Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | May 23, 2012

The upcoming weekend will be an extended one for many families as folks get together to not only honor those who have sacrificed so much that we may enjoy the freedoms we have but to also get together for family outings such as fishing. The Ocean City area is hopping with all kinds of fishing opportunities, freshwater fishing for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, trout and bluegills is very good and striped bass, croakers and white perch will aim to please bay fisherpersons this weekend. Pack up the kids and give that local pond a try or fish the bay or ocean and enjoy some time together.

Thursday May 24th fisheries biologists will be out tagging the first group of striped bass for the 2012 Diamond Jim Fishing Tournament. Young anglers will be doing the catching throughout the bay and biologists will be tagging the fish with lime green colored tags. This first round of Diamond Jim fish will be eligible starting June 1st until June 30th and can be worth up to $25,000 if a lucky angler catches Diamond Jim. To find out more about Diamond Jim and the Maryland Fishing Challenge check out the following link.

Fishermen are finding some striped bass action in the Susquehanna Flats area channels and the lower Susquehanna River up to the boundary line at the Susquehanna State Park boat ramp and enjoying the fact that they can keep a fish. Crankbaits, soft plastic jigs and swim baits worked close to the bottom have been a favorite choice. There is excellent fishing for white perch in the lower Susquehanna and most fishermen are using small jigs with good success. Channel catfish are abundant and some fishermen have been specializing in catching large flathead catfish in the dam hole on large gizzard shad baits and large swim shad lures.

Fishermen farther down the bay are describing fishing for striped bass as a slow pick for those under 28" in length with a large one thrown in now and then. Fishing for striped bass seems to be in a transition at the moment; some fishermen are putting the blame on May worm spawns, others mention mahogany tides and others talk about bait. At this stage only the striped bass have the answer and it will take every trick in each fisherman's bag of tricks to cut down the odds in their favor. Many fishermen are trolling with 6" swim shads in tandem or umbrella rigs along channel edges or any good looking bottom structure. Chumming and chunking for striped bass is beginning to become more productive this week as many boats begin to make the switch. Light tackle fishermen have been checking out all their favorite locations such as sharp channel edges, the Bay Bridge piers, points and coveted ballast stone pile locations to jig for suspended fish. Many savvy fishermen or just lucky fishermen through trial and error are finding cooperating fish throughout the bay this week. Angelina Watts was light tackle jigging with her dad when she caught this nice 30" fish.

Photo Courtesy of Richard Watts

Water temperatures in the middle bay region this week have crept over the 70-degree mark this week so many of our summer migrants should feel right at home. Fishermen have been catching croakers in the southern region of the bay in the shallower areas in the evenings and deeper waters during the day. The fishing for croakers in the lower Potomac has been good this week with white perch mixed in and lots of blue catfish in the 4lb to 6lb size range. Croaker fishing in the lower Patuxent and the Hooper's Island/Tangier Sound area has been steadily improving. Shore line fishermen have also been catching croakers from prominent points in the Somerset County area and around the mouth of the Patuxent. Croakers have been a bit of a mystery this year so far; especially those coveted 19" croakers; once again despite all kinds of theories only the croakers know what is going on. One very bright spot for fishermen in the Tangier Sound area continues to be the speckled trout fishing. Black drum are starting to show up at traditional locations and the soft crab dunking crowd will surely begin to scan the depths of shoal areas this weekend looking for those heavy blips on their depth finders that often resemble the sonar signature of a submarine.

Freshwater fishermen are enjoying the aggressive nature of post-spawn largemouth bass over a wide area of Maryland this week. Many fishermen are reporting that the fishing hardly gets any better than this time period when bass are off the nests and looking for something to eat. Fishermen are targeting grass and spatterdock fields with chatterbaits and similar topwater lures as well as plastic craws. Soft plastics, spinnerbaits and crankbaits are good choices for docks, and any kind of submerged structure such as tree tops and sunken wood or rocks.

