Regional fisheries biologist Alan Klotz sent in this great report from the western region. Western Maryland finally received some much-needed rainfall, and stream flows have improved accordingly. The catch and release season within the Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Areas begins on October 1st, and we plan on stocking the upper North Branch Potomac River and Youghiogheny River Delayed Harvest Trout Fishing Areas on that date. The other Delayed Harvest Areas of the Casselman River and Town Creek, as well as the Put and Take Trout Fishing Areas of Bear Creek, Savage River, Wills Creek, and Evitts Creek will also be stocked during the month of October. We will post the stockings on the Fishing Report – so stayed tuned.
The North Branch Potomac River downstream of Jennings Randolph Lake has been fishing well from reports I have received. Last week we surveyed the upper Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area with the assistance of the Garrett College Fisheries Management Class. We collected a good number of rainbow trout in the 12 – 19 inch size range, including several spectacular males in full spawning colors – very dark with pronounced hooked jaws. Pictured are the Garrett College class members with a trophy rainbow trout.
Lakes in the Western Region are cooling down and the fishing is getting better. On Sunday, my son Kyle and I headed to Deep Creek Lake and fished in cool, windy, rainy conditions. Smallmouth bass were very active along the shore, and we caught about a dozen just fishing medium golden shiners near rocky structures. The highlight of the day was when Kyle thought he hooked into a nice walleye; however, it turned out to be his first northern pike!
Water flows in the upper Potomac have greatly improved as a result of recent rain and cooling water temperatures have increased the activity levels for smallmouth bass. Drifting down the upper Potomac in a small boat, canoe or kayak can be a wonderful experience this time of the year; Luke Keener caught and released this beautiful smallmouth bass while drifting down river.
As we pass by the last day of September freshwater fishermen are enjoying one of the finest times of the year to enjoy some excellent fishing opportunities in the regions lakes, reservoirs and tidal waters. The large lakes and reservoirs are always a great place to fish for largemouth bass from either small boats or from shore. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits tend to be two of the most favored lures to use as fish hold shallow morning and evening and move into slightly deeper water during the day. Grass beds, fallen timber and most any kind of underwater structure are good places to look for largemouth bass. Several reservoirs such as Liberty and Prettyboy have good populations of smallmouth bass and offer some fine fishing.
The tidal rivers from the Susquehanna to the Potomac offer great fishing for largemouth bass this time of the year. Casting small crankbaits over flooded grass or outside on the deeper edges is a good tactic as is targeting any kind of structure.
Fishing for channel catfish in the Susquehanna River has been good this week and fishermen are beginning to target blue catfish in earnest in the Fort Washington area of the Potomac now that water temperatures have cooled down to about 70-degrees. Fresh gizzard shad baits and a deep hole are often the ticket to catching some bragging sized blue cats.
Fall like weather and cooling water temperatures are setting the stage for some excellent freshwater fishing opportunities this week. The regions tidal rivers are running fairly clear and largemouth bass are moving and feeding actively. Crankbaits tend to be one of the more popular baits this time of the year; along with spoons and spinnerbaits. Grass beds are usually a good place to target; whether fishing over them at high tide or outside of them on the deeper sides at low tide. Fallen timber or any other kind of sunken wood are good places to target with crankbaits or spinnerbaits.
Crappie are beginning to school up near structure in deeper waters, chain pickerel are more active in the cooler water and bluegills are roaming the edges of grass beds and lily pad fields.
Fishing for channel catfish has picked up with cooling water temperatures; most of the regions tidal rivers hold good populations of channel catfish. Target holes where a good current is boiling through with cut fish baits, chicken liver or nightcrawlers.
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
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.