Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: September 23, 2009 Next Update: September 30, 2009 (By 5pm)

Freshwater Fishing Reports

Western Region:

The fishing at Deep Creek Lake is improving as water temperatures cool and fish become more active. The lake has also quieted down considerably now that the hardcore boating season is over. Largemouth bass are holding near deep structure outside of floating docks and deep grass beds. Fishermen are using jig and craw combinations with good success as well as crankbaits and slow rolled spinnerbaits. Yellow perch, smallmouth bass and walleyes are becoming more active and holding over deep lumps and rocky points.

Drawdown of the Savage Reservoir in Garrett County for flood gate repairs is expected to begin in early October. Disruption to normal operations will continue through early spring of next year.

Inspections in the fall of 2007 revealed an inoperable gate, prompting engineers to restrict normal water operations at the dam and forcing officials to seek funding for a permanent repair. Federal Economic Stimulus money made the $6 million repair possible.

DNR has been working closely with the Upper Potomac River Commission, the Maryland Department of Environment and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine the schedule and repair procedures to best protect the nationally acclaimed wild brook and brown trout fishery below the dam. DNR remains cautiously optimistic that wild trout populations will be preserved, though, some negative impacts to reproduction and adult abundance are anticipated.

Savage River discharge levels during drawdown will be approximately 100 cubic feet per second (cfs) plus inflow from the tributaries upstream. Anglers are reminded to use high water precautions while wading due to high river levels and fast currents. Jamie Coats and his dad were out fly fishing on the Savage this past weekend and enjoying the good fishing there. Jamie gently holds a brook trout that he caught and released during their outing.

Repairs will start in early November once lake elevation is reduced to 1,410 feet. River levels will greatly vary during this period from as low as 10 cfs when workers are in the tunnel to higher levels necessary to keep the lake at 1,410 feet during other times.

From mid-November through late December 2009, the discharge will be approximately 60 cfs plus upstream inflow while the lake is being completely drained for final repairs. Anglers may notice considerable turbidity during this time. Once reservoir drawdown is complete, the river will run at natural levels for most of the winter and will match flow entering the reservoir. All work should be complete by early spring 2010 and refilling the lake will begin at that time.

Sadly and unavoidably, the project will result in the loss of fish populations in the reservoir. It is likely that many of these fish will move downstream and be available to anglers in the North Branch Potomac River. A re-stocking plan has been developed to restore fish populations in the reservoir as quickly as possible.

Central/Southern Region:

Freshwater fishermen are enjoying good fishing for largemouth bass in the central regionís large reservoirs and lakes as water temperatures cool and fish become more active. Fishermen have been targeting grass bed edges, sunken wood and steep edges with jig/craw combinations, crankbaits, soft plastics, spinnerbaits and even topwater lures. It would seem that just about anything in the tackle box will work this time of the year. It is not quite like that but there is no doubt that largemouth bass and other species are feeling an urgency to put on the feed. Smallmouth bass in reservoirs such as Prettyboy and Liberty are becoming more active also and in the next couple of weeks will really start to kick into gear.

Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna River are catching largemouth bass below the Conowingo Dam and out on the Susquehanna Flats. The tidal rivers such as the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers are offering good fishing in some of the deeper waters near grass bed edges. Fishermen have been having good luck with surface poppers as well as crankbaits, spinnerbaits and wacky rigged worms near the edges of grass beds in about 6í of water.

Eastern Region:

Fishing for largemouth bass and channel catfish in the eastern side of the Susquehanna Flats, Elk River and the Sassafras has been good recently as water temperatures cool and fish become more active. Fishermen have been working the thick grass beds in the area with topwater lures such as poppers and deep grass edges with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs. Channel catfish are being caught in the deeper channel areas with a variety of baits such as cut fish, chicken livers and nightcrawlers.

Channel catfish have also been very active in many of the other regions tidal rivers such as the Chester, Choptank, Nanticoke and Pocomoke Rivers. Recent rains have not only cooled many of the eastern shores rivers but have tended to flush them out making for clearer waters.

Jimmy Councilman reported good fishing for largemouth bass in the Pocomoke over the weekend during a local bass fishing tournament. There were plenty of largemouth holding deep near cypress knees; although most tended to be medium sized and lunkers were scarce. He mentioned that jig and craw type combinations bounced slowly along the underwater structure was the ticket for good catches.

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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
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Links to freshwater flows:

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