As boat traffic has subsided and water temperatures cool the fishing at Deep Creek is steadily improving. Walleyes, smallmouth bass and large yellow perch are becoming more active and are being found in about 10’ to 15’ of water.
Western regional fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this report on some exciting fishing opportunities for the coming weeks. Fishermen should keep their eyes open for flying ants on warm sunny September afternoons, and when you do see them swarming – head down to the nearest fishing hole! For whatever reason, the flying terrestrial ants end up landing on the water and just about every kind of fish will gorge themselves on this instant food supply. Monday evening was one of those afternoons when the flying ants were swarming, so my son and I headed down to the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area after he finished his homework. There was an amazing number of fish rising, and we had some fast frenzied fly-fishing action until dark. I just used a size 14 elk hair caddis with a cinnamon body, this pattern works well to imitate ants and is easy to see on the water. We ended up catching rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass, and some really large river chubs.
Earlier in the day, we surveyed the Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area at Sang Run. With this summer being relatively cool, trout survival was pretty good based on the numbers of trout we collected including several rainbow trout in the 15 – 19 inch range as well as trophy brown trout up to 19.5 inches (pictured is Kenneth Wampler with the 19.5 inch Yough River brown trout).
Fisheries biologist Josh Henesy also sent in a great report from the western region. As a relatively cool summer comes to a close, local water temperatures are slowly falling into a more optimal range. With much needed rain in the forecast, water levels should slowly rise and fishing should turn on! Fishermen on the Potomac River indicate that action has remained steady. This time of year, fish are often caught feeding in areas of current where dissolved oxygen concentrations remain high and forage is abundant. Try running small crankbaits or top water lures across current breaks! In areas of dense vegetation, weedless tubes and grubs dropped into pockets or along the edges will catch bass. The action on local trout streams will start to pick up too as temperatures cool and flows improve. Due to low water levels in most streams and creeks, trout tend to congregate in areas of deeper water with steady current. Maryland’s Put – and – Grow trout program is often forgotten about by most anglers. The State stocks fingerling trout in waters that support the survival and growth of trout, but reproduction is lacking. Some of these streams have all of the right factors to grow large, healthy trout! Pictured is Joel Benchoff of Williamsport with a nice brown trout resulting from one of these fingerling stockings.
Cooler water temperatures are having a dramatic positive effect on the freshwater fishing scene this week in the central and southern regions. Many species of fish and particular largemouth bass are breaking from the summer pattern of behavior due to cooling water temperatures and becoming more active during the day.
The reservoirs of the central region such as Loch Raven, Prettyboy, Liberty and Rocky Gorge are offering excellent fishing for largemouth bass and other species such as crappie. Prettyboy and Liberty are famous for the good smallmouth bass fishing that can be found there. Most fishermen will choose topwater lures when the water surface is calm and light conditions are low. The surface strike of a largemouth bass always offers exciting visual entertainment and it is a good choice for active and hungry bass now. Many fishermen like real noisy lures this time of the year and larger ones for those really big bass. Spinnerbaits can be a good choice when the surface is roughed up by wind as are crankbaits and soft plastics such as wacky rigged worms along grass edges.
The many lakes and ponds that dot both regions are a great place to fish now that most fish are more active. St. Mary’s Lake is always popular with fishermen in the southern region and most everyone has a favorite small pond that they like to think of as a honey hole.
The water temperatures in the tidal Patuxent and Potomac Rivers as well as the rivers in the central region are down to near the 70-degree mark now and largemouth bass there are very active. Fishermen are talking about fishing over the thick grass with various types of topwater lures such as frogs on a high tide and fishing the edges during low tide with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Fishing for channel catfish and carp is improving with cooler water temperatures. The lower Susquehanna and Potomac are just a few of the rivers that offer good fishing for channel catfish.
Recent rains and cool weather have changed the face of fishing in the tidal rivers and creeks of the eastern region in the last tow weeks. Largemouth bass are breaking loose from their summer pattern of lounging in the shade all day and are now actively feeding during the day. Many of the tidal rivers are showing much clearer water; now that they have been flushed out by recent heavy rains. Fishing topwater lures over flooded grass beds at high tide is a favorite option for anglers as is fishing the grass edges during low tide with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Largemouth bass will still be holding to sunken wood and fallen tree tops that project out into the main river current are always a good place to check for a largemouth bass holding there to ambush bait passing by. Jason Martino caught and released this largemouth bass at an eastern shore farm pond and placed his foot next to it for comparison; that is a whopper in anyone’s book.
The regions lakes and ponds are a fun place to fish this month and cooler weather makes it very pleasant. All fish will be feeling more active now and everything from bluegills to chain pickerel are prowling for dinner. Fishing for channel catfish in the regions tidal rivers from the Elk to the Pocomoke is improving with cooler water temperatures. Baits such as cut fish, chicken livers or nightcrawlers are all good choices for bait.
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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.