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Posted on May 8, 2014 | Permalink

Gunpowder Shad

Type: Freshwater
Region: Central
Location: Gunpowder River

My mother and my two sons went on a hike along the Gunpowder River off Route 1 this past Sunday 5/4/14. The water was still raging from the last rain. I was able to show my boys that even on the path the water mark on the trees was over our head! We made it down river to the boulders and saw hundreds of these fish attempting to make it up the falls. It was really cool to show my 5 and 6 year old sons this event. I was able to pick one up with my hands and get this picture before returning it to the water. Of course, my son's thought this was the neatest thing so they wanted to try. They were determined and ended up catching a few. My mother caught the one on the second picture. As you can see in the background the water was raging. A lot of the fish had bad cuts and bruised sides from there failed attempts to make it up the falls and tumbling back down the rocky edge.

DNR, 1) what type of fish is this? I have heard herring and shad but I can not make them out. 2) Will these fish make it or is their run a set time making the liklyhood of their success limited given the pounding water? 3) What was the sewage spill sign at the start of the trail? I noticed it but of course forgot about it when I saw the fish. We all took good baths but could not find anything on the website off the sign.

DNR Response: The fish is a Gizzard Shad. Loch Raven Reservoir has Gizzard Shad and they are also present in most of the tidal Gunpowder. I am not sure they could run upstream of Rt. 7 from the tidal river since there are some pretty serious rapids there so I suspect they may have washed out of Loch Raven from upstream. Gizzard Shad are somewhat fragile and if they are cut and bruised I would not think they will live too long. Also we gave not heard anything about a spill this year. Last year there was a sewage spill up near Harford Rd.

Tags: Gizzard Shad

Posted on July 5, 2013 | Permalink

A Good Fight on The Flats

Type: Tidal
Region: North Eastern
Location: Susquehanna Flats

My uncle and I went out 5:30 AM Thrusday 7/4/13 to try to pull in some rockfish. The southeast wind was strong below sandy point so we made a couple drifts over a good spot and then decided to move north and try to get out of the wind. We ended up on a point in on the west side of the Susq. Flats where my uncle was able to land this huge largemouth. It was a good fight with the fish jumping once, making a run for it and my uncle having to adjust the drag (gotta love when that happens). Once he got him to the boat it was not over with the fish running back and forth around the stern and my uncle trying to keep him from getting hung up in the prop. We are to cheap for a scale to weigh but it was 22 inches long and 12 inches in girth. Fish was returned, tired, but saftley.

Tags: Largemouth Bass

Posted on June 11, 2013 | Permalink

Late Spawning Rockfish

Type: Tidal
Region: North Eastern
Location: Susquehanna River

I fished the Susquehanna Flats on May 17 and caught some nice largemouth but was looking for rockfish. I ended up the Susquehanna River and landed two nice keepers. Yesterday I went out with my uncle and besides hitting him in the head with a lure on a bad cast it was a good day. I landed these two fat rockfish 22 and 20 inch. My uncle and I had some other fish including catfish, largemouth, perch, and small rock. All of my fish were caught on a 3/4 oz rattletrap, chrome sided with black top. Quick retrieve. Of the 4 keepers I have had so far I was pleased to see none had any roe except for the last one I caught. I was then surprised that the roe was green. Is this the normal color? In the past I thought it was always yellow. Also, what is the plan for the Fishing Battery sand?

DNR Response: In the late winter, early spring, the ovaries will be thinner, and golden brown, with obvious blood vessels surrounding the outside of the ovaries. In more mature females, especially during the spawning season, you can actually see the eggs within the ovaries. Ovaries of mature females in early pre-spawn phase will be orange in color with the obvious blood vessels running on the surface of the ovaries. Testes and ovaries of both males and females are quite a bit larger during the actual spawning period, and will be quite noticeable when looking inside the body cavity of dead fish.

Just prior to spawning, ovaries in females will be swollen, filling up a large portion of the body cavity and turning an olive-green in color. The blood vessels will remain visible. After the spawn, ovaries will shrink back to the smaller size.

The female you caught was normal and had normal colored ovaries. It was just a late spawner.

Tags: Striped Bass, Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Perch

Posted on September 25, 2012 | Permalink

Fishing Report from North Eastern MD

Type: Tidal
Region: North Eastern
Location: Kingsville Pond, Carpenters Point, Susquehanna Flats

This past weekend (9/22/12) I fished a small pond near Kingsville. I had my 5 year old son with me. On my first cast to check that the sinker and bobber were set up OK for him this little fish hit the bait before the sinker hit the bottom. It was really cool but my son thought this was going to be how fishing worked at this pond. Consequently after five minutes of no bites he proclaimed "I'm done fishing!" It is hard to explain luck to a 5 year old. I do not do a lot of pond fishing and assuming this is some type of sunfish?

The two rockfish were caught by my uncle on 9/24/12. Both were 18 inches and he limited out by 8:30 AM. He stated he was off the west side of Carpenters Point in the grass bed. He was using a rattle trap. On 9/25/12 he caught a 19 inch and a few smalls. I will be out with him this weekend to try my luck.

The three pictures of the needlefish were caught around the beginning of this month. We were drifting across the grass beds on the Susquehanna Flats and my uncle was using a surface lure when it hit. Very cool fish! It was the same day I ran the boat into a rock off of Sandy Point. The new lower unit was $1900.00 for what I am going to call a "nick" in the cone. Lesson learned. I was "done fishing" that day.

Tags: needlefish, striped bass, hybrid sunfish

Posted on July 10, 2012 | Permalink

What is this fish? A Stargazer.

