Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake continue to report good to excellent fishing for medium sized smallmouth bass along shorelines and particularly near floating docks. The smallmouth bass are averaging around 12” to 16” in size and have been aggressively striking a variety of lures such as soft plastics and crankbaits. The smallmouth bass have been showing signs of moving into deeper waters as lake water temperatures continue to slowly rise. The female largemouth bass are moving out of the spawning coves and are aggressively feeding near secondary points and the deeper edges of grass beds. As water temperatures rise they will move towards shaded cover under blow downs and floating docks. Fishing for yellow perch and bluegills continues to be good as is walleye fishing.
The western region continues to receive summer rain storms and although some area waters may exhibit cloudy water conditions immediately after a rain event most streams and rivers are showing good flow conditions. The Savage Reservoir is now up to full pool and anglers are reporting that the fishing has been surprisingly good lately. The North Branch Potomac River in the Barnum and Piedmont Areas was stocked with more than 2,000 rainbow trout, ranging in size from 1 to 4 pounds recently. These fish were once again donated by the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute.
Fisheries biologist John Mullican sent in this report from the upper Potomac and some field work on Beaver Creek. Summer time action on the upper Potomac has remained steady. Smallmouth, walleye, channel catfish, and carp are all providing some action. Early and late in the day have been the most productive times.
We are currently in the process of sampling the trout populations in Beaver Creek, near Hagerstown. Although all the numbers have not been tallied, it's easy to see that the wild brown trout fishery within the fly-fishing-only, catch-and-return area is continuing to improve, the result of three consecutive years of successful natural reproduction. Trout in this limestone stream grow quickly, exceeding 16" during their third season. However, anglers will find these trout are not easily fooled and the instream and bank-side vegetation can present a casting challenge. Nevertheless, thanks to the many organizations and individuals that have worked hard to improve the habitat, fly fishermen up to the challenge will find plenty of nice trout in Beaver Creek to pursue.
Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna River report very low flow conditions in the river and a number of fishermen are enjoying getting out of their boats and wading in some of the shallower areas. Largemouth bass tend to be the main target but fishermen are also catching white perch, channel catfish and a few walleye. Dan Horgan was fishing with his dad on the lower Susquehanna when he caught and released this feisty little rock bass.
Steve English sent in a picture of two nice rainbow trout he caught in the Gunpowder in late June. I caught this nice rainbow on June 25th, in Upper Gunpowder while center-pin drift fishing a trout jig. Although the trout only measured about 20 inches long it weighed 6.0 lbs. (My net and equipment is what I use for Steelhead and I can weigh fish on the stream in my net) I fished a long section of the stream and caught many holdover trout in the 13-20" category and one other released rainbow caught on a spinner, not from the recent stocking, that was 23", and weighed 5 lbs but looked nothing like the recent stocked fish.
Central Regional Fisheries Biologist Charlie Gougeon sent us this information on trout in the Gunpowder area. Indeed, the one fat rainbow was definitely from our Freshwater Institute stocking of 360 (3 - 5 lb rainbows) on 06/11/08; all of them were stocked between Upper Glencoe Road and Sparks Road. The holdover rainbow is like several others caught by anglers and Backwater Angler guides over the past 6 or 8 months. Most of the holdovers were reported caught in or around the 5 trout/day/angler area of the Gunpowder Falls tailwater and most were reported to be 18 to 24 inches long. I can't say what the origin of those fish is with confidence. They really look clean, right down to the nice fins. There is the possibility that some are from fingerling stockings, annually made upstream of Falls Road since 2002. Another gut feeling is that they look like fish that have come from a lake environment! (Loch Raven?). One guide recently was fishing in Loch Raven for bass and sunfish when he spotted a small pod of large brown trout in a cove at the mouth of a tributary to Loch Raven. He reported seeing the big browns (18 + inches) chasing gizzard shad! The Loch Raven Fishing Center operator reported to us last year that he and a few buddies of his routinely fish from boats in the upper Loch Raven where Gunpowder Falls enters it in the spring of the year and catch large rainbows and browns on plugs.
Fishermen are finding a variety of fish in the upper sections of the regions tidal creeks and rivers such as white perch, largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappie and catfish. Most fishermen are fishing during the early morning and evening hours to beat the mid-day heat and to target fish that are doing the same. Most any type of fish can be more readily caught during these cooler low light conditions except for those that can be found hunkered down somewhere where it is cool and shaded. Largemouth bass will head for deep sunken wood, blow downs or docks and catfish and carp will be found in deep channels.
The Reservoirs and lakes that dot the two regions continue to provide good fishing for largemouth bass and a variety of other species. The largemouth bass are following the typical summer pattern of behavior and most fishermen have been adjusting their fishing schedules. Many are out on the water at the crack of dawn and fishing topwater soft frogs and buzzbaits near or over shallow grass and then switching to soft plastics and crankbaits as the bass head to deeper water as the sun rises higher into the sky.
July heat has fishermen and fish alike most active during the early morning hours and late evening hours of the day. Fishermen have been enjoying some rather exciting topwater action during those hours by casting surface lures such as buzzbaits, poppers and soft plastic frogs. Many of the tidal rivers and lakes have extensive grass beds or lily pad fields now and the bass are actively prowling for food so the surface strikes can be very explosive and exciting at times.
As the morning hours wear on, fishermen will find the largemouth bass moving to deeper waters seeking out cooler water temperatures and shade. Deep sunken wood, old piers and docks are all good places to try soft plastic baits such as grubs, whacky rigged worms around these features. Crankbaits and slowly retrieved spinnerbaits are also good choices. A falling tide in the tidal rivers and creeks is always a good time to fish on the deeper outside edges of grass beds and spatterdock as largemouth bass will often be holding there.
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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.