Friday, May 31, 2013

Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | May 29, 2013


By: Keith Lockwood

Fishermen have been enjoying excellent fishing for White Perch in the lower Susquehanna River this week by casting shad darts and have been also catching striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats area. After June 1st they will be able to fish for Striped Bass in the entire Susquehanna up to the Conowingo Dam; swim shads, crankbaits and bucktails dressed with a soft plastic tail will be cast in the channels and deeper pools. There have been plenty of Striped Bass in the region so fishermen should have a great weekend. Fishing for channel catfish continues to be very good in the Susquehanna and Elk Rivers. Flathead Catfish have taken up residence in the lower Susquehanna River and particularly at the Conowingo Dam pool. They are considered an invasive species in Maryland but like the notorious snakehead, are one of the tastiest invasive species you'd ever want to meet. Jason Michalski and friends were doing their best to remove some flathead catfish at the Conowingo Dam pool and one would think by this picture they had a great time and some sore arms.

Photo Courtesy of Jason Michalski

In the upper bay region above the Bay Bridge, trolling for Striped Bass is being reported as a slow pick along channel edges. Most fishermen are trolling medium sized bucktails, spoons and swim shads in tandem or behind umbrella rigs. Other fishermen are jigging when they can find fish suspended along deep edges and structure or casting to shallow structure during the early morning and evening hours and catching fish. Chumming and chunking at traditional locations such as Swan, Love and Podickory Points is productive and may be the most productive option for fishermen in the upper bay this week.
Water temperatures in the middle and lower bay regions are holding around 65-degrees on the surface and the expected hot weather in the forecast will continue to drive those temperatures upward. Spot have arrived with the warmer water and fishermen report this week having little trouble catching plenty of spot in lower sections of most tidal rivers for bait. Live lining spot has begun in earnest at traditional locations such as the Hill, Thomas Point, Hackett's, Clay Banks, Cove Point and Buoy 72 to name a few. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for a nice grade of Striped Bass whether they are trolling, light tackle jigging or live lining spot. Striped Bass are being reported throughout the middle and lower bay regions and often are being seen on top chasing bait. Fishing for Striped Bass in the lower Potomac River is being reported as excellent this week.
Black Drum are being found at the Sharps Island and James Island Flats this week and fishermen have been catching and releasing some big ones lately. Most fishermen are using whole or half soft crab baits and dropping on the fish when they are spotted on depth finders. Black Drum have large air bladders and give quite a distinctive image on depth finders and if all is quiet and they are passing underneath they can be heard making a growling rumble sound with their grinding plates in the throat. Cow-nosed rays have arrived in our portion of the bay much to the consternation of anyone who drops a bait to the bottom or is unlucky enough to snag one while trolling.
Warmer temperatures in the bay have urged croakers and spot to move up the bay and into the lower sections of tidal rivers and creeks as far as the Bay Bridge this week. Fishermen are reporting good fishing for croakers in channel areas on a variety of baits including bloodworms, shrimp, squid and peeler crab. In many areas White Perch and channel catfish will also be part of the mix when fishing in tidal rivers.
Shore based fishermen are enjoying good prospects for catching a variety of fish from shore this week such as Striped Bass, White Perch and Croaker. Traditional fishing locations such as public fishing piers and beaches are always popular but for the more adventurous there are excellent areas to fish from shore in lesser known areas such as the eastern and western shores of the lower bay. The eastern shore areas near Hooper's Island and south to Crisfield have many places to fish but it will take some planning. Check out Google Maps or the county ADC maps in printed form to follow roads out to prominent points, bridges and landings and plan a road trip to explore these lesser known areas. Daryl Jones was fishing from the shores of the lower Manokin River when he caught this whopping 7lb speckled sea trout.

