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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.



Latest Angler's Log Reports


Cindy Demond
Recreational Angler
North East, MD
Total Reports:
1
Sent in on: September 16, 2014 Permalink

Follow the Birds to the Fish

Type: Tidal
Region: North Eastern
Location: Off Carpenters Point
Tags: Striped Bass

Cindy caught these rockfish off Carpenters Point on the edge of the Susquehanna Flats in 4-5 feet of water. She was fishing on the Snookers Baybee, a 1986 17' Boston Whaler. The fish were 25 and 20 inches. We caught 12 in less than 1 hour and had 4 keepers. The birds showed us the fish!

 PHOTOS 

David Brown
Recreational Angler
Bel Air, MD
Total Reports:
5
Sent in on: September 16, 2014 Permalink

Conowingo Cats!

Type: Tidal
Region: North Eastern
Location: Conowingo Dam
Tags: Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Invasive

Headed out on my boat around 6:15 am and watched the sun come up and the fish jump. Caught several channel cats using chicken livers and a flathead using a white perch we caught and used for cut bait. Several big ones managed to get away. The water temp feels pretty warm compared to the air temps. It was a great day of fishing.

 PHOTOS 

Joe Perret
Recreational Angler
Silver Spring
Total Reports:
3
Sent in on: September 16, 2014 Permalink

Harris Mud Crab

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Upper Bay
Location: Bay Bridge
Tags: White Perch, Harris Mud Crab

We caught a nice bunch of white perch under the Bay Bridge today. While cleaning them, I found this little crab – still alive – in the mouth of one of the perch. The whole crab, legs and all could have been covered by a nickel.

Is this what a juvenile Blue Crab looks like, or are there other species of crab in the bay?

DNR Response: It is a Harris mud crab, they are small crabs that live on oyster reefs, muddy bottoms, marshes etc.

 PHOTOS