Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: July 23, 2008 Next Update: July 30, 2008

Freshwater Fishing Reports

Western Region:

Alan W. Klotz, Western Region Fisheries Manager - Deep Creek Lake continues to fish well for mixed fish species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, bluegills, and pickerel. AnglersRainbow Trout (Golden Variety) should try trolling weighed jigs tipped with ˝ of a nightcrawler in about 10 feet of water. I have been doing quite a bit of snorkeling in the lake recently, and based on my observations fishing in the evening hours should be the best time, as the fish are moving in closer to this depth. Submerged trees are a magnet for smallmouth bass, so concentrate fishing around the deeper edge of the trees. The weedbeds contain a lot of juvenile fish, and the deeper outer edge is where the larger gamefish are hanging out for a meal.

The North Branch Potomac River was recently stocked with rainbows and golden trout by both Maryland and West Virginia for the annual Piedmont Homecoming Children’s Fishing Rodeo last weekend. There are a lot of trout still remaining in this section of the river for anglers to enjoy catching.

John Mullican, Western Region Fisheries Biologist - Redbreasted SunfishI thought I would change things up this past weekend and take the fly rod out in hopes of hooking into a carp or two. Carp on a fly is a lot of fun and quite challenging. The trick is to spot a feeding carp and slip close enough to present the fly in its path without spooking it - pretty tough when the water is low and clear! Unfortunately, on this trip most of the carp remained in deeper water offering few targets. No matter, there were plenty of large redbreast sunfish around the wood cover along the shoreline. Once a large sunfish was spotted, I presented a small nymph or wooly bugger in its path and was quickly hooked up. The upper Potomac and its warmwater tributaries offer fast, close-to-home action for sunfish, rockbass, and carp (it's pretty good for bass, walleye, and muskie too!)

Central/Southern Region:

Charles R. Gougeon, Central Region Manager - Charlie has provided this sequel to his attempt to verify and capture a snakehead fish, reported by anglers Scott Kuczma and Mark Noble while fishing Northwest Branch (NWB) last weekend. The fish was observed over the weekend of July 12-13 by the anglers while they fished for trout and bass immediately downstream from Route 29 (Montgomery County).

Charlie, accompanied by MD DNR biologist Todd Heerd, angler Mark Noble and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning (M-NCPPC) biologists, Jai Cole and Karl Hellmann, revisited the identical site on NWB where a first attempt at confirming or catching the reported snakehead failed. Thunderstorms had raised water flow and turbidity levels for our first unsuccessful snakehead quest. Our strategy for round two was to monitor stream flow and turbidity conditions in order to determine when to conduct a second attempt when conditions improved. Biologist Karl Hellmann (M-NCPPC) was asked to monitor stream conditions and attempt to make a visual confirmation. Conditions improved late in the week and Karl was able to confirm the presence of not one, but two large snakeheads in the exact location reported by the anglers.

Following a last minute call to our anglers, Mark Noble returned to the site for the second collection attempt. Prior to the electrofishing effort, M-NCPPC biologists placed a block net across the downstream end of the target pool in NWB. The upper end of the pool contained a small drop that created a small falls that made for a perfect upstream barrier to fish movement. Three backpack electrofishers were utilized and each was strategically placed in the pool with a tending biologist/operator. Biologists targeted the ledge where the snakeheads were most frequently observed.Electrofishing Earlier in the week, Charlie and M-NCPPC biologist Doug Redmond didn't find the snakeheads, however they did find some very nice smallmouth bass. Mark Noble was requested to position himself at the block net atop a large boulder, which afforded him visibility of the lower pool. He was to serve the electrofishers as a spotter. Soon after the biologists began the electrofishing, Mark saw the smaller snakehead slip behind the electrofishers and alerted the biologists. The call was quickly answered with two electrodes and the first of two snakehead was in hand.

Ten minutes into the survey, two adult northern snakeheads had been netted. The largest specimen measured 27.4 inches in length and weighed 6 pounds and seven ounces. It was collected from the bottom of the largest ledge pool. The second smaller fish measured 21.5 inches long and weighed 3 pounds and 2 ounces. The pair ofNorthern Snakehead snakeheads are pictured with the electrofishing crew (from left, Jai Cole, Charlie Gougeon, Todd Heerd and Karl Hellmann ). Biologists collected scales and retained the heads for otolith bone removal at a later date to be used to age them. During the survey biologists were able to confirm the presence of a nice smallmouth bass population. We also observed numerous trout, largemouth bass, several sunfish species, large American eels, white suckers, and brown bullheads.

The snakeheads were inspected to determine reproductive condition. No obvious signs of mature reproductive organs were observed. In the dissection process, biologists extracted an intact, freshly ingested eleven inch long rainbow trout from the stomach of the largest snakehead! A look at the business end of the beast gives you Northern Snakeheadthe distinct impression…..this is an eating machine! Let this serve as the last call and notification to all of you local trout anglers……. holdover rainbow trout are still present in NWB and continue to offer diverse angling opportunities to those who want to spend a little time trying. In spite of marginally warm water temperatures for the trout, some of the observed trout have maintained a reasonably nice condition and color. As for all the other potential anglers, get out to NWB and have some fun catching a wide variety of fish. You may even find something of a surprise (snakehead or large smallmouth or largemouth bass) hiding among the underwater boulder and ledge habitats of NWB.

Eastern Region:

Brett Coakley, Eastern Region Fisheries Biologist - A good way for Eastern Shore Sunfishanglers to “beat the heat” is to do a little wet-wading. Usually associated with our Central and Western Regions, wet-wading can be very enjoyable here as well. Old sneakers, blue jeans, a light spinning outfit and of course, bug spray are all you need to get started. Locations to fish are not as abundant here, but there are a few spots that can be great. On the lower Shore, try upper Marshyhope Creek, above Federalsburg. It can be accessed through the town, and Idylwild WMA. Tuckahoe Creek below the Lake spillway is very good, and very scenic for Mid-Shore anglers. Unicorn Branch below the spillway at Unicorn Lake is productive for the Upper-Shore anglers. In all three areas, you will be amazed at the numbers and diversity of fish caught. Abundant sunfish populations are the primary catch, but bass and pickerel are not uncommon, so be ready.

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