Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | May 07, 2014

Most river systems have recovered from last week's big rains and the weather forecast for this coming weekend looks very promising. Last weekend's strong winds made fishing a little bumpy to say the least for fishermen fishing on the open waters of the bay and larger reservoirs; hopefully calmer conditions will prevail this weekend. Striped Bass continue to spawn in the spawning reaches of several tidal rivers this week so perhaps a surge of post-spawn fish will arrive in the bay just in time for the weekend. In season trout stockings continue to offer fun fishing opportunities and a host of other species such as White Perch, catfish, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass and several species of panfish are biting so don't miss out on fishing with family and friends this weekend. Don't forget mom on Sunday and what better Mothers Day present could there be than to take her fishing?

Water temperatures in the lower Susquehanna River are holding around 53F this week and water flows from the Conowingo Dam are above normal. Deer Creek was running muddy over the weekend but has cleared up; fishermen report that Octoraro Creek is still running muddy today making for stained conditions on the Cecil County side of the river. The White Perch continue to be thick in the river and fishermen are catching them on almost every cast on small lures as long as the water clarity stays relatively clear. The throwback ratio is high but there certainly is plenty of action. The Hickory Shad runs at Deer Creek are in a downward swing at this time due to cold water. The catch and release season for Striped Bass is now closed until the 15th of May on the Susquehanna Flats and will open as a catch and keep fishery on May 16th for fish from 18" to 26".

White Perch are beginning to show up in the lower sections of the upper bays tidal rivers around the Baltimore area and the eastern shore rivers. Bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworms tend to be one of the favored baits at this time but lures and grass shrimp are beginning to become successful also. There are plenty of hungry Channel Catfish in the upper bay and its tidal rivers to entertain fishermen and Flathead Catfish at the Conowingo Dam pool.

The Striped Bass trolling action in the upper bay has slowed down this week as most Striped headed up the bay are now holding in the Susquehanna Flats area waiting for warmer water temperatures so they can spawn. The steep channel edge in front of Podickory Point and the channel edges at Love Point and the Triple Buoys remain some of the better places to troll. Large bucktails, parachutes, mojos and swim shads trolled as a single line, in tandem or behind an umbrella rig continue to be the top producers in chartreuse and white. Doug Wallace Jr. is a very happy fisherman with this 41" Striped Bass he caught in the upper bay recently.

Photo Courtesy of Doug Wallace Jr

Most fishermen in the middle bay region have been describing the trolling action as a slow pick as the Striped Bass have been slow to complete their spawning in the Choptank and Nanticoke Rivers. There was some spawning activity this past weekend and Tuesday evening in those rivers so another group of fish should be headed down river later on this week. Cold water temperatures have delayed the Striped Bass spawning in all regions of the bay so fishermen will have to be patient and adjust to what the fish's schedule is. The False Channel and the western side of the shipping channel from Breezy Point south should offer some action and perhaps this weekend will offer some banner fishing. Bloody Point will hold some fish also as strong currents wrap around the steep edges there. Surface water temperatures in the middle bay area are running around 59F this week which is about 5F warmer than bottom temperatures.

Striped Bass fishing in the lower bay has been a bit of a disappointment for more than a few captains recently trying to hook up fish for their crew in the past week. The action for the most part had been described as a slow pick along the western edge of the shipping channel, the HI Buoy and Buoy 72A. The word has been getting out about the successful fishing in the lower Potomac this week and more than a few boats out of bay ports have been making the run around Point Lookout to troll the channel edges of the lower Potomac. The steep edges out in front of St. Georges Island, St. Clements Island, Piney Point and Buoys 7 and 9 on the Virginia side of the channel have been producing good catches this week. The Striped Bass are finishing up their spawning farther up the Potomac and these fish should provide continued good fishing opportunities this coming weekend.

Fishermen are now catching croakers in the mouth of the Patuxent River, in the lower Potomac and the Tangier/Pocomoke Sound region on baits such as bloodworms and squid. White Perch have been moving into their summer season areas in the lower regions of the bay's tidal rivers and creeks and are beginning to provide good fishing in traditional areas on bait and lures. Fishermen are also catching a lot of medium sized Blue Catfish at the mouth of the Wicomico River on the lower Potomac while fishing for croakers there.

Freshwater fishermen at Deep Creek Lake are enjoying good fishing this week for Largemouth Bass in the upper lake and coves where the waters are shallower as the bass begin to move into shallower and warmer waters in preparation for spawning. Smallmouth Bass are also beginning to stage along rocky shorelines and points and crappie continue to offer good fishing around structure such as bridge piers and sunken wood and tend to be holding a little shallower than later on in the season. Ryan Cooper broke out his fly rod after work recently and cast an articulated streamer fly around the docks at the state boat ramp where he caught and released this nice Smallmouth Bass.

Photo Courtesy of Ryan Cooper

The upper Potomac River is calming down this week and although the waters are a bit high and stained, fishermen report good fishing for Smallmouth Bass. As water temperatures warm up the smaller Smallmouth Bass are now becoming more active and making up a larger portion of what fishermen are catching and releasing. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and suspended jerkbaits are popular baits to use now as are the typical tubes and 4" stick worms.

Trout fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities this week in the trout management waters of the state. The put and take areas continue to receive in season stockings and fishermen are enjoying the results of the generous stockings. Other management areas that are tuned to catch and release or fly fishing only for example are providing fun and productive fishing opportunities for fishermen.

