Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: April 15, 2009

Next Update: April 22, 2009

If you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we periodically run. Click here for this week's gallery!


Opening Day, those two words conjure up a wide variety of emotions, memories and a whole lot of anticipation and April 18th is our opening day for the 2009 striped bass season. More than a few fishermen will be tossing and turning in bed this Friday; periodically glancing at the alarm clock in the dark. Many will wind up getting up a ˝-hour before the alarm goes off just to end the torture; others will be unceremoniously kicked out by their spouse who has had enough of this restless nonsense. Diners and donut shops will do a brisk early morning business supplying two of the essential food groups for fishermen; donuts and coffee. There will be the headlights winding down roads leading to boat ramps or marinas in the pre-dawn darkness, the hustle and bustle at the docks and ramps and the greetings of family and friends before climbing aboard amongst the chatter and shared excitement of sharing an adventure together. Diesel and gas engines will roar and outboards will whine as they point their way out into the darkness of the bay. This is the big day; our first chance to catch a trophy sized striped bass before they migrate out into the ocean and head north for cooler waters off New England.Hickory Shad

The striped bass will be out there moving along the steep edges of the shipping channel which serves as the official interstate turnpike of the Chesapeake Bay. The Potomac, Patuxent, Nanticoke and Choptank Rivers all experienced substantial spawns this past week so many of those post-spawn fish will be exiting the rivers by this weekend. Striped bass in the upper bay have not begun to spawn yet due to cooler water temperatures and of course there will be more spawning activity in the fore mentioned rivers through this month. It will no doubt be crowded out there and with planer boards being used on most boats it could get a little dicey at times. Remember why you’re out there; be courteous, safe and have a good time.

Cooler water this week has put a temporary skid to the Susquehanna Flats catch and release fishery but warmer weather should change that on Thursday. It might be a bit crowded in some areas up there this weekend due to a Bass Masters Tournament out of the Northeast River. The hickory shad have arrived in force in the Susquehanna and fishermen have been enjoying excellent catch and release fishing.

Rainbow TroutWe of course recently had our traditional opening day of trout season and fishermen are reporting great fishing due to in season stockings by fisheries crews and good water flows. Often trout fishing in Put and Take areas is the first challenge many young anglers encounter after catching that first bluegill. Fathers take sons and daughters and traditions tend to build over the years and become part of the fabric of a bond between parents and children who of course do not stay children forever. Ron Warfield sent in a picture of his son Ryan, now a grown man proudly holding the largest trout he’s ever caught; a whopping 5lbs, 20z rainbow trout.

Ron shared with us a story behind the picture that points out the bond that often forms from something as simple as fishing together on opening day. The stream in the picture is Little Falls. Ryan’s first fishing trip was aboutTrout Stocking of Fair Hill Pond age 4 and he started going opening day of trout season by about 6-7. He and his younger brother have been with me on opening day for over 20 years. Unfortunately Steven was out of the country this year and missed it. It has been a tradition to get there early; catch our limit and have a family fish fry that afternoon. Over the years we have included friends and family who now have their own traditions and memories. We fish mostly Northern Baltimore county or Deer Creek but have fished Savage River, NBP, Casselman. I remember having to hide their Easter baskets in our van when we would camp in Western MD so they would have them on Easter morning. It’s been a lot of fun.

In season stocking will continue in many areas and a quick look at the trout stocking website at will give the heads up on where trout stocking is taken place. This group of fishermen patiently watches trout pass through a hatchery truck transfer pipe on their way into Fair Hill Pond.

Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake should have a great opening to the walleye season this week; walleyeLargemouth Bass populations are up and the fish are very active in about 4’ to 8’ of water around the lake. Fishing for largemouth bass could hardly be any better this time of the year in all regions of the state as bass feed heavily as they stage for spawning. The smaller male fish are already holding in the shallower areas and the larger females are still holding in nearby deeper waters often close to grass. A happy Jerry Sauter quickly poses with a beautiful largemouth bass caught and released from Triadelphia Reservoir.

Fishermen in the Ocean City area are catching a few striped bass in the back bay areas along with some flounder. Tautog are holding on the inshore wrecks and artificial reefs and are beginning to show up around the Ocean City Inlet. Surf fishermen have to be content with spiny dogfish and skates at the moment if they are looking for some action.

Quote of the Week:

A trout’s brain is very small. It is sometimes said that dry-fly fishermen “pit their brains against those of the trout” No-one has ever leveled a bigger insult at us.

Dermot Wilson

If you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we periodically run. Click here for this week's gallery!

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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. 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 Keith Lockwood

Until next week,

Tight Lines,

Keith Lockwood
MD DNR Fisheries Service

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