Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: August 13, 2008 Next Update: August 20, 2008



Freshwater Fishing Reports

Western Region:

Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are finding themselves in one of the most active periods on the lake for boat traffic and this along with warm water is not creating a very good scene for fishing. It has become difficult to fish points due to boat traffic and most shorelines are experience cloudy water due to wave action. Fishermen who are getting out at dawn are finding some action with largemouth bass near floating docks and grass beds. The cove areas tend to have thick grass and unless one penetrates them with weighed soft plastics and heavy tackle to reach the largemouth that remain hunkered down beneath the masses of grass. Perhaps the best option for fishermen is to fish near deep grass with minnows while drifting. Nightcrawlers and leeches are also good baits for this type of fishing.

Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in some suggestions for fishermen to make the most of summer time lake fishing. Late summer is a good time to try your Bluegillshand at fly-fishing for panfish. Terrestrial insects such as ants, Japanese beetles, inchworms, grasshoppers, and crickets are at their peak abundance and the sunfish are patrolling the shorelines looking for a meal. This past weekend the kids and I headed out to Pleasant Valley Lake in Garrett County to do some fly-fishing for sunfish, and what a great evening it turned out to be! Jessica fished exclusively with her 5-wt rod and an elk-hair caddis, while Kyle opted to use a bunch of Japanese beetles he caught earlier in the day on his Zebco as well as a beaded hare’s ear nymph on his fly rod. We all had plenty of luck, catching about 40 bluegills and pumpkinseeds in two hours. Pleasant Valley Lake is a public access water body on the Western Maryland 4-H Center property and can be reached by taking the Rt. 495 exit off of Rt. 68, and traveling south about 10 miles; look for the Western MD 4-H Center sign and entrance on the right.

Fishermen are finding good fishing on the North Branch of the Potomac, the Savage River and a number of Smallmouth Bassother trout waters in the western region even during the heat of the summer. There are a lot of different hatches going on and various terrestrials tend to find themselves falling into the water this time of the year so it is a great time to fly fish. The upper Potomac River is offering good fishing; with water levels down it is a great time to try some wading and fishing for smallmouth bass. Alex Kepart holds up a real nice smallmouth for the camera before slipping it back into the river.

Central/Southern Region:

Fishermen continue to work the early morning hours and late evening hours for largemouth bass in the numerous lakes, reservoirs and a number of the tidal rivers within the two regions. Most fishermen are using topwater lures such as poppers, plastic frogs, buzzbaits and the like near shallow grass beds. In the case of tidal rivers often these lures can be worked over top of the grass beds during a high flood tide. As the day wears on fishermen will switch to deeper lures such as crankbaits, grubs or other soft plastics worked near deep sunken structure. Other fishermen will break out the heavy tackle and use weighted soft plastics to punch through the top of thick grass to the largemouth bass that are lurking beneath. Fishermen in the tidal rivers such as the Potomac also report that fishing on the outside of these thick grass beds on a low ebb tide can pay off as largemouth bass cruise around the perimeters of these beds. Largemouth bass are not theNorthern Pike only top level predators in some of the reservoirs in the central region and this northern pike caught by John O’Connell in Rocky Gorge is quite a handful.

There is still some trout fishing to be had in some of the trout waters in the central region where water temperatures are acceptable for the trout. The tail race waters of the Gunpowder are offering some good fishing for rainbow trout. Fly fishermen are using tricos, midges, small caddis flies and various terrestrials during the early morning hours. Fly fishermen can find good fishing for bluegills in most lakes and ponds throughout the regions and they often will give a good showing of themselves on a light fly rod. Rubber legged poppers are the traditional offering and the surface strikes can be very exciting.

Fishing for channel catfish continues to be good in the lower Susquehanna River and many of the tidal rivers within the two regions. Carp fishing is becoming more popular every year and they can offer some wonderful fishing opportunities.

Eastern Region:

This past weekend’s rather cool weather brought out a lot of fishermen and most enjoyed themselves. One of the most popular targets for fishermen, the largemouth bass have been keeping to their typical summer mode of activity which puts them in relatively shallow water during the early morning and late evening hours. Topwater lures such as soft plastic frogs, buzzbaits and poppers have been favorites for fishermen. The weedless varieties can of course be dragged over top of the grass or through obstacles such as lily pads. As mid morning approaches the bass will head for deep and cool shady cover such as old docks, sunken wood or even under thick mats of grass in deeper waters. Fishermen will go to grubs, whacky rigged plastic worms, spinnerbaits or crankbaits to entice them to strike.

The Sassafras has been offering good fishing for largemouth and fishermen have been working the thick grass beds there; the outside edges during low tide and working over them or below them during high tide. The Choptank River above Denton has been offering some largemouth bass fishing despite very warm water temperatures there. Rivers such as the Pocomoke have some of the coolest water temperatures lately and bass fishing there has been good especially on a falling tide.

Fishing for channel catfish in the Elk, Chester and Choptank Rivers continues to be a good summer alternative type of fishing. The catfish are holding in some of the deeper areas of the rivers and can be caught on nightcrawlers or cut bait.


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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:

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