Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are enjoying good fishing this week for a variety of species. Largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found near some of the floating docks that are starting to show up along the shorelines and secondary points with some depth that are leading into coves are also excellent places to fish for bass. Suspended jerkbaits, jigs and tubes are all good choices for lures to use. Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz was kind enough to send us this exciting report from the western region. The much anticipated walleye season on Deep Creek Lake begins this Wednesday, April 16. Anglers should be in store for a great season based on our recent surveys. We electro-fished Deep Creek one evening last week, and had a catch rate of 146 adult walleye per hour. Of the legal size fish (15 inches or greater) nearly 40% were in the 18 – 26 inch range! Try fishing sinking Rapalas near rocky shoal areas after dark to have some success. Pictured is Fisheries Technician Marcus Wilson with a trophy walleye collected during our survey.
Area trout waters are fishing well as flows remain relatively low and clear. Anglers should be aware that there is a scheduled whitewater release on the North Branch Potomac River on April 19 and 20. Also, the #3 Closure Streams open up on April 19th at 5:30 AM. These streams include Bear Creek, Savage River, Evitts Creek, Flintstone Creek, Georges Creek, Jennings Run, and Wills Creek.
Western region fisheries biologist John Mullican sent in this report for the upper Potomac River. Last weekends storms brought much needed rainfall to central Maryland improving flows in the smaller streams as well as the Potomac River. Walleyes are now in the post spawn period and many have moved away from the spawning grounds and are now found in a variety of habitats and depths. Crankbaits are a good way to cover water and find active fish. Water temperatures have reached 60°F and smallmouth are also using a variety of habitats. Some bass are exploring spawning areas, thought most continue to use ledges and boulders in the main river flow. Spring fishing can be challenging as fish change locations and habitat frequently. Josh Henesy caught this nice Potomac smallmouth on a tube.
Largemouth bass fishing in the two regions numerous lakes, reservoirs, ponds and tidal waters continues to be excellent as largemouth bass begin to enter their pre-spawning mode of behavior. For fishermen this means that bass are staging outside of shallow spawning areas and chowing down on anything that fits the dinner menu. Crawfish are moving out of deeper waters heading for warmer and thicker cover in the shallower waters. Largemouth bass and also smallmouth bass in several of the central region reservoirs are prowling the bottom looking for these tasty treats. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are feeding heavily to build up fat reserves for the spawning season ahead. Keith Decker caught and released this nice largemouth bass at Triadelphia Reservoir while casting a spinnerbait from his kayak this past weekend.
The white perch have moved down into the middle and lower sections of the tidal rivers and creeks and can be caught on bottom rigs baited with bloodworms or grass shrimp. Fishing for channel catfish is good now as is carp fishing in many of the regions tidal waters. The group of fishermen that pursue those giants of the catfish world; the blue catfish in the tidal waters report lot’s of action this weekend as warmer waters have really kicked the fishery into gear. This is not a sport for the faint of heart and tends to be a real slugfest when the fish routinely run around 50-pounds in weight. Fresh gizzard shad is what’s for dinner and most fishermen catch their own on site to insure freshness. There are a number of guides now specializing in this fishery in the tidal Potomac and the cost is affordable if you have a hankering to try it.
The many tidal rivers and creeks in the two regions are offering a wide variety of fishing opportunities at this time. Catch and release fishing for hickory shad at Deer Creek of the lower Susquehanna, the upper Patuxent and the Potomac River below Great Falls has really come into its own this week. Robert Mills holds up a nice Potomac River hickory shad caught on a fly rod for the camera before releasing it.
Largemouth bass fishing in many of the tidal rivers within the two regions continues to be very good and has steadily improved with warmer water temperatures. Water temperatures are in the upper fifties now and bass are putting on the pre-spawn feed. Anything such a crankbaits and soft plastics that resemble crawfish is a good bet and bass often can be found holding near submerged grass beds and they also are starting to move towards coves and creek mouths. On cloudy days they will tend to move into shallower waters.
Fishermen continue to enjoy trout fishing in many of the central regions trout stream and rivers as they flow relatively clear. Fisheries crews continue to stock various local waters and a quick check of the spring stocking schedules can help make the most of your time spent trout fishing. www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/stocking/springtroutstock.html Ryan Altenburg is certainly happy with these two fine rainbow trout he caught in the upper Gunpowder Falls recently.
Freshwater fishing in the many ponds and lakes that dot the region continues to be excellent as warm water temperatures and pre-spawning feeding modes make for ideal fishing opportunities. Largemouth bass are moving towards emerging grass beds and staging outside shallower spawning waters. Other species such as bluegills are very active now and can really offer a lot of fun with a fly rod and small popping bugs. Crappie have moved into shallower areas where they can find sunken wood cover.
A number of the tidal rivers are offering good fishing for largemouth bass as bass start to stage outside spawning areas and are holding near cover located near those areas. Grass beds are emerging and these also tend to offer cover for the bass. A wide variety of baits such as spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics are all good choices. The white perch have moved down into the middle and lower sections of the tidal rivers and offer good fishing for fishermen using bloodworms on bottom rigs. Fishing for channel catfish has also been good in a number of the regions tidal rivers and Michael Virts holds up a really nice Chester River cat to prove the point.
We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, if you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we run this time year.
Click here for
this week's gallery (5 photos).
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.