Friday, November 30, 2012

Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | November 28, 2012


By: Keith Lockwood

As each week gets progressively colder more and more fishermen are beginning to haul boats and fishing gear is starting to become buried in the garage. This fact really struck home when I was crossing the Bay Bridge at 7am on Monday morning and observed a couple acres of breaking fish and diving birds and not a boat to be seen. There is still plenty of good striped bass fishing to be had; especially for the large fall migrant fish. Coldwater species such as trout, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass are still active as are chain pickerel and channel catfish.
Fisherman in the upper reaches of the Chesapeake have been jigging close to the bottom along channel edges for striped bass and in the lower Susquehanna fishermen are also catch big largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye. Soft plastic jigs, grub jigs and blade lures can be very effective when worked slowly along channel edges. Matthew McShane shows off a beautiful 25", 6lb walleye he caught recently in the lower Susquehanna on a swimbait.

Photo courtesy of Matthew McShane
In the upper bay region and around the Bay Bridge piers, rock piles and steep channel edges fishermen are jigging deep for a mix of large white perch and striped bass. Surface water temperatures in most areas of the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake are running about 48-degrees on the surface and as warm as 65-degrees on the bottom. Deep is where most fishermen are finding the best fishing whether they are jigging or trolling. Those trolling are using inline weights to get down in the water column and using umbrella rigs with bucktails or swim shads as trailers. Fishermen are running medium sized lures and larger ones such as parachutes in their trolling spreads in the hope of coming across some of the large fall migrant striped bass that have moved up the bay. The large parachutes, bucktails and swim shads are often run in tandem. Mark Cullum was trolling a tandem rig when he caught this whopper of a striped bass that measured 50" and weighed 44lbs. near the Bay Bridge recently.

Photo courtesy of Mark Cullum
In the middle bay region much of the focus by fishermen has been on trolling along the edges of the shipping channel for large fall migrant striped bass. This is a good time of the year to be out of the wind and in a warm cabin and trolling is the most effective method for catching these large striped bass that are paying us a visit. Most everyone is trolling an array of medium sized offerings for striped bass less than 28" and of course the big stuff for the larger fish. Most fishermen are describing the success on large fish as a slow pick but most all would agree it only takes one of these large fish to make anyone's day.
Lower bay region fishermen are also focusing on trolling fro the large fall migrant striped bass and traditional locations along the western edge of the shipping channel as well as buoy 72 and the HS Buoy on the eastern side of the bay are producing some nice fish. There has also been some exciting action up the Potomac River near St. Clements Island and as far up as the Route 301 Bridge. The steep channel edges near St. Clements island are producing some large striped bass for those boats that are trolling and fishermen have been having good success for striped bass under 28" by trolling and jigging.
Freshwater fishermen are enjoying some good fishing opportunities in the western region of the state for a mix of species. Drew Miller sent in an angler's log on a Deep Creek Lake fishing trip where he caught a nice mix of bass and pike. Walleye are active in Deep Creek Lake and also the upper Potomac. John Mullican sent us this report from the upper Potomac. The upper Potomac is low and crystal clear with temperatures in the low 40s. Bass fishing has been tough while action for cool-water species like walleye and muskie has been better. With the low and clear conditions most fish are concentrated in deeper stretches of the river. Early, late, and cloudy days have been more productive.
Trout fishermen are still enjoying the rewards of the October trout stockings in many of the trout management waters. Alan Klotz forwarded some beautiful pictures of brook trout in their spawning colors from the Savage River Watershed. Be sure to check out Alan's November 26th entry to see the rest of the pictures.

Photo courtesy of Drew Miller
Fishermen are reporting that crappie are schooling up in deep water near bridge piers at reservoirs such as Liberty and tidal rivers like the Potomac. In the Potomac the crappie often like to school up around docks in Marinas and can be caught on small tubes, jigs and live minnows under a bobber.
Ocean City fishermen surf fishermen are still experiencing difficulties with beach structure when it comes to surf fishing. They are reporting catching puppy drum in the troughs close to shore and are picking away at striped bass in cuts through the outside bars. Fresh menhaden baits are a favorite choice for striped bass fishing and of course dogfish and skates love those baits also. Maryland's tautog season closed yesterday so unfortunately they will be off limits to recreational fishermen for a while. Perhaps the most exciting fishing at the moment in Ocean City is trolling for the large striped bass that are moving southward along our coast. Matt Lewis admires a nice striped bass he caught while fishing with his dad at Fenwick Shoals.

Photo courtesy of Matt Lewis
Most fishermen are trolling but jigging and drifting live eels can also be effective ways to catch these fish that are moving down the coast. Fishermen are also reporting encountering large bluefish that are also moving through the region.


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