely in these smaller waters and soft plastics are always a good bet although spinnerbaits will really perform well if the water clarity is good.

Fishing for channel catfish continues to be good in the Chester and Choptank Rivers as well as the Nanticoke. Bluegill fishing is excellent this time of the year in most small lakes and ponds and can be caught with a simple bobber and worm or by using small surface popping bugs.

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 (4 photos).

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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
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