Maryland Weekly Fishing Report Overview | June 06, 2012

Most everyone has been enjoying the cool weather that has recently moved in; warmer weather is on the way for the weekend and this is just such a great time to spend in the outdoors fishing with family and friends; not too hot but just right. There are plenty of kid's fishing derbies and such going on this time of the year and they present a wonderful opportunity to take kids fishing in a fun setting. If they don't already have a fishing outfit; let them pick out their own favorite theme related outfit; it tends to make it more personable for them and often these small closed face spinning outfits are just fine for bluegills. Keep an eye in your local newspaper for fishing derbies near you that are usually put on by service organizations. The link below provides a partial list and also be sure to check out the youth fishing website so your youngster can join and get a free patch.

Fishermen who enjoy fishing at the base of the Conowingo Dam were happy to see June 1st arrive since now they can keep some of the fine striped bass they are catching. Casting swim shads and crankbaits has been a favorite tactic and if your bait gets close enough to the bottom there are big flathead catfish also looking for a meal. Farther down the Susquehanna some striped bass are being caught but the excellent white perch fishing tends to dominate the scene.

Fishing for striped bass in the upper bay has been a trying affair for many fishermen lately with low dissolved oxygen levels lingering near the bottom in some areas due to algae bloom die offs in some of the major tributaries. Some fishermen have been having luck finding fish suspended in a zone above the poor oxygen levels and deep enough to stay cool. White perch and channel catfish can be found in many areas where good water flows occur such as around Hart-Miller Island and the mouth of the Magothy and Chester Rivers.

In the middle bay region fishermen are finding suspended striped bass near steep points such as Thomas Point and traditional locations like Hackett's Bar and the western edge of the shipping channel. Many fishermen are jigging with soft plastics and others are trolling or chumming. Water temperatures in the mid bay area are running around 73-degrees on the surface and salinities up to 10 p.p.t.

The shallow water fishery for striped bass is in full swing and fishermen who can get up early enough; which can be tough as sunrise is 5:40am, there is good fishing with topwater or swim shad lures. Wind of course has been a real hindrance since the cold front moved in and fishermen have found it hard to get out on the open waters of the larger tidal rivers or the bay. White perch can fill in the gap when turned back by whitecaps; so bring a smaller outfit and some beetle spin type lures, spinners or small swim shads and cast along likely looking leeward shorelines and take home some tasty white perch. This fisherman makes the most of an early sunrise while catching white perch at the mouth of Island Creek.

Photo Courtesy of Keith Lockwood

In the southern region of Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake fishermen are finding excellent fishing for a mix of bottom fish such as croakers, white perch, spot and kingfish in the Tangier Sound area and a mix of striped bass, small bluefish and speckled trout along channel edges and shallows. The best catches of large croakers are occurring in the evening hours at shoal and channel edges. Croakers and spot are moving up most of the regions tidal river such as the Potomac and Patuxent and with the availability of spot, fishermen are beginning to live line spot near the Gas Docks with good success.

Recreational crabbers are enjoying good crabbing in most of the tidal rivers south of Kent Island. Many crabbers are reporting large crabs and being able to catch a bushel per outing. The tidal creeks on the eastern side of the bay are being reported to be particularly good.

Freshwater fishermen in the western region of the state are enjoying good water flows in most of the trout management waters and wonderful fly fishing opportunities. Walleye and smallmouth bass are entertaining fishermen at Deep Creek Lake along drop off edges and largemouth bass are holding outside of the cove areas near any kind of structure or grass.

Largemouth bass fishermen are finding bass holding near grass and structure such as fallen tree tops and rocks. The large fish seem to be holding along channel edges and drop offs in deeper and cooler water. In some lakes that have been hit by heavy thunderstorms stained water can be an issue this week and the tidal rivers have been running high.

Bluegills and other freshwater fish commonly called panfish can provide a lot of fun fishing this time of the year. Bluegills are either actively spawning or just finished in many areas of the state and can be caught in a variety of ways. Perhaps one of the simplest ways is a bobber and bait such as crickets or worms. Another method is to use a light weight fly rod and cast rubber-legged spiders and small poppers near the shallows.

Photo Courtesy of Terri Belasco

Ocean City fishermen report that the spring run of large striped bass along the beaches is starting to fall off. A few big fish are still being caught but inshore sharks such as sandbar, dusky, and sand tigers have become more common and are providing plenty of catch and release action. There are some smaller fish to be caught such as small bluefish, medium-sized black drum and a blowfish or flounder now and then.

In and around the inlet fishermen are catching small bluefish and sub-legal striped bass and reporting fun catch and release action with hickory shad in the evenings. Flounder fishing inside the inlet and back bay areas has been good when water clarity conditions are favorable.

Outside the inlet sea bass fishing on the wreck sites has been good and there is a lot of action but also a lot of throwbacks. Some captains report a better grade of sea bass and an occasional cod in deeper waters. The yellowfin tuna bite has turned on along the west wall of the Baltimore and Poorman's Canyons with some boats reporting double digit catches of good sized tuna. There is also a mix of dolphin, wahoo and a few white marlins in the mix. Mako sharks, threshers and blue sharks are also being caught along the 30-fathom curve at traditional locations such as the Hambone, Hot Dog and Sausages.

"Fish in the water are always larger than fish out of the water." Randy Voorhees


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.