We are fortunate that Alan Klotz sent us this recent report from Deep Creek Lake. Deep Creek Lake is producing some fine catches of yellow perch during this fall period. Lake temperatures are about 50° F and the perch are in the shallow weedy coves searching out bluegill fry to fatten up for the winter. My kids and I launched our canoe last week during a sunny afternoon and caught a few perch for the deep fryer. While conducting electro-fishing surveys this past week, we found just about all of the fish species in shallow water during the daytime along the weed beds – jumbo perch, largemouth bass up to 7 lbs, walleye up to 6.6 lbs, lots of smallmouth in the 12-16 inch size class, and lots of chain pickerel.
The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute is known for donating some truly trophy size rainbow trout for Maryland’s anglers to enjoy catching, and their most recent donation put some exceptionally large rainbows into two Western Maryland lakes. Lake Habeeb in Rocky Gap State Park and Deep Creek Lake each received eighteen trophy sized trout that averaged 10.5 pounds each! Both these lakes can support trout year round, and stocked trout continue to grow out well in these lakes due to the abundant food base. Pictured is Ed Livengood with big rainbow.
John Mullican sent in the following report from the upper Potomac River. Last weekends rain brought a little relief to the low flows in the Potomac River. However, the river remains very low and clear with temperatures in the low 50s. Smallmouth bass action has been very good in the lower river and fair in the western stretches. Slowly bouncing deep diving crankbaits around boulders and ledges has been productive along with the ever popular tube jig.
We recently conducted an electro-fishing survey of Blairs Valley Lake in the Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area in Washington County. Hydrilla has become established in this small impoundment recently. Although it can make fishing difficult at times, it has provided excellent habitat for golden shiners. The lake is annually drawn down five feet during November and held at the lower level until May. This pulls the shiners and small bluegills from the cover, concentrating the forage and giving the largemouth bass better feeding opportunities. Fisheries Technician Josh Henesy holds up a couple of six pound bass collected during the recent survey before they were released back into the lake.
The weatherman is promising us nice weather for the upcoming week and weekend with milder temperatures and perhaps an end to strong winds. Fishermen are finding good fishing for largemouth bass in most reservoirs, lakes, ponds and tidal rivers throughout both regions. Water temperatures continue to fall and largemouth bass are beginning to move to deeper structure along edges often around sunken wood or rocks. Spinnerbaits, deep diving crankbaits and soft plastic jigs are popular lures of choice this time of the year. Largemouth bass can also be found holding close to deep grass in many of the larger lakes and reservoirs within the two regions.
Smallmouth bass fishing at Rocky Gorge, Triadelphia, Liberty and Prettboy Reservoirs has been good with the cooler water temperatures and the bass are very active. Crawfish retreating from the shallows and heading for deeper cover are the number one item on the menu this time of the year. Any soft plastic jig or crankbait that resembles a crawfish is a good bet.
Cooler water temperatures in the tidal rivers have diminished the thick grass beds to a great degree; especially on the tidal Potomac. Largemouth bass are now starting to hug close to deeper sunken wood and similar structure. Chain Pickerel in tidal rivers such as the upper Magothy are moving more freely now and easier to locate. Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna and Potomac Rivers continue to enjoy good fishing opportunities for walleye and smallmouth bass this week. Joel Busbee sent in this report and a picture of a nice walleye. Thursday, October 23rd, my cousin and long-time fishing partner, Jonathan Stiles, and I set out on the Potomac from the Lock 8 exit along the Clara Barton Pkwy, just inside the beltway. We were on the water by 9:00am. In our kayaks and with many layers on, we found the temperature of about fifty degrees comfortable. The water temperature was fifty-seven degrees. We enjoyed a nice day catching a number of medium sized smallmouth bass and this nice walleye.
Fishermen are seeing the thick grass beds in the tidal rivers beginning to break up making for more open fishing water. Most fishermen are working the channel edges in the tidal rivers with spinnerbaits, crankbaits or soft plastic jigs where largemouth bass have been holding to sunken wood such as fallen tree tops and other forms of deep sunken wood. A falling tide is still the best time to fish the tidal rivers on the deeper edges of cover and diminished grass beds.
Fishing for channel catfish normally takes an upswing this time of the year as cooler water temperatures cause the catfish to be in a more active mode. The Elk, Chester, Choptank and Nanticoke are excellent rivers to fish this time of the year; either from a boat or from shore.
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.