Central Regional biologist Mark Staley decided to take a drive around his region this past Saturday to get a ring side seat of fishermen enjoying the fruits of his labors on opening day of trout season. This is his report that he sent in for the central region freshwater report. The text and images of young and grown fishermen enjoying themselves struck such a cord with me that I felt I’d share it here in the overview knowing that all of you would probably feel the same way. We are all a sort of band of brothers in that we are all so passionate about our fishing and many of us carry deep memories of our first exposure to trout fishing in local waters. March 28th was the opening day for our put and take trout areas throughout the state. Rain in the early morning caused challenging conditions across Central Maryland. Great Seneca Creek and NorthWest Branch in Montgomery Co. were muddy and success was poor. The Patapsco was also muddy and didn’t yield many trout.
Forest Hill Pond in Harford County was surrounded by muddy banks but it didn’t faze dedicated anglers of all ages. I counted 57 fishermen around the pond at 7:15 am. William and Shawn Walstrum finished early and strong with a nice stringer of trout. Jimmy and Julia Foster were successful as well.
Water Conditions at Deer Creek were ideal. The flow was slightly elevated and it was clear. Fishing pressure was heavy throughout the entire stocked portion of the stream. I counted 269 cars from one end to the other. Most fishermen were catching good numbers of trout. Anthony Revels caught a 23 in. rainbow from Deer Creek in Rocks State Park. There should be plenty of trout still available, especially in those areas that were muddy on opening day.
As a young fisherman growing up in the New Jersey Pine Barrens; my fishing buddies and I were not exposed to trout in the tea stained waters that we fished. We cut our teeth on yellow perch, chain pickerel and the occasional largemouth bass or calicos (crappie). Trout were something special and novel; something you read about in Outdoor Life or Sports Afield where men dressed in fly vests, waders and who smoked pipes cast the perfect fly pattern to rising trout in mountain streams. We had neither in the Pine Barrens, no trout and certainly no mountains. The next watershed north of where we lived was not in the Pine Barrens and was found suitable by our Fish and Game Agency to be stocked with brown and rainbow trout. As we became more empowered and bolder with our age we’d get someone’s parent to drive us the 20-miles or so to try our hand at trout fishing and later on we rode our bikes to and from. None of our parents freshwater fished. Those were the days of wet and muddy blue jeans and sneakers, Garcia Mitchell 308 spinning reels, salmon eggs, worm boxes, digging up as much of the backyard for worms as you dared before being scolded and lusting for hip boots, creels and laminated wood trout nets.
Today’s young trout fishermen will probably muster up memories of their own someday and hold them just as dear to their hearts. Memories of wet and muddy blue jeans and sneakers, funny looking artificial baits known as Powerbait, Gulp and Troutkrilla, and wishing for waders and all that cool stuff the grown up guy in the next pool was outfitted with. Most important of all I hope they are blessed with memories of mom, dad or a neighbor making the time to take them fishing and teaching them the ropes.
Fishermen in the Chesapeake are enjoying some exceptional catch and release fishing this week for striped bass. Most fishermen are trolling along the shipping channel edges and are finding a lot of action such as George Miller above with this whopping 53” striped bass caught and released near Breezy Point.
Most of the fish are being caught on planer boards pulling chartreuse and white parachutes or bucktails. Fishermen are also finding excellent light tackle jigging opportunities at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant discharge and when fish can be marked by depth finders in the bays waters often near gannets. Fishermen are catching and releasing good numbers of striped bass in the lower Susquehanna River and Flats region this week. Shoreline fishermen are also getting into the action this week from fishing piers and prominent points by using surf fishing outfits, fresh cut bait or bloodworms and circle hooks. Mike Rosa releases a big one in the wash at Sandy Point State Park this past Sunday.
Freshwater fishermen can expect excellent fishing for spawning white perch this week in the upper reaches of the tidal rivers and creeks. Largemouth bass are staging close to shallower waters this week and the fishing opportunities are excellent. Trout fishing will continue this week as stocking crews continue to replenish many of the put and take areas. Walleye and smallmouth bass are very active in the upper Potomac River this week and in a number of cold water impoundments. Finally fishing for many of the less glamorous fish species such as crappie and catfish will be very good this week. Emma is all smiles with her first fish she’s ever caught; a nice fat Chester River channel catfish.
Quote of the Week:
The four words every angler most hates to hear: “I’ve got another one”.
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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