Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | May 21, 2014

Seasonal changes continue to click off and Memorial Day which is the unofficial kick off to the summer season is just around the corner. Our summer migrant species are beginning to filter into Maryland's bay and ocean waters this week as water temperatures steadily rise. Fishermen have most likely noticed that lawns need more frequent mowing now and for those who notice such things, the locust trees are in bloom. The flowering of the locust trees is a traditional harbinger of the first Blue Crab shed of the season and the first peeler shed is being reported on the lower eastern shore this week.

The Susquehanna River continues to unload the results of last week's heavy rains into the upper bay making for some tough fishing conditions in the lower Susquehanna River and surrounding areas. The Conowingo Dam has been releasing a lot of cold and cloudy water since May 16th that has been coming down from Pennsylvania. The lower river is full of White Perch and fishermen can now keep one Striped Bass between 18" and 26" per day so all fishermen need is some better water conditions to make for some good fishing.

Upper bay fishermen continue to troll for large Striped Bass this week near traditional locations such as the Triple Buoys, Love Point and the Baltimore Light to Sandy Point Light channel edge. Large chartreuse or white parachutes and bucktails in tandem or behind umbrella rigs are the standard fare trolled along some of the steeper channel edges. Fishermen are also starting to put out medium sized bucktails and swim shads in their trolling spreads for Striped Bass that measure less than 28".

In the middle bay region fishermen continue to report fair to good success for large Striped Bass along the western edges of the shipping channel from Thomas Point south to the Parkers Creek area as well as Bloody Point, Buoy 83 and the False Channel coming out of the Choptank River. Water temperatures in the middle bay region are running around 65ºF now; water clarity is good and fishermen are now beginning to target Striped Bass measuring less than 28" with light tackle. There have been reports of breaking fish in the region and fishermen have been enjoying some light tackle jigging and also tangling with large Striped Bass now and then that are attracted to the bait schools. The larger fish are usually deep underneath the surface action and of course will put quite a bend in your rod. Nicolas Bollman seems to be getting a little help holding up this 41" Striped Bass he caught while trolling off of Chesapeake Beach.


Photo Courtesy of Nicolas Bollman

In the southern region of the bay the best trolling action has been at the Cove Point, Point No Point and the mouth of the Patuxent River areas with some good action on the eastern side of the shipping channel at the HI Buoy and Buoys 72 and 72A. The lower Potomac continues to produce some large post-spawn Striped Bass action for fishermen trolling along the channel edges but the action is considered a fraction of what it was two weeks ago. Our big post-spawn Striped Bass are leaving us and headed down the bay to make a left turn and head up to New England for the summer. Surf fishermen on the eastern shore of Virginia area were reporting some exciting fishing for large Striped Bass this week.

Medium sized bucktails are becoming a common addition to trolling spreads as fishermen take advantage of the option to keep Striped Bass measuring less than 28" this week. Light tackle fishermen are also targeting these same fish by casting lures in the shallower waters of the bay and by jigging under breaking fish. The shallow water fisheries of the lower bay are quickly developing and small boat fishermen and shore based fishermen are getting in on the action. The croaker fishing has been very good in the Point Lookout area and the eastern shore tidal rivers and sounds as well. Fishermen at the Point Lookout Fishing Pier for example have been scoring limit catches of croakers this week. On the eastern side of the bay fishermen are targeting croakers, Striped Bass along the bay shores and tidal rivers and the first Speckled Trout are beginning to show. Chris Bishop shows off a nice 25" Speckled Trout that he caught in the Manokin River and has entered into the Maryland Fishing Challenge.


Photo Courtesy of Chris Bishop

Freshwater fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are enjoying excellent fishing for Smallmouth Bass this week along rocky shorelines and points using small crankbaits and tubes. Walleye fishing has been good this week for fishermen using slip bobbers and nightcrawlers or minnows for bait. Largemouth Bass are holding in the shallower coves and the upper portions of the lake and are presently spawning.

