Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | March 30, 2011

Mother Nature just doesn't seem to be listening to that old saying about March going out like a lamb as cold weather continues to persist throughout Maryland. Fishermen were out in force on Saturday for the opening day of trout season and there were more than a few cold fingers but no one seemed to care much. Central region biologist Mark Staley went out to talk to the trout fishermen in his region on Saturday and sent in a nice angler's log; be sure to check it and the others that were sent in my fishermen.

Photo Courtesy Mark Staley

Fisheries crews continue to stock trout in many of the put and take areas and on Tuesday I happened upon John Mullican, Mark Toms and their two volunteers, Jim Clopper and Ken Cline stocking the youth and blind angler area at Baker Park in Frederick. These volunteers put in a lot of time and hard work bucket stocking the trout so they can be spread out over a wide area. Some areas such as the North Branch of the Potomac will even be float stocked to spread the trout out and create a better fishing experience.

The successive cold fonts that continue to blanket Maryland have made it tough for fishermen fishing for largemouth bass in the tidal rivers, lakes and reservoirs. The fish are sluggish and the word among fishermen is "slow and small". The bass are beginning to hold near emerging grass beds and spatterdock fields and continue to hold near deep sunken wood. Small crankbaits and slowly retrieved spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been working near shallow grass beds. Small soft plastics such as whacky rigged worms have been producing fish from sunken wood. In the western region cold water fish such as walleyes, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel have been active in Deep Creek Lake and the upper Potomac River. The ice has finally retreated from Deep Creek Lake and fishermen are starting to venture out on the water or fishing from shore. John Mullican recently sent in an angler's log about some walleye survey work in the upper Potomac; be sure to check it out and the pictures, like this one of a beautiful smallmouth bass.

Photo Courtesy John Mullican

White perch are moving down the tidal rivers and can be found in the middle regions areas now. Fishing in the channels close to the bottom with grass shrimp or bloodworms can be productive and channel catfish are also active. Be careful now that the striped bass are staged in the spawning reaches when fishing bloodworms. Most white perch fishermen use a small piece so it shouldn't be a problem. It is of course illegal to target striped bass in the spawning reaches for catch and release fishing. The alewife herring are moving into the upper regions of the tidal rivers; pending on water temperatures the hickory shad and blueback herring will follow behind them in the next couple of weeks.

In the bay proper a few fishermen are practicing some catch and release for striped bass. They have been trolling with parachutes and bucktails shaking out the bugs in their gear; while others have been light tackle jigging at the CCNPP rips with good success on most days. Large soft plastic jigs such as BKD's or butterfly jigs have been the most productive when drifting in the warm water plume. Striped bass are moving into the upper bay area near the mouth of the Susquehanna River and fishermen are starting to see more favorable conditions for fishing and the catch and release action has begun.

It continues to be pretty chilly down along the coastal beaches and out upon the waters of the Atlantic. A few tautog are being caught in and around the Ocean City Inlet. Skate have been caught by surf fishermen and a few short striped bass. Offshore, the headboats have been finding a mix of cod and tautog on the wreck sites.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not true that if you cut a worm- fisherman in half, each half will grow into a complete fisherman. -Ed Zern 1947


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

Wayne Young
Recreational Angler
Annadale, VA
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Calvert Cliff Speckled Trout

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid-Bay
Location: Breezy Pt south to Calvert Cliffs
Tags: spotted seatrout, speckled trout, striped bass

Monday, 12-15-14

20' Walkaround

Nature blessed the last day of striper season with a flat calm, making a nice day for me and my two guests. I planned to try deep trolling in 50-65 feet of water through some holes on the west side of the channel. We marked a few fish at 55-60 foot depths, but were unable to work the deep holes because several watermen were set up there. It appeared that they had crab pots set deep right in the holes and were standing by to retrieve them. Trolling east of the pots in 70 feet, we marked a few more fish deep, but no takers.

There was a fleet over behind Summer Gooses, but after moving over that way for a look see we found they were watermen, maybe mechanical oyster dredge rigs. I picked up gear in time to try the Calvert Cliffs power plant warm water discharge an hour before the predicted ebb. We marked many baitfish and eventually my Dragonfly downvision marked a school of fish on the bottom to no more than 3' off the bottom about 600-700 yards east of the discharge in about 20-25' of water. By this time, we had an 18" speckled trout on a 7" yellow hot-rodded Hogy bait, and a 15" speckled trout and a 17-1/2" striper (released) on a purple 6" BKD (blue and sliver BKD covered in red garlic dye) with a hot-rodded 1-1/2 oz jig head. A light southerly breeze had picked up creating a rip on the south side of the stream, and the fish we caught were generally over on that side of the stream. The school we marked was probably specs given fishing results. Several other boats were fishing the discharge stream with no luck.

Thanks again to Shawn Kembro's light tackle fishing tips (new book is great!) and also Walleye Pete Dahlberg for teaching me how to fish the discharge stream. Shawn's and Pete's tips made the difference today. I was using my left-handed baitcaster with braid and a short shock leader, thinking down the line technique wise. The left-handed baitcaster feels natural to this righthander after years of using spinning reels.


Caz Kenny
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

Bite Out of Control on the Gunpowder

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Gunpowder
Tags: largemouth bass, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill

So the bite is incredibly out of control on the Gunpowder...I took two friends out today and we absolutely hammered the fish...we caught easily over 300 fish between us...bass...crappie...yellow perch...bluegill...the fish are smoking our baits...small jigs under a float are the ticket...every single place we fished held fish...the fish are healthy and fat...the water temp is a measly 38 degrees...and they are biting like piranhas...this has been an exceptional year for all places I've had the opportunity to fish...I love fishing in Maryland!


David Carrodine
Recreational Angler
Annapolis, MD
Total Reports:
Sent in on: December 18, 2014 Permalink

My Big Catch

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid Bay
Location: Gum Thicket
Tags: striped bass

42" rockfish caught on 4 arm umbrella rig, trolling east side of the shipping channel - Gum Thickets- in 80 feet of water. Rainy days are better! Caught around 1:30 pm on Sat Dec 6.