Fishing Report Overview Maryland Dept of Natural Resources
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Latest Update: May 20, 2009 Next Update: May 27, 2009 (By 5pm)

Freshwater Fishing Reports

Western Region:

Largemouth BassThe smallmouth bass fishing at Deep Creek Lake has been very good this week and should continue for several more weeks. The smallmouth are being found near rocky points and the deeper flats and seem to want to attack just about any kind of crankbait or soft plastic and especially those that look like a crawfish. Walleye, crappie and yellow perch are also part of the mix. Largemouth bass fishing near the shallower cove areas has been good and pike and chain pickerel can be found in the back of the coves.

Largemouth bass fishing is of course very good in the many lakes and ponds that dot the region. Joe Schindler was fishing in Piney Reservoir; which is in Garrett County when he caught and released this beautiful fish.

Smallmouth BassJohn Mullican sent in this report on the upper Potomac River and it is good news for fishermen wishing to get out on the water. In spite of the recent flood, the upper Potomac River is currently in great shape for fishing. During the flood smallmouth spawning activities were disrupted and many bass are now spawning as flows return to normal. With water temperatures now in the upper 60's, smallmouth bass, walleye, muskie, and channel catfish activity is in high gear. Fishermen will really become aware of the record 2007 year class of smallmouth bass this year. These bass are now seven to ten inches long and are aggressively taking just about any small lure right now. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tubes, grubs, jerkbaits, to name a few, have been productive.

Ted Dibenedetto was out fishing this week on the upper Potomac and sent this picture of a nice smallmouth bass he caught and released. Ted mentioned that he only took off his life vest for the picture and put it back on after the fish was released.



Central/Southern Region:

Pursuing largemouth bass this week is a good bet since the post-spawn female largemouth bass are now aggressively feeding to build up body stores after the spawning season. They can be found in shallow water or near grass and sunken wood in the deeper areas of the regions reservoirs, lakes and tidal waters. Shallow running crankbaits, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits have been good choices this week in the shallower water. Deeper running crankbaits that resemble crawfish, soft plastics and jigs have been working well in the deeper waters.

Northern SnakeheadThe tidal rivers and creeks have been offering good largemouth bass fishing this week despite stained waters from recent rains. The bass tend to be holding relatively shallow near grass and structure. Shallow running crankbaits, and spinnerbaits have been popular choices and fishermen reported some luck with surface lures such as poppers and frogs. The grass beds are becoming thicker with the warmer weather and providing good cover. Largemouth bass in the tidal Potomac love the thick Milfoil beds and so do snakeheads. They are becoming more common this year for fishermen fishing in the grass and they put up quite a fight. When a snakehead is caught; by law it is to be killed by cutting behind their head and through the vertebrae immediately upon landing. Snakeheads are very good to eat when prepared properly so this can be a real bonus to largemouth bass fishermen. The meat is very solid and white and the best way I have personally found to prepare it is to cut the fillets up in small chunks, batter it or roll the chunks in panko flour, then beaten egg and finally panko crumbs and drop in a deep fryer. The snakehead chunks go well with a few hush puppies tossed in there also. Kyle Herbein holds up a big tidal Potomac snakehead that he caught from the shores of Fox Ferry CoveSlab Bluegill

Fishing for blue catfish continues to be good in the tidal Potomac this week. Channel catfish can also be found in the Potomac River as well as most tidal rivers and creeks within the two regions. Chain pickerel and bluegills are holding in the upper sections of many of the regions tidal rivers as well as the lakes and ponds that dot the region. This is a very good time of the year to fish for bluegills that can give one good account of themselves on light tackle. Ultra-light spinning tackle with small lures or a light fly rod, floating line and small rubber-legged poppers can offer a lot of fun fishing. Steven Puziss caught this slab bluegill in a small Frederick County farm pond.



Eastern Region:

Fishing for largemouth bass is in full swing throughout most of the eastern region this week as post-spawn female largemouth bass are feeding aggressively. They are moving in and out of shallow waters and have been holding near heavy grass and sunken structure. Old docks, piers and grass beds are holding largemouth bass in the Sassafras River above Georgetown up to the Route 301 Bridge. Small crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics have all been good choices for baits.

Largemouth bass fishing has been good on the upper Choptank from Martinake State Park to above Denton. Sunken wood, fallen trees in the main river current and feeder creeks have all been good places to fish. Marshyhope Creek continues to be a good place to fish for largemouth bass as is the Pocomoke River. The Pocomoke is clearing up from recent rains and fishermen have been finding clearer waters from Porterís Crossing Road down to Snow Hill.

Fishing for channel catfish has been good in most of the regionís tidal rivers such as the Sassafras, Chester, Choptank/Tuckahoe, Nanticoke and Pocomoke. Cut herring has been a favorite bait lately but chicken livers and nightcrawlers are also good choices. This is also a good time to visit some of the regionís lakes such as Unicorn, Wye Mills and Tuckahoe lake just to name a few for largemouth bass and feisty bluegill sunfish.

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!

Click here to view recent bay satellite images at

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

Links to freshwater flows:

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