Deep Creek Lake fishermen report good fishing for medium sized smallmouth bass and walleyes on crankbaits and minnows this week. Trout fishermen in the western and central regions are enjoying good fishing opportunities for trout in all of the management areas. Flows in some of the creeks have been elevated due to recent rains but should return to good levels by the end of the week. Diane Turner caught and released this beautiful tiger trout at the mouth of Rocky Marsh Run as it flows into the Potomac River at Dam #4. Tiger trout are a cross between a brook and brown trout.

Photo Courtesy of Diane Turner

Fishermen in the Ocean City area have a lot to look forward to this week; especially if you like to fish along the beaches. The striped bass migration of large fish is moving through the area and fishermen are making some memorable catches. Most fishermen are using stout surf gear and cut menhaden baits, sand fleas or clams on bottom rigs with good success. This wonderful fishing opportunity will not last much longer, so be sure to not miss it. Fishermen are also catching a few black drum in the surf, sandbar and sand tiger sharks (which must be released) and of course skates and dogfish. A few small bluefish and blowfish are also being caught when fishermen switch up to smaller rigs and offerings.

Inside and around the inlet tautog are being caught off bulkheads and the south jetty. Small bluefish keep moving in and out of the inlet and are being caught on Got-Cha plugs and spoons. A few striped bass are being caught each night on swim shads and bucktails. Flounder are being caught around the inlet and back bay areas when water conditions are favorable.

The party boats headed to the wreck sites are finding plenty of sea bass for their fishermen along with tautog and a few flounder. The federal sea bass season for areas beyond 3-miles is now open also. Boats heading out to the canyons are finding some yellowfin tuna and mako sharks.

"Show me a fisherman and nine times out of ten you'll show me a pretty good fellow. We're all a little nutty maybe, but we're harmless. Anglers are the neighborly kind of people I like to be with." R.V. Gaddis (Gadabout Gaddis) The Flying Fisherman


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

Don Cosden
Fisheries Biologist
Total Reports:
Sent in on: October 30, 2014 Permalink

Dodging the Wind

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Mid Bay
Location: Edge of Shipping Channel
Tags: striped bass, perch

Fishing for me lately has largely meant dodging the wind. Several trips in October were spent in West and Rhode River catching perch and an occasional striper on a lee shore. On Sat. (25th) the forecast looked good so we ventured out in search of breaking fish to cast to. Unfortunately the forecast was a little inaccurate. 15 knots can whip up some mighty rough and wet conditions in a small skiff so we stayed in shallow. After several hours we had only one small rockfish. Finally the wind subsided a little we started to search the edges of the shipping channel. Plenty of fish on the depth sounder and birds searching but nothing on top so I started to jig a ½ oz silver buddy at the 30’ contour. I was just about to give it up and Wham! Something grabbed my bait and took off. This fish made several long runs that were so fast I thought I was on to a big bluefish or maybe even a cobia. My wife finally got the net on it and we snapped and quick picture and released it. This fish looked like a prime spawner and we prefer to eat the smaller ones anyway. I later heard that fish were breaking everywhere early Sunday morning.


Brenner Bookhamer
Youth Angler
Baltimore, MD
Total Reports:
Sent in on: October 30, 2014 Permalink

Only One to Catch a Fish

Type: Chesapeake
Region: upper Bay
Location: Mouth of Patapsco River
Tags: striped bass

I went fishing with my mommy and daddy and was the only one to catch a fish! It was really exciting and I had a lot of fun! I caught this 19" rockfish at the mouth of Patapsco River trolling on 10/27/14.


Connor Shank
Youth Angler
Damascus, MD
Total Reports:
Sent in on: October 30, 2014 Permalink

First Cast Was All it Took

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Upper Bay
Location: Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Tags: striped bass

My dad and I went out on the bay and on my fist cast I caught this 26" striper. That was the one and only catch of the day!