Maryland Fishing Report: Freshwater Fishing

from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources

The special trout management waters in western Maryland are offering some challenging but exciting fishing this week. Most of these areas have excellent populations of trout because they are catch-and-release only and many are restricted to artificial flies and fly-casting tackle. Flows are down, which is typical for the summer months, but stealthy approaches and light tippets can put the odds in your favor.

Angler Bryson Meyers was fishing the North Branch of the Potomac recently for trout when he caught a new state record fallfish that weighed 3.01 pounds.

Snakehead fish.
photo courtesy of Bryce Schmitt

The upper Potomac River is also experiencing low summer flows, and this can make boating difficult. The low water conditions open opportunities for wading and casting to pools and eddies where smallmouth bass may be holding. In the early morning, poppers are a fun way to fish and as the day wears on, casting tubes, small crankbaits and swimbaits can work well.

Largemouth bass is always a popular target species for freshwater anglers during the summer. Anglers who are out during the early morning and late evening can be treated to shallow water topwater action near grass beds and the mouths of small feeder creeks. Frogs, buzzbaits, and poppers are great lures to use and in tidal waters northern snakeheads can be found in thick grass.

Later in the morning, casting spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and crankbaits along the edges of grass beds and deeper waters anglers can find largemouth bass in transition zones between the shallows and deeper waters. As the day wears on, largemouth bass will seek cool shade in deeper waters, under thick grass mats, or under overhanging brush, fallen treetops, and docks. Flipping wacky rigged plastics under these shaded areas or through floating grass mats can entice bass to pick up a bait.

Fishing for crappie can be a fun and relaxing way to fish with a simple minnow rig and slip bobber. One can cast near deep brush, fallen treetops, marina docks, bridge piers, and almost any kind of structure in water with some depth. Fishing for bluegills can offer some summertime fun, especially for kids with a worm and bobber rig. More experienced anglers can cast floating foam ants or small rubber-legged poppers with a light fly rod.