Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | March 23, 2011
Welcome to the first full week of spring; the changes in air temperatures and nature holds a lot of anticipation for everyone and especially so for fishermen. Many young and older fishermen will have a hard time sleeping this Friday as the opening day of trout season approaches. Fishermen have been busy getting equipment together and for many there will be a spot somewhere in the backyard that is dug up from the search for worms. Others will just unscrew the lid of a jar of Power baits and still others will place their faith in spinners or a carefully tended nymph fly. Be it soggy sneakers, mud stained blue jeans and a spinning rod or the newest pair of waders and a fly rod; we are all brothers of a tribe.
In our daily travels or perhaps our ventures out on the states waters many are seeing the results of a lot of runoff coming down the tidal rivers and its effect on the bay. The flows at the Conowingo Dam are very high and there is a lot of floating debris and discolored water in the bay. Check out this link to Eyes on the Bay and check out the recent satellite images. HeavySpringShowersBringFloodsToChesapeakeBay.pdf
Although the weather has been teasing us with some beautiful days, the waters of the lakes, rivers, streams and of course the bay and ocean are much slower to react to the warm embrace of a spring time sun. It is official now, spring has sprung and fishermen have been enjoying some wonderful fishing opportunities throughout the state. Fisheries biologists and volunteers have been busy stocking trout in many of the various trout management waters and this coming Saturday March 26th is the grand opening for most trout fishermen. Most streams are in great shape and baring another deluge between today and Saturday; fishermen should see near perfect conditions.
Stocking Trout - Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood
If anyone has been reading the Angler's Logs you will see that I have been on the road a lot in recent weeks and in my travels I've come across a lot of fishermen fishing for white perch in the upper reaches of the bay's tidal rivers. Although high water has been a problem at times, generally speaking it has been a very good season so far for catching white perch. Many of the traditional spawning run intercept locations such as Gray's Run at the head of the Bush River, Allen's Fresh on the Wicomico and Wayson's Corner on the Patuxent have all lived up to their reputations. Fishermen can still find white perch in these areas but some of the better opportunities will now occur in channel areas farther down the tidal rivers and creeks. Bloodworms and grass shrimp on a bottom rig is perhaps one of the most popular ways to fish for white perch when the water is cold and deep.
Fishing for largemouth bass in the tidal rivers and impoundments has been rapidly improving as water temperatures rise and the bass become more active. Most fishermen are using crankbaits and soft plastics slow and deep near grass edges and sunken wood. This time of the year the sunny side of a tidal creek or river or even a lake can offer the best fishing since fish will seek out the warmer water. The water temperature in the tidal Potomac River near Indian Head area is currently running around 57-degrees. Aron Weiner holds up a nice largemouth bass he caught and released at Piney Run Reservoir recently.
Piney Run Reservoir Largemouth Bass - Photo Courtesy Aron Weiner
In between the recent high water in the upper Potomac fishermen have been enjoying some excellent catch and release fishing for large walleyes and musky. Water levels have not been too forgiving lately and it has to be frustrating for anglers to sit bank side and just watch. Equally frustrating is the slow retreat of ice at Deep Creek Lake. Some of the cove areas are open and the edges are opening up but generally the fishing there is in a bit of a limbo at the moment. Better to go trout fishing this weekend.
The annual spring migration of spawning striped bass into the spawning reaches has begun in earnest this month and the fish are already in the Choptank, Nanticoke and Patuxent Rivers. Last week there was even a hint of fish spawn in the air on the Choptank. The striped bass headed for the Susquehanna Flats should be there soon since this is one of the later spawns in the Chesapeake. Water conditions are not good due to the huge amount of runoff water coming down the Susquehanna. There has been some catch and release fishing occurring at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant discharge and it was quite good last month. As water temperatures in the bay approach 50-degrees the fishing there has tended to be a little less reliable. Jigging with soft plastics there will continue to be a draw.
There are reports of tautog being caught at the Ocean City Inlet locations from the jetties to the Route 50 Bridge. Water temperatures have been fluctuating in the mid 40-degree range depending on the tide. There are reports of a few striped bass being caught in the surf along with skates. A couple of the Ocean City head boats have been running offshore and fishing some of deeper wreck sites for tautog and catching fair numbers. Perhaps one welcomed surprise on these trips is the amount of nice codfish that are being caught. It has been tough for fishermen choose whether to send down a piece of crab or a chunk of clam.
Some people go to therapists; fishermen go fishing! -Seen on a bumper sticker traveling up the Pulaski Highway