Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: July 31, 2009

Next Update: August 7, 2009 (By 5pm)

2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge Kickoff

Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Friday, May 29th and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2009. Any angler who catches a citation-qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes including a boat, motor and trailer from Bass Pro Shops and thousands of dollars in merchandise and fishing trips from Bill's Outdoor Center.

From June through August specially tagged striped bass will be released each month at locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. One of the striped bass will be Diamond Jim, a fish worth at least $10,000 cash if caught by midnight on August 31, 2009. The other tagged striped bass, Diamond Jim imposters, will be worth $500 each if caught at any time during the contest.

Here is the link to the Fishing Challenge website; a world of information there.


The mid summer heat seems to be finally upon us and fishermen are breaking out the sun screen, shade and cool drinks to survive out on the open waters of the Chesapeake or Atlantic while bobbing around in a boat. There is plenty of good fishing to be had and more is on the way as additional summer migrant fish move into Maryland waters.

Krista Komin with smallmouth bassFor freshwater fishermen summer time offers some wonderful opportunities to seek out some of the shaded rivers and streams close to home to sort of “poke around” to see what is there and just enjoy the calm and peace of fishing in solitude or with friends and family. Sitting on a quiet river or pond bank watching a bobber and sharing relationships or just enjoying “no responsibilities” for a while is a great way to enjoy some down time. Ultra light spinning tackle is often a favorite when pursuing the little bruisers that may inhabit a favorite quiet water. Krista Komin from Parksville is all smiles with this feisty smallmouth bass she caught and released on the Little Gunpowder River.

Fishermen in all three regions of the Chesapeake Bay have been focusing on catching striped bass by live lining spot, chumming, trolling or casting to breaking fish. Bluefish are mixing it up with the striped bass throughout the bay with the larger ones roaming the lower bay near the Middle Grounds. Fishing for croakers, large spot and flounder remains good in the middle and lower bay regions this week. Spanish mackerel are moving into the lower bay region and should provide plenty of action soon.

Kelly Devine with striped bassLive lining spot continues to be one of the favorite ways to catch striped bass; there are plenty of spot in all three regions of the bay and at times fishermen are finding the spot they are catching are too large for bait but perfect for table fare. Kelly Devine holds up a striped bass she caught on a live spot off Sandy Point State Park for the camera before releasing it.

Freshwater fishermen in the western region of the state are finding streams and rivers in good shape for summer trout fishing. Recent additional stockings of large rainbow trout in selected waters have also been a big bonus to fishermen. Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are enjoying good fishing for a mix of walleye as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass in the early morning and evening hours.

Alice Lui with largemouth bassLargemouth bass is often a major focus of freshwater fishermen and both are in a summer behavior pattern now. This equates to early morning and late evening fishing and fish activity. Both fishermen and fish are avoiding the daytime heat and restricting their activities for the most part to cooler low light hours. Local ponds and lakes are a great place to spend a little time fishing during these times; especially after work. Alice Lui is all smiles with this largemouth bass she caught and released from a Kingsville pond.

Fishermen in the Ocean City area continue to find good flounder fishing in the back bay areas and although there are a lot of flounder being caught many are undersized. Croakers and small sea bass have moved inside the inlet and striped bass, small bluefish and trigger fish are being caught in and around the inlet. Surf fishermen are catching a mix of large sharks as well as croakers, spot, small bluefish and flounder in the surf. The boats heading out to the wreck sites are catching a mix of Chris Toner with Maryland State Record cobiasea bass, trigger fish and flounder. Offshore from the 30-fathom line to the canyons fishermen are catching yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, wahoo, dolphin, white marlin and blue marlin.

Chris Toner of Joppa was fishing with friends on a charter boat from Ocean City that specializes in shark fishing this past weekend near Great Gull Shoals for small to medium sharks. A large cobia was spotted in the chum slick and the captain was prepared for such an event with a rod rigged with a live spot. After a long fight on 12 lb test line Chris was able to reel in a new state record cobia that weighed 72 lbs and beat the old record of 67lbs, 12oz set in 2007.

Quote of the Week:

But we, we locals, detested pier fishing. It meant a crowd and that meant you lost the chief thing in surf casting - the luxury of your own solitude.  - Negley Farson 1943 

Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms

Click here to view recent bay satellite images at

A Couple of Closing Notes...

Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:

  • Date
  • Angler(s)
  • Hometown(s)
  • Photo credit
  • Location

  • Weight/length of catch

  • Bait/lure

Important Note: If anyone in your picture is under 18 years of age, we must have a photo release signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.

Send your photos and information to Keith Lockwood

Until next week,

Tight Lines,

Keith Lockwood
MD DNR Fisheries Service

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