Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this great report on the fishing at Deep Creek Lake this week. With water temperatures in the mid to upper 60’s, fishing in Deep Creek Lake has been very good for a variety of species. Walleye are feeding heavily in about ten – twelve feet of water. Try fishing with minnows and a slip bobber or trolling Rapalas at this depth. The pan fishing has been excellent during the last week – my son and I are fishing at the Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center and catching good numbers and variety of fish including bluegills, rock bass, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch. Some bluegills are on beds; however we are catching and releasing a lot of big pre-spawn females. The rock bass are in shallow, and are hitting small Rapalas and worms aggressively. Kyle really enjoys catching these fish – they hit hard, put on quite a fight for a brief time, and then easily surrender! Broadford Lake in Oakland also continues to produce good catches of bluegills and pumpkinseeds.
Fisheries biologist John Mullican was also kind enough to send us a report from the upper Potomac and an area trout stream. Recent monsoon-like weather has turned the upper Potomac River high and off-color – again. Water temperatures have fluctuated from the upper 60s to the low 70s and fishing has been fairly slow. With thunderstorms predicted each day this week, check river levels before heading out.
The recent precipitation, however, has been good for area trout streams, which are in excellent shape. I ventured to northern Frederick County last weekend to try my luck on Owens Creek. Owens Creek was stocked last week with 500 nice brown trout reared by the Albert Powell Hatchery crew in Hagerstown and are subject to catch-and-return, artificial lures only restrictions from June 1 until the first day of March next year. With abundant precipitation, Owens Creek should fish well through the summer. Brown trout turn to insects quickly and I find fly-fishing to be very effective. Elk hair caddis and large black ant patterns are effective drys. I like to fish a dry and dropper rig with either a small pheasant tail nymph or caddis emerger pattern on the dropper.
There are a wide variety of freshwater fishing opportunities this week and largemouth bass and smallmouth bass are probably at the top of the list for many anglers. The fishing in the central regions large Baltimore County reservoirs for smallmouth bass at Liberty, Prettyboy and Rocky Gorge is very good due to cooler water temperatures. Josh Torres sent in this short report from Liberty Reservoir. There are a lot of smallmouth bass teaming the shores especially at dusk when the water is very calm. So far the 6" Senkos with a Gamakatsu hook number 4 are producing a lot. Most of the smallmouth are about 10 to 12 inches in size with a few as big as 18inches that I've seen roaming near the banks. I've had luck on top water lures as well, poppers and small crank baits.
Largemouth bass are in a very active feeding mode throughout both regions as they continue to aggressively feed after spawning. Water temperatures are still cool enough that they are roaming throughout the water column. Peter Schumacher fishes Rocky Gorge quite a bit and he sent in a short report that the big largemouth bass are schooled up and chasing gizzard shad on the 10’ to 20’ flats. He mentioned that they were hitting spoons, swimbaits and crankbaits and that his best was a big largemouth bass just over 22”. Peter also mentioned that he tried out a new lure over the weekend called the Rapala Minnow Rap and was really impressed with the action after catching a walleye, a catfish and a 3lb largemouth bass on it. Brandon Southall was also fishing Rocky Gorge this week and sent in this picture of a 24” largemouth bass he caught on a black Jitterbug before he released it.
Largemouth bass fishing in the two regions tidal rivers is very good this week and few are as popular with bass fishermen as the tidal Potomac. The water temperature there is now just above 70-degrees, water clarity has been a problem due to rain runoff but the fishing has been good. Cloudy days and low light conditions in the early morning and late evening hours have been producing great topwater action. Buzzbaits and frogs have been two of the more popular lures to use over thick grass. Along grass edges small crankbaits, Senkos and spinnerbaits have been working well. Fishermen are finding more than largemouth bass these days in the grass; snakeheads live there also and Phil Civitarese holds up one for a picture before dispatching it by cutting its head off.
Fishermen have been doing their best to duck thunderstorms this week and deal with water clarity issues due to runoff in the regions tidal rivers. Generally the upper reaches of the upper and mid-shore tidal rivers have been offering the best fishing this week. Largemouth bass are in shallow during the early morning and late evening hours so targeting spatterdock fields and shallow grass and lily pads are a good bet. Buzzbaits, plastic frogs and poppers are good choices for surface lures. Dropping Senkos and soft plastics through grass is a good option as is targeting sunken wood in deeper waters when the sun is higher in the sky.
The regions many small lakes and ponds are good places to fish this week and many do not show the effects of runoff making for clearer waters. The bluegill sunfish are aggressive this time of the year and really give an account of themselves whether one is fly fishing with rubber-legged poppers or fishing a worm under a bobber. Channel catfish are active and this is a very good time of the year to fish for them from the banks of the regions tidal rivers.
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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.