Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake and surrounding areas have snow now and with the cold temperatures predicted for the rest of the week; it probably will not be going anywhere soon. The water in Deep Creek Lake is still “soft” and fishermen are reporting excellent fishing this week for walleye, large yellow perch, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel and northern pike. The walleye and yellow perch have moved into the shallower coves and can be caught while casting from shore with swimming minnow lures such as small Rapala’s.
Many of the regions trout streams and rivers continue to experience low flow conditions but trout fishing is reported to be good with the trout being very active. The upper Potomac River is also still experiencing low flow conditions but the fishing has been good. Josh Henesy sent in this personal report and a picture of a nice 18-1/2” smallmouth bass he caught and released. The upper Potomac River continues to remain low and clear, with water temperatures steadily falling into the upper 40’s. Fishing during these conditions are often difficult, with longer casts and slower retrieves being the key to success. Crankbaits suspended near or on the bottom of deeper rocky pools will trigger strikes. Watching your line for sudden movement during pauses in the retrieve is often the only indicator of a strike. Smallmouth bass, during these colder temperatures, tend to “suck,” in the lure rather than aggressively strike. Although the difficulty increases for numbers of smallmouth this time of year, your chances for a true Potomac River trophy are at their greatest!
Water temperatures continue to take a nose dive in the many lakes, reservoirs and tidal water areas of these two regions this week. Largemouth bass are beginning to hunker down near deep water structure to sit out the winter months. Fishermen are using soft plastic jigs, grubs and deep diving crankbaits to reach these fish and slowly bumping along the bottom. Smallmouth bass are still active in a number of reservoirs such as Liberty, Prettyboy and Rocky Gorge; any lure that resembles a crawfish and is slowly worked along the bottom is a good bet.
Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna River have been enjoying good fishing for walleye this week and are also catching smallmouth bass in the process. Channel catfish also are providing good fishing opportunities in many of the tidal rivers such as the lower Susquehanna River. Cooler waters in the tidal rivers also have chain pickerel in a very active mode and they are providing plenty of action this week for fishermen using spinners and spoons. Joe Schindler of Severna Park who is a student at Frostburg State University came home for the weekend and caught and released this chain pickerel while casting a Dare Devil spoon in the upper Magothy River.
Fishermen in the tidal Potomac and its tributaries are reporting that largemouth bass have been orienting to deep cover this week. The deep channel edges in the river and creeks are the place to look for largemouth with slow moving lures close to the bottom. Fishermen that pursue the large blue catfish in the tidal Potomac have been enjoying good fishing this week; the catfish are active and fishermen are reporting multiple releases during each outing.
Fishermen are seeing water temperatures quickly dropping into the low 50’s in many of the regions tidal waters and freshwater impoundments. Largemouth bass are moving to deeper waters and holding to channel edges and deep sunken wood or similar cover. Retrieving grubs and similar soft plastics, deep diving crankbaits and spinnerbaits slow and close to the bottom can often entice a strike this week. The strike or pickup will often be very subtle this time of the year so anglers have to pay very close attention.
The submerged and emergent vegetation in many lakes and tidal rivers has died back and fishermen are experiencing more open water fishing this week. Chain pickerel are very active this time of the year since they love cool water and they will aggressively strike spinners and spoons.
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.