Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent us a very informative report this week from the western region. It is prime time for pan-fishing in Western Maryland’s lakes and ponds. A great place for big crappies, bluegills, and yellow perch is the Youghiogheny Reservoir in northern Garrett County near Friendsville. My son Kyle and I fished the upper part of the reservoir this past weekend and had a great evening of fishing – we creeled several jumbo-sized yellow perch and also caught bluegills, crappie, smallmouth bass, and northern pike using minnow tipped jigs. Other anglers on the reservoir were catching a lot of large crappie in fallen trees along steep banks. Broadford Lake near Oakland has an exceptional number of bluegills in shallow water right now. We fished it two days over the Memorial Day weekend, and easily caught enough for a good fish fry! Pictured is Kyle Klotz and Brett Oates with a couple of nice bluegills from Broadford Lake, using a small bobber, # 10 hook, and a piece of worm for bait.
Josh Henesy at fisheries biologist from the Lewistown facility sent us a report on the upper Potomac this week. As summer finally arrives, fishing on the upper Potomac River has been awesome! Because of high water during early May, smallmouth bass were forced to spawn later when river conditions allowed. A collection of mature smallmouth bass from the Potomac last week revealed that many smallmouth bass had not yet spawned. While the larger bass are still spawning, the smaller bass have been very aggressive and providing fast action. These 6 to 10 inch fish are members of the record 2007 year class. Just about any small lure will work right now. Try boulder shorelines, near islands, and around ledges with some current. Luke Keener holds up a nice upper Potomac smallmouth for a picture before releasing it back into the river.
Alan Klotz also sent in this report on trout fishing. Western Maryland streams and rivers are at fishable levels for trout – and there are good hatches of a variety of aquatic insects. John Mullican and I fly-fished the Youghiogheny River Catch and Return Trout Fishing Area last week and landed 14 rainbow trout between us. An amazing number and variety of insects were coming off – I did well on a green elk-hair caddis, while John caught most of his trout on a Green Drake nymph. The Green Drake hatch on the Yough should peak by this weekend – it is well worth your time just to fish this stream to observe these big mayflies! Trout do seem to take the emerging nymph rather than the adult, try “swimming” the nymph upstream in the deep faster runs – and be prepared for an explosive strike. We also fish the Savage Trophy Trout Area during a sunny afternoon and there were not a lot of insects other than very small midges on the water, however John landed a few browns using Copper John nymphs.
On another note, put and take trout stocking has finally come to an end here in Washington and Frederick counties. Most fishermen seemed please with the abundance of trout stocked this season. We would like to take the time during this week’s report to recognize a stellar group of volunteers! They are a great asset to this program. Fair weather or foul, these guys are there ready to work.
This is a great time of the year for largemouth bass fishermen. The largemouth bass are now in their post-spawn feeding mode and they are feeding heavily in a variety habitats. In the reservoirs and lakes of the central region hungry largemouth bass are being caught in the upper sections of the lakes and reservoirs near old sunken wood and grass beds. Spinnerbaits, soft plastics and topwater lures such as frogs and poppers are all working well. Soft plastics that are allowed to fall through thick grass are being gobbled up by bass and fishing with topwater lures can often result in explosive surface strikes. The grass beds in lakes such as Piney Run have really filled in and are holding bass. Loch Raven, Prettyboy and Rocky Gorge are also good bodies of water to fish for largemouth bass this week. Largemouth bass are also holding in the transition zones of shallow to deep water along shaded shorelines, fallen tree tops and logs.
The tidal rivers are offering good largemouth bass fishing this week. The largemouth bass are in an intense feeding mode and are striking a variety of different kinds of lures. There is a good topwater bite in most tidal rivers and especially in the tidal Potomac. Fishermen are using popper, buzzbaits, frogs and floating jerkbaits with good success near shallow sunken wood and grass beds. Plastic worms are also a good bet in the thick grass beds for the bass that are holding there. They are also effective near sunken wood, old docks and piers and fallen trees.
The good post spawn largemouth bass fishing continues this week in the eastern region. The Sassafras River is a great spot to look for largemouth bass; especially in the thick grass beds. The Chester River above Georgetown holds some good bass fishing near old docks and fallen tree tops. Plastic worms, grubs and spinnerbaits are often a favorite in this part of the Chester River.
Fishing for largemouth bass in the upper Tuckahoe River near Covey’s Landing and up to Hillsboro is reported to be very good this week by the locals who fish there. Water conditions were good before last night’s rain and if the rain moderates fishing will continue to be good this week. Spatterdock fields, lily pads and shallow wood have been good places to fish this week with topwater lures and soft plastic baits.
The upper Choptank from Denton to above Brick Wall Landing has been providing good fishing lately for fishermen. They have been pitching soft plastics to sunken wood such as fallen trees, docks and old logs. Shaded undercut banks are also productive areas for pitching soft plastics, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. The shallow grass beds and spatterdock fields are also holding bass and casting to the deeper outside edges with topwater lures can be a lot of fun especially on a falling tide.
The upper Nanticoke, Wicomico and Pocomoke Rivers are now offering some of the finest largemouth bass fishing to be had in the lower eastern shore. Water levels have been good, water clarity has not been an issue and it is hoped that recent rainfall will not change that for fishermen. These rivers often offer their best bass fishing on a falling tide and casting to the deeper edges of spatterdock fields, stumps and fallen timber is usually where you’ll find the bass.
Summer time is a great time to get out on many of the regions smaller lakes for some bluegill fishing either with ultra-light spinning or fly fishing tackle. There are few things as enjoyable as drifting around on a summer evening in a canoe and casting to bluegills and largemouth bass. Lakes such as Unicorn, Wye Mills and Tuckahoe Lake are just a few examples of good places to go.
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.