Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake continue to deal with the height of the boating and vacation season at the lake; which tends to make for difficult fishing conditions during the day. Warm water temperatures also tend to make fishing tough but recent cool weather revived things a bit; day time water temperatures have been ranging from 70 to 74-degrees. Last week fishermen had several days of good smallmouth bass and largemouth bass fishing. Most of the smallmouth bass were in the 12Ē to 16Ē size range and some of the largemouth bass were big such as this nice one held by
Donald Griswold Jr. that he caught and released near Beckmannís Point.
Trout fishermen report good flows in many of the regions streams and rivers due to recent rains. Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz reports that the Conservation Fundís Freshwater Institute will again donate a load of nice rainbow trout for the North Branch Potomac River at Barnum this Thursday 8/21.
John Mullican sent in this report from the upper Potomac. The upper Potomac River is low and clear with average flows for this time of year. Channel catfish are one of the highlights of fishing the river during August and most anglers opt for fishing at night. I recently spent the evening with anglers from the Battie Mixon Catfish Club near Oldtown. The club puts on several catfish tournaments during the summer and this gives us a good opportunity to record angling catch rates, length frequencies, and receive feedback on this popular fishery; Brian Peck was kind enough to allow me to hang out with him, his wife April, and their friend Artie while they fished from Brian's airboat. Brian obviously knows this stretch of river and his boat very well as we covered more than 20 miles of very shallow river at over 30 miles per hour - at night! Brian's wife April took top honors in their crew with a nice 22" catfish. The largest catfish caught during the tournament measured nearly 29" in length.
Warm water temperatures and thick weed growth in the regions freshwater areas is a pretty standard description of what fishermen face this time of the year. Let there be no doubt that largemouth bass are holding to a pattern of early morning and evening hour feeding activity and hunkering down where it is cool and shaded during the heat of the day; not too far off from what us humans have in mind this time of the year. Fishermen who can get out on the water early enough have been fishing topwater lures such as soft plastic frogs and switching to soft plastic worms such as Senkos as the morning hours wear on. The topwater weedless soft frogs and buzzbaits can be fished over top of thick grass or through lily pad or spatterdock fields when the bass are shallow and Senkos and other soft plastics or spinnerbaits can be fished deep.
Fishermen often look to farm ponds this time of the year often in the evening hours for largemouth bass. Topwater lures are the usual choice and quite often this can add up to some exciting fishing. The upper reaches of the regions tidal rivers and creeks also offer good fishing for largemouth bass this time of the year. Most fishermen will tell you that the bottom end of an ebb tide can be one of the best times to fish along the deeper edges of grass beds and topwater lures can be fished over top the grass beds at high flood tide. Bill Ackerman III caught and released this nice largemouth bass early in the morning on Mill Creek; near Perryville.
Bluegill sunfish can offer a summertime fishing diversion this time of the year during the evening hours at many of the two regions lakes and ponds. Ultra-light spinning tackle or a light fly rod and some small lures or surface poppers is all one needs to roust up these feisty little fighters. Fishing for channel catfish in the tidal rivers of the central and southern regions remains good this time of the year. Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna report excellent catches of big cats as well as rivers in the southern region such as the Patuxent and Potomac. The Potomac also offers up some monster size blue catfish in the Fort Washington area.
Neo Bautista caught this nice channel catfish near Chalk Point on the Patuxent River.
Fishing for largemouth bass has been most productive in the early morning and evening hours; which should come as no surprise to area fishermen. Topwater lures, usually weedless always tend to offer up some exciting surface strikes from largemouth bass and at times chain pickerel. The regions numerous farm ponds and small lakes are a wonderful place to fish in the evenings and often hold some rather large bass. The tidal rivers also are good places to fish; at the moment the upper and middle shore river are showing fairly warm water temperatures and most fishermen have been directing their fishing to the very upper reaches of these rivers where the water tends to be more shaded and cooler. Sunken wood and old docks or fallen tree tops are all good places to fish slowly with soft plastics, crankbaits or spinnerbaits.
The tidal rivers of the lower shore tend to run cooler since their watersheds tend to be more forested and the fishing there is often better. The Pocomoke River is often a stand out even through the summer months. The region from Shad Landing to Dividing Creek has been getting a lot of attention as well as Nassawango Creek and up to the town of Snow Hill. Fallen trees, sunken wood and spatterdock fields have all been good places to locate largemouth bass; low ebb tide is usually the best time to fish just outside of the spatterdock fields.
Fishing for channel catfish remains a good option in many of the eastern regions tidal rivers; especially during the evening hours. In many areas all one needs is a little shade, a comfortable chair and some refreshments and some time to watch a fishing rod nestled in a forked stick waiting for Mr. Catfish.
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
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.