Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: May 7, 2008

Next Update: May 14, 2008

We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, 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 (12 photos).


Most fishermen would agree that lately it has been pretty hard to beat the nice weather we’ve enjoyed for the last week. True there were some thunderstorms in the western region and a couple of windy days on the open waters of theSpring Time Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean but mostly it has been very mild out. Fishermen continue to enjoy good fishing in every region of the state whether they are trout fishing, fishing for striped bass or bottom fishing for sea bass and tautog off Ocean City. This group of parents and children fishing together at the Greensboro Fishing Derby on the banks of the upper Choptank certainly enjoyed themselves on a beautiful Saturday morning. It was a wonderful event with trophies and prizes for all the children that participated.

The hickory shad run in Deer Creek is just about played out although there is still some good fishing for hickory shad in the Susquehanna River and limited fishing for American shad. Fishermen who have been enjoying the catch and release Susquehanna Flats fishery continue to experience good fishing in the area although the size of the fish is beginning to diminish as the smaller first time spawners tend to Striped Bassmake up the largest portion of the striped bass now in that area. The good news the larger post-spawn fish are steadily moving down the bay and are offering good fishing opportunities for fishermen all the way to the Virginia border. Michael Smith Jr. was casting topwater lures with his dad last Friday on the shallower areas of the Susquehanna Flats when he caught and released his personal best; this fine looking striped bass.

Fishermen continue to troll along the channel edges of the shipping channel and several other minor channel areas for striped bass that are heading south. The fishing continues to be good and fish are being found over a wide area. Fishermen have been noting that an equal number of fish are now being caught on the deeper lines as compared to shallow lines running off the planer boards. The deeper fish tend to have a preference for darker colored parachutes and bucktails such as purple. Large swimming shad lures have also been at the top of the list of lures that are consistently catching fish. Shad LureThe design of these soft plastic swimming lures has so improved over the last few years that they are hard to beat.

Fisheries Administrator Harley Speir relayed this message to all striped bass fishermen concerning the next phase of our striped bass fishing season.
At the October 27, 2007 meeting of the ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board, the proposed Maryland 2008 sport fishery was debated and the length of the spring trophy fishery was a topic of extended discussion. As a consequence of the negotiation over the number of days for the spring fishery, the two days of May 14 and 15 were approved to be transition days between the 28 inch size limit and the 18 inch size limit and were to be catch and release only in those area that were open or open to catch and release in the previous week. This is a novel feature of the season this year and I wanted to make sure that everyone is aware and understands why it is like it is.

When the season opens back up on May 16, the size limit changes, additional areas open up in the Swan Pt.-Tolchester area, and the Chester River, Choptank, and Patuxent mouths and the Catch and Keep Susquehanna Flats fishery opens at one fish 18-26 inches.

Croakers continue to pour into the lower bay/ Tangier Sound region and particularly the lower Potomac near the mouth of the Wicomico River. They are only showing up here and there and in very limited numbers in the middle bay region but warmer water temperatures will certainly bring them into the region soon.

Freshwater fishermen areLargemouth Bass seeing largemouth bass in many areas actively spawning now and good fishing is now limited to slightly deeper waters near submerged grass beds. In some of the smaller ponds and shallow lakes where water temperatures are warmer fishermen are seeing largemouth bass already exiting the spawning areas and actively feeding. As more bass enter this post-spawn behavior phase; fishing will become very good as bass try to build up their body stores. Young Zoie Puglisi was fishing with her mom at Blair’s Valley Lake when she caught and released this whopper of a 23” largemouth bass.

Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are reporting excellent fishing Bullhead Catfishfor a wide variety of fish including largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleyes and northern pike. Trout fishermen in the western region are enjoying good fly fishing opportunities as a number of aquatic insect hatches are beginning to occur. Trout fishermen also continue to reap the benefits of continued stocking of trout in many of the “Put and Take” trout waters throughout the state. Warmer water temperatures in the states lakes and tidal rivers have spurred many fish species into increased activity and this is often the best of times for fishermen with warm air temperatures and relatively warm water temperatures. Ten year old Jack Fisk was fishing with his dad this past Friday at Loch Raven Reservoir when he caught this huge bullhead catfish that measured 17’ and weighed over 3lbs. Jacks catfish was just shy of the current state record of 3lbs, 6oz that was caught in Loch Raven last year; so he released it so it can grow even larger. Fishing ChallengeWe look for Jack to maybe catch this catfish next year and perhaps it will be the new state record.

The Maryland Fishing Challenge continues through this month and until September 1st. Fishermen are encouraged to register any fish they catch that meets the minimum size criteria at a Citation Center to be in the drawing for a number of prizes which include a new 4x4 Tundra pickup truck, a boat, motor and trailer outfit and thousands of dollars in prizes. Information concerning rules and where you can register your fish can be found at the following website link.

Fishermen in the coastal region of Maryland are seeing flounder fishing improve steadily in the back bay areas of Ocean City and Assateague Island. Tautog fishing at the inlet continues to be good and the wreck sites and artificial reef sites off Ocean City are offering up good catches of sea bass and tautog. The large striped bass that are migrating north along the coastal beaches have finally arrived and fishermen are beginning to enjoy the goodStriped Bass fishing they’ve been waiting for. Erik Mainhart holds up a beautiful 42” striped bass he caught in the Assateague surf this week; which he then released.







Quote of the Week:

"“Look at us, for example,” the old man said. “We have had us a fine day away from the women. We haven’t bothered each other with a lot of problems. You learned to throw a cast net this afternoon; we caught a mighty pretty mess of fish. So we go home now, with all the wrinkles smoothed out of us, hungry, tired and ready for dinner and bed. The women can’t be mad at us because we weren’t underfoot all day and on top of it here are enough fish to feed the whole block. In a way we are heroes just because we had sense enough to loaf all day without people watching us.”"

Robert Ruark The Old Man And The Boy

We usually get a lot of photos this time of year, 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 (12 photos).

Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms

Click here to view recent bay satellite images at

A Couple of Closing Notes...

Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:

  • Date
  • Angler(s)
  • Hometown(s)
  • Photo credit
  • Location

  • Weight/length of catch

  • Bait/lure

Important Note: If anyone in your picture is under 18 years of age, we must have a photo release signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture.

Send your photos and information to Keith Lockwood

Until next week,

Tight Lines,

Keith Lockwood
MD DNR Fisheries Service

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