Largemouth Bass in many areas of the state are shifting from their pre-spawn mode of behavior to actually spawning. The males have been busy carving out nests in the shallower areas of lakes, ponds and tidal waters and the larger females are beginning to move into those areas. Fishermen report that the tidal Potomac is still showing stained water conditions and a lot of debris from last week's heavy rains. Ivan Koretic was fishing with his dad on the Middle River when he caught and released this fine looking Largemouth Bass.

Photo Courtesy of Zeljko Koretic

Fishermen continue to enjoy a variety of other freshwater fishing options this week for other species such as Crappie, Bluegills, Chain Pickerel and Channel Catfish. Crappie can be found holding near structure such as fallen tree tops, sunken wood or docks and piers; small minnows or jigs under a bobber are a favorite way to catch them. Bluegills can be caught on a simple worm and bobber rig and is a favorite way to introduce children to some fun fishing action. Chain Pickerel often fill in for the entertainment factor for fishermen casting a variety of lures and always tend to charge lures with abandonment. Fishing for Channel Catfish has been very good in the tidal rivers of the bay and Potomac River and fishing for Blue Catfish in the tidal Potomac has been very good. Northern Snakeheads are being found in shallower waters now as they begin their pre-spawning behavior of hanging out in thick shallow grass in the upper areas of the tidal Potomac's tidal creeks and coves. Chatterbaits is a great way to get their attention when retrieved over or near edges of grass. The Department encourages anglers to catch and remove Blue Catfish and Northern Snakehead at any size and in any season in order to avoid their spread.

Fishermen in the Ocean City area are beginning to see new species of fish move into the area as water temperatures move over the 50F mark. Kingfish and Northern Puffers showed up in the surf this week and even a couple of Bluefish and croaker were reported. As would be expected there are plenty of Clear-Nosed Skates and small sharks in the surf areas also. Inside the inlet fishermen are finding a few flounder biting usually on the bottom of an ebb tide and also Tautog along the rock and bulkhead areas close to the inlet. Offshore there are Tautog to be caught on many of the wreck and artificial reef sites.

"...the fisherman fishes. It is at once an act of humility and a small rebellion; and it is something more. To him his fishing is an island of reality in a world of dream and shadow." - Robert Traver


Keith Lockwood has been writing the Fishing Report since 2003 and has had a long career as a fisheries research biologist since 1973. Over the course of his career he has studied estuarine fishery populations, ocean species, and over a decade long study of bioaccumulation of chemicals in aquatic species in New Jersey. Upon moving to Oxford on the eastern shore of Maryland; research endeavors focused on a variety of catch and release studies as well as other fisheries related research at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory. Education and outreach to the fishing public has always been an important component to the mission of these studies. Keith is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting, fishing, bird dogs, family and life on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Latest Angler's Log Reports

Jacob Holtz
Recreational Angler
Silver Spring
Total Reports:
Sent in on: July 23, 2014 Permalink

Weekend Report

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Patapsco River, Northwest Branch and Susquehanna State Park
Tags: Smallmouth Bass, Pumpkinseed, Chub, Fallfish

I got to spend some time in and on the water this past weekend and thought I'd send an update. On Saturday, I fished the Patapsco with my wife Beata, who caught her biggest fish to date (10" smallmouth), which was also the biggest fish of the day. Also caught a number of pumpkinseeds, chubs, and fallfish. Later that evening while waiting on friends I fished the Northwest Branch in Montgomery County. I caught more pumpkinseeds than I could count, none more than 6", but all an absolute joy to catch in a tiny urban stream. Then on Sunday we made a short visit to the Susquehanna State Park and fished along the bank for about half an hour. Unfortunately it was right as the water levels started rising due to afternoon energy production at the dam, but before we got flooded out we connected on another nice smallie and a fairly hefty sunfish. All of the fish over the course of the weekend were caught on small in-line spinners.

We also collected some raspberries along the way to the fishing spots - just another great reason to get out!


Dave Zajano
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
Sent in on: July 23, 2014 Permalink

Memorial Stadium Reef and Mr. Whiskers

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Upper Bay
Location: Memorial Stadium Reef
Tags: White Perch, Channel Catfish, MARI Survey

I am very happy to report that the White Perch have finally arrived on the upper bay reefs. Their arrival this year is more than one month later than the preceding two years. On Monday July 21 Dr. Ken Lewis and I went out to fish Memorial Stadium reef and Man-O-War shoal with high hopes of finally getting some decent numbers to report for the MARI reef survey. We were not disappointed. Most of the White Perch were small, but we did get about a half dozen in the 9.5 to 11.5" range.

While fishing the Memorial Stadium site the drag on Ken's ultra light reel suddenly screamed and line on the spool disappeared toward the horizon. I fired up the engine and the chase was on. Clearly this fish was more than a match for the light rigging as he took line at will. After 15 minutes the fish finally began to tire and for the first time we were actually able to put line back on the reel by pulling it in as opposed to chasing him. When Ken finally brought him to the net we were rewarded with a 28" channel cat that nudged 10 pounds on the digital hand held scale.

Great weather + some delicious white perch + a big cat + two angler reports for the MARI reef survey = a great day on the bay.


Skylar Hepner
Youth Angler
Total Reports:
Sent in on: July 23, 2014 Permalink

No Fish Just Ponies at Assateague

Type: Ocean
Region: Eastern
Location: Assateague Island, MD
Tags: Catfish, White Perch, Striped Bass

Last week my mom and dad took me to Assateague Island State Park to fish, see the ponies, and to do the Park Quest. We didn't catch any fish but we did see a couple of ponies.

I also visited my mom and dad's friends Bob and Sandy. Bob took us fishing at Crosswicks Creek in his boat. I caught a lot of fish (catfish, white perch, and one small rockfish). I released everything that I caught. I had a great day at both the places that I went to.