Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake report that water levels are low in the lake this week due to lack of rainfall. A few anglers have been getting out on the lake to fish for yellow perch and smallmouth bass. Most fishermen in this end of the region have been focused on trout fishing; especially in the North Branch where stocking crews have been releasing generous amounts of fish.
The Potomac River continues to flow well below average for this time of year and the water is very clear. Water temperatures have climbed to around 50°F and the walleye spawn is close at hand. Fishing for walleye continues to be good, especially early and late in the day. Try throwing minnow baits and light jigs as many fish are using shallow habitat right now. I recently had the pleasure of sharing my boat with Tom O'Connell, Fisheries Service Director, and Don Cosden, Inland Fisheries Chief, for an afternoon of walleye fishing. The day turned out to be cool and rainy, but we managed to catch over a dozen walleye up to 25 inches. Smallmouth fishing has steadily improved with the warming temperatures and I have received reports of many nice bass caught this spring. Suspending jerkbaits and tubes are effective options right now.
We recently completed our early trout stocking in preparation for this weekends opener. Anglers will find wide-spread low flows and very clear water. Light line and a stealthy approach will surely improve your odds of being successful. Fly fishermen heading out to the special regulation areas will want to have a few patterns imitating the early stoneflies on hand.
Warmer spring weather is beginning to have a very positive effect on fishermen and fish alike. Warmer water temperatures are spurring fish into activity and the nice weather has fishermen out once again fishing their favorite fishing hole. Largemouth bass are shaking off the winter blues and beginning to look for something to eat in the way of something that is slow and deep. Crawfish are certainly on the menu as they begin to stir as are smaller baitfish. Fishermen seemed to do pretty well this past weekend casting jerkbaits, deep diving crankbaits and grubs; it would be safe to say one could look for that same kind of action this week. Gary Youngworth was fishing a stickbait in Liberty Reservoir when he caught and released this whopper of a walleye.
Central Regional fisheries biologist Mark Staley sent us this great report from the central region. Put and take trout anglers should find good numbers and quality rainbow trout in all but one of their favorite spots in the Central Region. The Lower section of the Gunpowder Falls Put and Take Area (Cromwell Bridge downstream to I-95) will not be stocked with trout for opening day due to low water levels. The lack of rainfall has kept Loch Raven Reservoir from filling and spilling over which impacts the water levels downstream of the dam. The attached photo shows how low the water is in the section upstream of Harford Rd. If and when, Loch Raven begins to spill water and it appears to be a constant flow we will stock the appropriate numbers of trout.
Last week we assisted Carroll County Parks and Recreation by electro-fishing Piney Run Reservoir to capture fish to be tagged for the annual Early Bird Tournament on 3/28. Black Crappie, Bluegill, and Pumpkinseed were tagged and released into the reservoir. Sandy Buterbaugh, Piney Run Park Manager, is shown holding two of the Largemouth Bass we captured. We saw quite a number of bass in this size range and they appeared to be holding in deeper water in their spawning areas. No bass were tagged due to the spring closed season on bass in non-tidal water (March1-June 15).
The tidal rivers and creeks of the two regions are also coming to life as waters warm and fishermen are finding largemouth bass moving into shallower waters. Fishermen are finding water temperatures are now in the low 50’s and finding largemouth near any kind of sunken wood or docks or grass. There of course is not much grass yet but if you do find some chances are there will be bass sticking to it. The smaller male largemouth bass are now holding shallower and the larger females will be staging in a little deeper water. Fishermen this past weekend used a wide variety of lures such as crankbaits, jerkbaits, soft plastics, jigs and grubs and they all seemed to work.
Fishermen are also finding white perch in many of the tidal rivers and they can be caught on small jigs such as shad darts tipped with a piece of bloodworm or grass shrimp. Fishermen can also catch crappie this week in most tidal rivers and the tidal Potomac has been a real standout lately. The guys who chase blue catfish in the Fort Washington area of the Potomac continue to do battle with these hefty fish.
Fishermen are starting to find good fishing opportunities in the eastern regions tidal rivers and numerous small lakes and ponds. Largemouth bass are moving out of their winter deep water haunts and becoming more active in shallower waters. Fishermen have been using a variety of sub-surface lures such as jerkbaits, crankbaits and soft plastic jigs and grubs all with good success. Crappie are still holding in deeper waters near structure and can be caught on small minnows and jigs. Chain pickerel are very active now and are very accessible since the thick vegetation of summer has not filled in lakes and ponds yet.
The largemouth bass in the regions tidal rivers are moving into shallower water this week and fishermen should enjoy good fishing this week. The Pocomoke is one of the favorite destinations for largemouth bass this spring and so far fishermen have not been disappointed. Jacob Landers was fishing near Snow Hill recently when he caught and released this long-nosed gar; one of the inhabitants of the river.
Fishermen can expect to catch white perch this week in the upper sections of the regions tidal rivers. For example the white perch are staged in the Denton area on the Choptank River and in the lower Marshyhope below Federalsburg off the Nanticoke River.
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Reservoir Bathymetry information:
The Maryland Geological
Survey has bathymetry maps on their website:
Links to freshwater flows:
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls near Parkton.
Latest real time stream flow for
Gunpowder Falls At Glencoe.