Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | April 03, 2013
Maryland's trout fishermen had their big opening day on Saturday and scores of fishermen participated in a tradition passed down from generation to generation. A typical opening day often has the threat of rain and chilly temperatures in the opening hours and that is what most fishermen found. They also found a bounty of trout that had been stocked by Fisheries crews often in some demanding conditions; especially in the western region that was under a heavy blanket of snow. Be sure to check out the pictures in Alan Klotz's angler's log of March 28th to see the difficulty crews had stocking trout in the western region. There were a few places they just couldn't get to and they are listed on the trout stocking site at the following link. Also listed on the trout fishing website there is a listing of current stockings as they occur. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/stocking/index.asp
Stocking crews were able to generously stock all the other trout management waters throughout the state and fishermen lined up to try their luck. Many fishermen caught their limits and scores of fishermen caught some real lunkers. Carson Bredesen got to go trout fishing with his dad at Rocks Park in Harford County and managed to catch this whopper of a golden rainbow on a spinner.
Photo Courtesy of Andy Bredesen
Maryland's lakes, ponds, reservoirs and tidal rivers are slowly warming up as warmer temperatures begin to prevail. Largemouth bass fishermen are finding good success near transition structure as the fish begin to move from deeper waters and hold towards the upper edges of channel drop offs and slopes. Sunken wood and rocky areas as well as bridge piers are good places to look for largemouth bass holding. Small crankbaits worked slowly and close to the bottom are one of the most popular baits to use at this time. Slowly worked spinnerbaits and soft plastics are also good choices to try. Most of the tidal rivers and larger lakes and reservoirs are showing water temperatures around 50-degrees at this time. Fishermen are also finding a mix of other freshwater species such as crappie, chain pickerel, bluegills and channel catfish becoming more active. In many waters this time of the year offers some good fishing in areas that are normally covered with aquatic vegetation.
John Mullican sent us a report from the upper Potomac River. The upper Potomac River is in great shape with water temperatures in the mid-40s. Smallmouth fishing has been hot and cold, just like the weather. Fishermen generally don't catch large numbers of bass at this time, but it is definitely time to catch a trophy size smallmouth. Tubes, hair jigs, jerkbaits and crankbaits are all effective options right now, but some days the bass will prefer one presentation over another so it pays to try different approaches. Walleyes have spawned for the most part and will begin to disperse away from spawning areas where they have been concentrated for the past month or so. Crankbaits can be particularly effective at covering water until fish are found.
Photo Courtesy of John Mullican
Fishermen at Deep Creek Lake saw lake edges open up to such a degree over the weekend that they will have to give up any notions of ice fishing until next winter. A few of the edges are open enough that some fishermen are fishing those areas with minnows for spawning yellow perch. Otherwise fishermen will have to be patient as the ice retreats and the lake once again becomes open water.
Anyone anxious to get in on a little catch and release fishing for striped bass has been hovering over the warm water discharge at the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant in hopes of taking on a striped bass by jigging. Most fishermen are using heavy soft plastic jigs up to 10" in length; while some are also using butterfly jigs. Boats typically slowly motor up to the bubbling discharge and drift in the warm water plume till they find themselves several hundred yards down current; then repeat the process. Others have been trolling along the edges of the shipping channels with large bucktails or parachutes in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. A few fish are being picked up now and then but most are reporting the action to be very slow. Water temperatures in the bay are holding around 45-degrees on the surface at the moment.
The Susquehanna Flats area is beginning to attract the attention of striped bass catch and release fishermen this week and most are reporting slow fishing conditions. A few striped bass are being caught on lures in the shallower areas and some fish are being caught on menhaden or gizzard shad baits on circle hooks. Water temperatures in the area are holding around 46-degrees and most fishermen look for the action to pick up once water temperatures rise above 50-degrees.
Fishermen continue to mark the progress of the white perch spawning runs in the states tidal rivers and are starting to see the smaller male white perch showing up at the headwater areas; a sure sign the larger females are not far behind. The warmer weather that is predicted this week should kick these runs into high gear and fishermen should be ready with shad darts and grass shrimp.
Ocean City area fishermen continue to enjoy some excellent fishing for tautog on the wreck sites. Most fishermen are heading out to the fishing grounds on head boats which provide safety and comfort when weather and cold water conditions are not exactly the friendliest. Water temperatures will need to warm up a bit before fishermen begin to see tautog in and around the Ocean City Inlet but good shore based fishing is just around the corner.
"Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish. " - Rafael Sabatini, 1875-1950