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  1. Devin Angleberger, Youth Angler
  2. Frederick
  3. Total Reports: 36
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Posted on March 20, 2012 | Permalink

Devil's Backbone Park- 79 Degress in Mid-March

Type: Freshwater
Region: Western
Location: Antietam Creek

After hearing that the park is now open and fisherman have been fishing there daily, I gave it a go. The park doesn't officially reopen until the Parks and Rec announce it on the first weekend of May. Even though they have completed construction on the dam, they will be doing some landscaping work and possibly doing some work to maintenance road on the east side of the creek from the dam down to the pedestrian bridge. In this area there is a lot of erosion and there are a lot of holes. The parking lot is still closed so you can park at a number of locations…
1.) At one of the many pull offs along the road if you are approaching the park from Boonsboro.
2.) At the other park parking lot which is right beside of Mulendore's Auctions, this is above 1/4 mile upriver of the dam, just continue up Lappans Road to get there. Both of the places require a little walking. They have restored the creek bank on the west side of the creek right above the dam, so now if you park at the upper parking lot, you do not have to walk on the tight road, you can walk on the stream bank. Everything overall is very better and looks much better.

BUT... and it's a big but, the big Carp are not here. As you can tell by the photo, the water is very shallow and could not hold Carp (the big ones). I'm pretty sure they have migrated downstream because of the construction, but they will be back by Summer as they always are. The fish in the picture to the right is I think a small Common Carp, but the Suckers are harder to tell apart with the Carp when they are smaller.

The fishing right at the dam is I think a little overlooked right nojust because of the past construction, and not to mention most spots are really shallow except the areas where the water plunges down from the dam. On the east side of the creek there is a big pocket with a lot of slack water. The water plunges down from the dam then it goes around a big boulder that is sticking straight up from underwater and that is the pocket. It's around 6 feet deep and holds no fish because the spot is really revealing, but I discovered something pretty awesome. I have concluded this after months of watching the Carp here pre-construction and for a couple hours during fishing. I have concluded that fish come into this pocket to rest, you can't just throw your line in here and catch one, they are not there all the time. The Carp that I have seen here pre-construction did not stay here long, like 2 minutes at the most. Yeah, I know exactly what you are thinking, "I'm gonna go in there and catch Carp like crazy when all this construction stuff is finished and when they migrate back up here." The Carp that live here during the regular season can't be caught. Yep, I just said it, a fish that can't be caught.

Pre-construction there were trees and bushes and a big 10 foot fence on the east side of the creek at the section right below the dam. This prevented you from casting to this great pocket, but I did see 2 people fish it back in Spring. They somehow climbed the side of the wall and cast to 'em, nada (nothing). I have even waded (bad me-no wading allowed!) out and casted to them before and still nada. If you can catch one of these giants on 2lb test, you'll be the new holder for the Carp (Grass or Common) 2lb Test World Record, but I will beat that record in April when I travel to my Carp Hole (I was 3lbs away from beating that record last year, it was a three hour fight. My Mom just left and ate lunch while I was fighting him, she came back...I was still fighting him.)

Anyway, the fishing was great, I ended up with 1 puny Common Carp, 1 Rainbow Trout, 2 Redear Sunfish, and 1 Fallfish, all caught in that pocket. Like I said above, the fish do not hang out here because the spot is too revealing, but they will come in on occasion. That could be every minute or every hour, no one knows. I caught them all on Trout Magnet under a strike indicator. I did not use fluoro only because I forgot it, but I still ended up with some fish. a small size BB or B split shot about 4 inches above the Trout Magnet is necessary as there is a lot of current here. The magic depth was around 3 feet, (between the jig and the strike indicator). My website url is

Tags:  Common Carp, Rainbow Trout, Redear Sunfish, Fallfish