The upper Potomac River is still running at flood stage and fisheries biologist John Mullican reports that the upper Potomac is unsafe for fishing and is expected to rise even further following predicted rain for tonight. John also mentioned that although river levels were not high enough to top the C&O Canal towpath in most areas, there were a few low spots where it did. In these areas some fish may have become trapped in the canal as the river receded. However, not all of the watered areas of the canal will hold fish and the water in the canal will recede at different rates, some areas will drain quickly, some will hold water for weeks, and some areas may hold water year round. Those individuals that will be using the C&O Canal in the coming weeks can assist us by reporting any locations in the canal that fish are observed. Please report trapped fish to 301-898-5443 or jmullican@dnr.state.md.us. This will help us identify and prioritize areas to capture fish and return them to the river. At this time we do not expect large numbers of game fish to be trapped.

Largemouth Bass fishermen in the tidal Potomac are dealing with cloudy water conditions this week and a lot of floating debris from last week's deluge. There is more severe weather in the forecast so these water conditions may linger through the weekend. Often when the river is running high and stained, fishermen can find better fishing conditions in the tidal creeks that feed into the river. Largemouth bass are generally in a post spawn mode of behavior now although some male Largemouth Bass can be seen still guarding nests. Water temperatures are now in the 70's in most areas of the tidal Potomac and the middle and lower eastern shore rivers generally have water temperatures around the mid 60's this week. The larger female Largemouth Bass will often be holding deeper now around grass looking for bait fish to build up body stores.

Crappie fishing has been very good in many of the states tidal waters such as the Fort Washington/ Wilson Bridge areas of the tidal Potomac and lakes such as St. Mary's Lake, Loch Raven and Liberty Reservoirs. Northern Snakeheads can be found in shallow grass in tidal Potomac waters and offer some fun fishing and table fare for anglers using topwater lures such as chatterbaits. There are also plenty of Blue Catfish to be caught in the tidal Potomac this week and Channel Catfish which can be found in most of the bay's tidal rivers are very active. Please remember that the Department encourages anglers to catch and remove invasive species (Blue Catfish, Northern Snakehead and Flathead Catfish) at any size and in any season in order to avoid their spread.

Trout fishermen are enjoying good fishing in many of the state's trout management waters this week. There are still in-season trout stockings going on in many of the Put and take areas and most streams are exhibiting good water conditions. Ryan Cooper took this nice picture of a beautiful Rainbow Trout he caught while fly fishing with nymphs on the Casselman River.


Photo Courtesy of Ryan Cooper

Ocean City fishermen are catching small Bluefish in the surf along with Northern Blowfish, a few Kingfish and a Striped Bass now and then. Clear-Nosed Skates and small sharks are abundant and water temperatures in the ocean are about 57ºf. It will be another week or so before the northward migration of large Striped Bass peaks but fishermen are bound to begin to see the vanguard of that migration very soon. Heavy surf fishing gear and fresh cut menhaden baits or clams will be the baits of choice.

In and around the Ocean City Inlet fishermen are catching Tautog within the rocks and bulkheads in the area on pieces of Green Crabs and Sand Fleas. Flounder are being caught inside the inlet, around the Route 50 Bridge and bay channels. Some of the larger flounder are being caught on white Gulp baits.

Outside the inlet fishermen are enjoying the opening of the Black Sea Bass season and limit catches have not been uncommon along with some nice catches of Tautog. At the 30-Fathom line and beyond a mix of Mako, Thresher and Blue Sharks are being caught and the first Yellowfin Tuna came into the docks from the canyon regions this past weekend.

"The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing." - Assyrian Tablet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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:
16
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.

 PHOTOS 

Caz Kenny
Recreational Angler
NA
Total Reports:
6
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!

 PHOTOS 

David Carrodine
Recreational Angler
Annapolis, MD
Total Reports:
1
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.

 PHOTOS