The signs of spring are certainly in the air and the soil also for that matter. The air temperature can change so quickly this time of the year and soil temperatures are gaining momentum based on the worm casings left by nightcrawlers recently and daffodils getting ready to pop. Our big waters tend to tease us more this time of the year as they take much longer to start to show the effects of warming weather. The Chesapeake Bay is inching up to the 40-degree mark and the surf temperature at Ocean City is still holding below 40-degrees. The upper tributaries of our rivers are warming up faster though and many are now in the 46-degree range or beyond; which is the trigger for spawning runs of yellow perch. Most of the spawning runs in the central, southern and eastern regions started to peak this past Sunday and fishermen should expect good fishing this week. The most accessible and popular spots will of course be crowded and a Maryland version of “combat” fishing can tax anyone’s nerves. Often these areas can show the burden of so many anglers with trodden banks and litter. If you see litter be a good steward of our sport and take some trash with you along with some tasty yellow perch on your way out.
The Fisheries Service biologists have begun to stock trout in a number of the states waters; be sure to check the stocking schedules to see the trout fishing opportunities that are near you. We have also added a short video of the Albert Powell Trout Hatchery this week and hope to bring you more of this type of video content in the future on the Fisheries Home Page and Fishing Reports. www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/stocking/springtroutstock.html
It did not take long for a little warm weather to stir a number of fishermen to venture out onto the bay to knock the bugs out of new planner board set ups and practice laying out the array of lines and lures that will be used on April 18th, opening day of the spring trophy season. A strange thing happened to many of them from the Bay Bridge south to the mouth of the Potomac; they caught and released large striped bass. It was not what one would call “gang busters” but it seemed that most fishermen that trolled large parachutes dressed with sassy shads; especially chartreuse, caught fish and released. The deep edges of the shipping channel seemed to be the most productive places to troll and within 35’ of the surface tended to be the sweet spot.
The Susquehanna Flats Catch and Release season opened on March 1st but pickings have been slow to date. A few fishermen tried fishing with bait and only came up with a few small striped bass.
Freshwater fishermen are gearing up for trout fishing and many are now focused on the spawning runs of yellow perch in many of the tributaries of the Chesapeake Watershed. Chain pickerel have been very active and largemouth bass are stirring in most waters. This angler named Mark holds a whopper of an early season largemouth bass caught in the upper waters of Mattawomen Creek this past weekend.
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm.
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:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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