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Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | November 23, 2010

Tomorrow will be a day of reflection where just about everyone takes a moment or perhaps the better part of the day to give thanks for all good that is bestowed upon us. It is a time for family, friends and traditions. Fathers, sons and daughters may sneak out in the morning while the turkey is cooking; if the Thanksgiving gathering is local and get in a little goose hunting or fishing. There are still plenty of fish to catch; whether your interests are in trout fishing, largemouth bass, striped bass or tautog.

Chesapeake Bay

School sized striped bass can still be found along channel edges and they are even breaking water and chasing bait at times but they are becoming harder to find as water temperatures approach the 50-degree mark. The striped bass health project was out trolling around Buoy 83 on Monday and they caught their samples by trolling; but their remarks were that they didn't exactly set the world on fire. It was a slow pick. Last night I had the chance to slip out into the lower Choptank just before sunset and we did manage to find some breaking fish, but in general there was not much going on. Most of the fish were 17" in size but there were enough 19" to 21" fish to eke out a limit to take home. The screaming gulls and terns seemed to be providing a requiem for the 2010 season on the Chesapeake for me since this may be my last trip out for the season. The diving and screaming birds, a depth finder screen stacked up with marks, a portly fall striped bass and a setting sun set the final act of what has been a very good season on the Chesapeake.

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood. Click to Enlarge.

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood. Click to Enlarge.

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood. Click to Enlarge.

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood. Click to Enlarge.

Reports of large fall migrant fish being caught by trolling large parachutes and bucktails are being reported from above the Bay Bridge to the Virginia line but so far it has been slow. A fish here and there has been the norm for most fishermen trolling along the edges of the shipping channel.

Freshwater

Trout fishing continues to be very good in western and selected central region streams and rivers. The generous fall stocking that occurred in October, cool water temperatures and generally pleasant fall weather make for some wonderful trout fishing opportunities.

Fishing for a mix of smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch has been good in Deep Creek Lake as these fish prowl outside of the grass beds edging some of the shallower areas. Smallmouth bass and walleye fishing has been good in the upper Potomac although water levels continue to be low.

Fishing for largemouth bass continues to be good as bass continue to forage on baitfish and crawfish that are leaving the shallow areas where grass beds are diminishing due to cold water temperatures. Largemouth bass are holding in deeper transitional water near drop offs and also can be found holding near deep sunken wood. Small crankbaits and jigs that resemble crawfish are a good bet as are slow rolled spinnerbaits.

Oceanside

Photo Courtesy Keith Lockwood. Click to Enlarge.

Tautog fishing at the inlet area continues to be good when clear water conditions prevail. Strong winds will whip up bay waters and on an out going tide the cloudy water conditions do not do well for tautog and striped bass fishing at the inlet and Route 50 Bridge area. Although this fish had to be released because it came up short this fisherman who traveled from Baltimore to fish was still having a good time.

Surf fishermen are catching large striped bass in the Ocean City and Assateague surf when conditions are right. Heavy surf conditions are always a problem this time of the year so make sure to make a call to local shops before making a long drive. Large menhaden baits, heavy surf sticks, and a hefty sinker will put you into play for some of these large migrant striped bass that are moving down the coast.

Trolling for large striped bass and bluefish at the shoal fishing areas off Ocean City has been very good this week and should continue for the near future. Boats have been coming into the inlet with some impressive sized fish; so if you can trailer down to Ocean City, give it a try. Fishing for sea bass and tautog on the wreck sites has been good and double digit catches and some limits are common when the sea conditions are favorable.

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.
-Theodore Roosevelt

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.


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One Lure, Three Different Fish

Type: Tidal
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Tags: channel catfish, smallmouth bass, fallfish

I hit the Little Patuxent River on Friday for a couple hours after work and tried a Rapala Shadow Rap for the first time and caught three very different fish. First one was this channel catfish, which is actually the first catfish I have ever caught in 35+ years of fishing. (The next day I fished the Potomac River near Antietam Creek and again my first fish of the day was a channel cat on a Shadow Rap!) I had a couple other fish rise and disappear quickly from view going after the lure in this section of faster water next to a small pool but couldn't tell what they were. I moved on to another section where the water was clearer next to a downed tree and had some smallmouth bass show interest in the lure, but no bites. Then the first cast in another section of the river, I got what I came for: a smallmouth bass! It measured 15 inches and is my biggest fish on the Little Patuxent this year. And then finally, a 10-inch fallfish -- I didn't take a photo because nobody really wants to see that.

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