Type: Ocean
Region: Eastern
Location: Bayside at Ocean City

While fishing with my friend captain Matt on HAPPY OURS and his father-in-law this past Sunday I caught this fish. It hit on a spot and at first I thought I was snagged. We were drifting and I thought it might be a fish when the drag starting going faster then the drift. Wonderful feeling! I have no clue what it is? We were bayside at Ocean City. It was a great day of fishing and while no keepers we landed some flounder, different types of crabs, some spot we ended up live lining, some small fish that may have been ocean perch.

DNR Response: It is a stargazer. The fish is unique. It is called a stargazer because its eyes are on top of its head and look skyward. It supposedly has electrical capabilities and can shock you if you put your hand right between its eyes, although I have never witnessed this first hand. They are common In the bay and near shore waters.

Tags: flounder, crab, spot, ocean perch, stargazer

Posted on November 10, 2011 | Permalink

Susquehanna Flats

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Northern
Location: Susquehanna Flats Area

My uncle tried his luck near Carpenter's Point early last week and described the water as "fishing in chocolate milk." I put in around 7:00 AM last Thursday 11/3/11, while my uncle stayed behind. I saw a bunch of boats off Red Point but headed down to Rocky Point. There were working birds off Rodney and a boat fishing them, at Rocky Point there were more working birds and I caught these two nice fat Rockfish within 90 minutes. I also had other hits which shook off, as well as a smallie. I finally realized they were shaking off because I was using a lure I had bent the barbs down on in the summer when I was catching smalls and did not want to mess them up, that's what I get for not checking my tackle. The two keepers were caught on a 1/2 inch rattle trap with a black top and chrome sides. The water at Rockey Point was not clear (about 6 inch view) but after hitting my limit earlier than I anticipated I drove around the flats. It looks terrible, I would estimate that 80 to 90% of the grass is completely gone. There are still some pockets but they are covered in silt. Has DNR taken a look at this damage? I was told by some that they thought the storm pushed out some of the silt yet other think more was dumped in. I was reading 6 feet on my depth finder in areas that were normally 4 but I figured the absence of the grass I am usually getting my reading over may account for the difference?

Moving on, when I returned and showed my uncle my catch he asked if I was going out Friday morning. He did not have to twist my arm. We left early Friday 11/4/11 and again saw boats off of Red Point. We headed to Rocky Point and I caught two more keepers. The armada that was off Red Point on Friday appeared to move towards Rodney and Rocky Point and appeared to be jigging deeper water in the channel. I caught all my fish off the same rattle trap. One in less than 4 feet of water close to shore.

The Rockfish are definitely biting and fat. I hope the storm's destruction of the grasses is only temporary. Oh, and a word to other fishermen. When you see working birds and a boat working the outside of where the birds are feeding, this is on purpose! Please don't run full throttle into the area the birds are working and start fishing. Not only do you look like a novice fisherman but you mess up the fishing for those trying to actually catch fish!

Tags: Striped Bass, Smallmouth Bass

Posted on October 20, 2011 | Permalink

Trolling Success

Type: Chesapeake
Region: North Central
Location: Mouth of Patapsco River

While I normally fish the Susquehanna flats with my uncle, I was invited to fish with my friends Greg and Matt Ferenschak on Wednesday evening - 10/19/11. While we have all fished together before, we have not had much success, this all changed last night. Matt and Greg had been experimenting with trolling and I was there to learn. Using a lead head with a sassy shad and a husky jerk as well as rattle traps, we started off trolling 4 then 6 lines, but with no luck. We then moved around the Key Bridge and had two rock strike at the same time. Greg was able to reel in a 22 inch while Matt brought in a nice 19 inch. A while passed and I was able to bring in a 24 inch. We had a few smalls as well. You could not have asked for a nicer evening on the water and each of us catching a keeper was icing on the cake.

Tags: Striped Bass

Posted on June 14, 2011 | Permalink

Susquehanna Largemouth

Type: Tidal
Region: Northern
Location: Susquehanna Flatts

I went out Thursday 6/9/11 around 4:00pm to the bridges at the mouth of the Susquehanna River with a friend Matt and used cut bait, bloodworm's, and a few live eels but only ended up with a catfish and being chased off the water by the storm that hit around 7:45pm. The water tempurature was 84 at Red Point and dropped to 79 in the Susquehanna River. When I went back out Saturday 6/12/11 at 7:00am with my uncle Parke John Jr. and brother-in-law Tim Falcioni we tried drifting the east edge of the flats off of Camp Rodney and also off Carpenters Point. I caught this largemouth bass as well as another catfish and my uncle caught 2 catfish (one on his first or second cast) and largemouth bass as well. We were using crank baits. The water is clearing up but still has a way to go. My uncle and I have caught a few very, very small rock fish during this open season. Hopefully our luck will pick up.

Tags: Largemouth Bass

Posted on November 15, 2010 | Permalink

27 inch 8 lb rock fish on a 3/4 oz rattle trap

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Northern
Location: Susquehanna Flats

Went out Saturday morning with my uncle, Parke John. We fished the east side of the flats drifting from Rodney, south along the grass bed. The tide was high so we were able to move in west over some of the bottom grass and still keep the lures from getting caught on grass. I caught this 27 inch 8 lb rock fish on a 3/4 oz rattle trap, chrome with blue top, quick retrieve. My uncle had a nice 19 inch. Both fish very fat. After cleaning mine it cut open the stomach and there were already two fish inside the size of my 3/4 oz lure. How much does a rock fish eat this time of year?

Also, at one point we moved over the center of the flats since the tide was high. The water was as clear as out of the tap. You could see 8 feet down to the bottom which was of course covered with beautiful different types of grasses and some open spaces. It was nice to see the bay looking so good and hope it continues to improve.

Tags: Striped Bass, Rat'L trap, Susquehanna Flatts

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