Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake only need to endure another week of vacationers on the lake before Labor Day arrives. Many fishermen have already noticed a change as most schools are now open and family vacations are over for this summer. The water temperatures in the lake are in the upper 70’s so some cold water species are looking for cool water. Walleyes seem to be finding it in 10’ to 20’ of water around sunset because that is where fishermen are catching them by trolling diving swimming minnow plugs or jigging. They are also reporting that largemouth and smallmouth bass are responding to slow and subtle offerings of light jigs and wacky rigged worms.
Regional fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this report from the western region.
The streams in Western Maryland are at the typical end-of-summer low flows, however for some of the larger rivers – this is the best time of the year to get out and fish them. My son Kyle and I decided to end his summer vacation by fishing the Youghiogheny River downstream of Swallow Falls State park this past weekend. This is a section of the river where even Bear Grills (Man vs. Wild) may find quite challenging! This section has a very high gradient, deep pools, with house-sized boulders worn smooth by the fast water, so anglers should be very careful when wading or more like rock climbing through the river. But the rewards are there – the river hosts a good population of scrappy smallmouth bass, rock bass, and large river chubs that readily attack small floating Rapalas, spinners, or plastic tubes. We had a great day of catching a lot of these fish species, and we caught a good number of holdover rainbow trout in the fast, oxygenated water. We were both pretty tired by the end of the day, but what a great way to end the summer!
Fisheries biologist Josh Henesy sent in this report for us from the upper Potomac.
The upper Potomac River is running low and clear, with average flows for this time of year. Fishing opportunities have been best during late evening hours. Due to an abundance of seasonal insect hatches, topwater action will often produce best. Try targeting areas of moderate currents and structure to find feeding fish. Western region is currently completing their annual summer trout surveys. Adult populations appear below average combined with relatively low numbers of young-of-year in most streams in the region. A few local headwater streams contain both wild brook and brown trout populations. A recent survey resulted in the collection of this hybrid tiger trout; a cross between the two
The cooler weather that moved in earlier this week is certainly a welcomed event and let us all hope it lasts. Just maybe most of the sweltering heat is behind us and air and water temperatures will begin to drop to more comfortable levels. The recent rains that most of the central and southern regions experienced have also done a lot to lower water temperatures. The water temperatures in the tidal Potomac have dropped 5-degrees in the last week.
The reservoirs and lakes of the central region offer good fishing this time of the year for largemouth bass. The bass are still holding to a summer pattern of behavior that translates to feeding in the shallows during the night and holding in deeper water during the day. Those that can get out on the water to fish the shorelines at dawn can find some good topwater action on a variety of lures. Buzzbaits, poppers and plastic frogs are popular choices for surface baits and grubs, craws, wacky rigged worms, small crankbaits and spinnerbaits are all good choices for deeper waters. Deep water bass will be looking for cooler water which may mean deep shade, sunken wood or thick grass. Cool water inlets and springs are also good places to look for lounging largemouth bass.
The tidal rivers such as the lower Susquehanna hold a lot of good fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The Conowingo Dam is generating power in the afternoons and evenings but the waters are relatively still in the mornings providing for safe and quiet fishing. Water generation releases usually bring a surge of cool water down the river and fish become more active but the river can become a little more difficult to fish.
The tidal Potomac and Patuxent often offer the best fishing for largemouth bass during a falling tide during the morning and evening hours. Largemouth bass can be found along grass edges and spinnerbaits, crankbaits, soft craws and wacky rigged worms are good choices for lures.
Although air and water temperatures are falling this week largemouth bass are still holding to a summer pattern of behavior and feeding. Getting out before dawn or a ½ hour before sunset can offer a good opportunity for some action as largemouth bass either move from shallower waters or are moving towards them.
The tidal rivers in the upper and mid shore have settled down from the recent heavy rains and the waters are running much clearer this week. Fishing for largemouth bass should be better this week if these good conditions prevail. The lower shore tidal rivers are also doing well this week and fishing there should be good. A falling tide in the early morning or evening will be a good time to fish the grass and spatterdock edges.
Fishing for channel catfish is a good option this week in many of the tidal rivers such as the Chester, Choptank, Nanticoke, Wicomico and Pocomoke Rivers. Channel catfish should be holding in the deeper channels in the middle to upper portions of the rivers.
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.