Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are seeing the first signs of skim ice in the coves and more protected areas of the lake this week. Snow still prevails in the area this week which can make for slippery conditions for shoreline fishermen and those wishing to launch a boat. Walleye fishing is reported to be center stage this week for fishermen casting small crankbaits and diving Rapala’s. Large yellow perch are also cruising in shallower waters and are often being caught while fishing for walleyes with the smaller sized lures. Chain pickerel and northern pike are also active in the cove areas; smallmouth and largemouth bass have retreated to deeper waters and holding close to rock structure or grass.
Trout fishermen are busy fishing the North Branch of the Potomac and other smaller streams; many fly fishermen are using nymphs. Walleye and smallmouth bass fishing in the upper Potomac remains good this week. Steve Pilkerton sent in this picture of a huge 31.5” walleye he caught recently in the upper Potomac.
One would suspect that only the heartiest of souls will be out fishing this week if this cold weather continues. There are fish out there that are enticing fishermen this week to brave the cold and if a warm day or two occur later on this week many fishermen will take advantage of having a little time off for the holidays. Fishermen in the lower Susquehanna River are catching walleyes every day on crankbaits; often in the evening or just before dark. Yellow perch are also biting in the lower Susquehanna and can be caught on a variety of small lures from shore.
Largemouth bass are holding to structure in deep water now and one needs to drop jigs or slowly retrieved crankbaits or slow rolled spinnerbaits to entice them to pick up. Pick up is the key word here based on what fishermen are reporting; many spoke of very subtle bites, not the hard strikes of a month ago. Water temperatures have dropped significantly in the last week so most largemouth bass and even smallmouth bass in selected waters are hunkered down.
Chain pickerel on the other hand love cold water and are very active this week in the upper reaches of many tidal rivers and creeks within the two regions. There are also lot’s of other fish that will entertain such as channel catfish and in the tidal Potomac River blue catfish are still biting. Robert Bartgis holds up a 53-pounder for the camera before releasing it back into the river.
Most fishermen in the eastern region are now picking their days when they think about fishing. The persistent cold weather that has moved into the region is enough to make most fishermen think twice about playing around cold water and a few hardy souls have been telling stories of fishing rods guides freezing up with ice.
Largemouth bass are holding deep along channel edges in the tidal rivers and creeks; often close to sunken wood or bridge piers. Fishermen are using deep diving crankbaits, grubs and slow rolling spinnerbaits close to the bottom in these deep waters this week for largemouth bass. The bites or pick up is very subtle so fishermen have to pay close attention to the slightest stop in the line. Chain pickerel on the other hand are very active this week and now that thick vegetation has died back in many of the regions lakes and tidal waters there is more open water to fish with spinners and spoons.
Channel catfish can offer some good fishing opportunities this week and especially when one can fish a sunny bank out of the wind. A variety of baits such as chicken livers, cut bait or nightcrawlers are all good options when fishing the deeper channel areas.
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 (11 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.