Photo Courtesy of Daryl Jones

Shallow water light tackle fishermen are enjoying good fishing opportunities from the upper most areas of the upper bay south to the Virginia line. Casting swim shads. jerkbaits, surface poppers or even fly fishing with skipping bugs or Clousers is a wonderful experience and also often very productive. Fishermen in the lower bay region have also been catching some impressive sized Speckled Trout and puppy drum along with Striped Bass this week. This time of the year water temperatures allow this fishery to start earlier in the evening and last longer in the morning.
Recreational crabbers have begun to sort out their gear and start exploring old haunts for a few crabs. If getting out on the water and perhaps catching a few crabs in the process is your goal then you will not be disappointed. If you've promised the folks back home a crab feast then you might reconsider. Recreational crabbers are catching a few crabs but many are either light or too small but most report being able to bring home a dozen or so crabs in an outing.
Freshwater fishermen continue to enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities in various regions of the state. The trout management waters are offering good fishing for trout whether one is fishing in a put and take area or catch and release; water flows are good and cool. Deep Creek Lake presently is offering good fishing for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegills, Yellow Perch and Walleyes. Don Cosden spent a fishing vacation at Deep Creek Lake recently and holds one of the Smallmouth Bass he caught there.

Photo Courtesy of Don Cosden

John Mullican reports that he fished the upper Potomac River this past weekend and expects excellent possibilities this week. It was a beautiful weekend and many fishermen took advantage of the nice weather to enjoy the local waterways. Many people were out on the upper Potomac River and I heard favorable reports from nearly everyone I talked to. Smallmouth Bass and channel catfish have been very active. Just about any lure will catch a few bass right now, but spinnerbaits and tubes have excelled. Most bass have been running from 10" to 14", but several fishermen reported catching some much larger.
Warmer water temperatures in many of the states freshwater areas have post - spawn largemouth bass in a very active feeding behavior. These fish are hungry after standing guard over their nests and can be found in the shallows and areas outside of the spawning beds. There are of course some largemouth bass that are still spawning but a majority of them have finished in the central, southern and eastern areas of the state. Fishermen are reporting that grass, spatterdock fields and submerged fallen tree tops are all good places to cast a variety of lures. Spinnerbaits, surface lures, soft plastics and small shallow running crankbaits are all good choices.
Bluegills are still spawning in many lakes and ponds and offer some fun fishing on light tackle whether fishing bait or small surface lures. Chain Pickerel continue to offer fun opportunities in many areas as do channel catfish this week. In the tidal Potomac and adjoining creeks fishermen are reporting excellent fishing for Largemouth Bass and snakeheads are often crashing lures in the shallow areas.
Ocean City fishermen are looking forward to more favorable weather forecasts this week, especially when it comes to wind. Surf fishermen are seeing water temperatures in the upper 50's this week and more varieties of fish moving into the region. Large Striped Bass has been the number one target of surf casters this week as these fish move through the region on their way to New England waters. Large menhaden or clam baits are attracting some nice catches of Striped Bass, a few large Bluefish and also the attention of Cow-Nosed Rays, dogfish and Black Tip Sharks. Surf rigs with smaller offerings have been catching a mix of blowfish, Kingfish, small Bluefish and the occasional Black Drum.
In and around the Ocean City Inlet fishermen have been treated to some wonderful fishing for large Striped Bass in the past week. Fishermen are reporting that sometimes the action is best at dawn and other times at night. Casting swim shads has been the first choice of most fishermen but drifting live eels or spot are always a good bet. Large and small Bluefish are also being caught in the inlet and blowfish, flounder and Tautog are also part of the mix. Joe Gillespie holds up a nice pair of flounder he caught at the Route 50 Bridge recently.

Photo Courtesy of Joe Gillespie

In the back bay areas fishermen have been experiencing good fishing for flounder in the channels and adjoining edges. Large baits are a good way to target doormat sized flounder and as more live spot become available drifting a live spot is a sure bet. Sinepuxent Bay in front of the airport, the east channel and Thorofare have all been very popular this week when fishing for flounder. Small Bluefish, blowfish, sea trout and Black Drum are also part of the bottom fishing mix in the back bay areas.
When calmer seas permit fishermen have been finding good fishing for Sea Bass and Tautog on the artificial reef sites and wreck sites. Farther offshore Thresher and Mako Sharks are beginning to be caught and some small Yellowfin Tuna were reported at the Baltimore Canyon.


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