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Maryland Trout Season Opens to Anglers on March 25

The Southern Maryland Chronicle

As the signs of spring begin to appear across Maryland, anglers are preparing for a variety of fishing opportunities throughout the state. From trout season openings to striped bass pre-spawn runs and white perch spawning runs, Maryland offers something for every angler.

Trout Season Opens in Maryland

One of the most anticipated events for Maryland anglers is the opening day of trout season, which falls on Saturday, March 25 this year. The state’s Department of Natural Resources hatcheries have been working hard to ensure generous stockings of healthy trout in put-and-take management waters across the state.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Maryland has over 100 stocked trout streams, with many of them located within an hour’s drive of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. These waters are stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout, and anglers are allowed to keep up to five fish per day.

Maryland’s trout season typically runs from March through May, with some waters open for catch-and-release fishing throughout the year. To ensure a successful fishing trip, anglers should check the DNR’s trout stocking website for the latest information on stocking schedules, maps, and other trout fishing information.

Pre-Spawn Striped Bass in Susquehanna Flats

As spring arrives in Maryland, the state’s water temperatures are warming, making it a prime time for gamefish like striped bass to spawn. Anglers are expected to be out in full force, casting large crankbaits and soft plastics for pre-spawn striped bass in the Susquehanna Flats catch-and-release area.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, the Susquehanna Flats area offers some of the best striped bass fishing in the state. The area is a shallow-water spawning ground for striped bass, and anglers are required to use artificial lures only and practice catch-and-release fishing to protect the fish population.

Anglers should also be aware of the regulations for striped bass fishing in Maryland. The minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches, and anglers are limited to keeping two fish per day. In addition, the main part of the Chesapeake Bay is closed to striped bass fishing from April 1 to May 1 to protect the striped bass population during their spawning season.

White Perch Spawning Runs

Spring is also a prime time for white perch spawning runs in Maryland’s rivers and streams. Anglers are picking away at post-spawn yellow perch as these fish move downriver from their spawning areas. Lip-hooked minnows will be the best bait to use. The second run of white perch is occurring in spawning rivers, and the top half of the flood tide usually offers the best fishing for them.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, white perch are one of the most popular gamefish in Maryland, with the largest populations found in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. White perch are known for their hard fighting and delicious taste, and can be caught using a variety of baits and lures.

Anglers should be aware of the regulations for white perch fishing in Maryland. The minimum size for white perch is 9 inches, and anglers are limited to keeping 25 fish per day.

Catfish, Crappie, and Pickerel Fishing

Maryland’s rivers and streams also offer plenty of opportunities for catfish, crappie, and pickerel fishing. A mix of blue and channel catfish are entertaining anglers in the upper Bay and tidal rivers, while crappie are very active this week and can be found near structure in moderately deep waters. Using small marabou jigs or small minnows under a slip bobber is an excellent way to fish for them.

Freshwater Fishing

Moving on to freshwater fishing, Saturday, March 25, marked a significant day for put-and-take trout anglers all across Maryland. The state’s Department of Natural Resources opened waters that were previously closed to trout fishing at 5:30 a.m. for those who wanted to try their hand at trout fishing. The stocking crews had been working overtime to place healthy trout in these waters, ensuring that anglers would have an enjoyable experience.

Warming water temperatures have caused many freshwater species to become more active this first week of spring. At Deep Creek Lake and the upper Potomac River, smallmouth bass and walleye are entertaining anglers. Largemouth bass are becoming more aggressive in their feeding habits as they enter their pre-spawn bulk-up of body stores. They can often be found holding near structure in moderately deep waters – sunken wood, fallen treetops, rocks, bridge piers, emerging grass, and drop-offs are all good places to find them. Working wacky rigged or dropshot rigged soft plastics and stick worms is a good choice to entice a pickup. Casting grubs, crankbaits and jigs near structure is also a good choice. On sunny afternoons, the shallower waters are good places to cast spinnerbaits, soft plastics, jerkbaits, and lipless crankbaits.

Crappie are very active this week and can be found near structure in moderately deep waters. Using small marabou jigs or small minnows under a slip bobber is an excellent way to fish for them. Fallen treetops, marina docks, bridge piers, and most any kind of submerged structure are good places to look for them.

Chain pickerel are still very much in play for anglers casting paddletails and other lures near shoreline structure. Sunken wood is a favorite ambush hangout for chain pickerel. Bluegill sunfish are active this week and can be caught on a variety of small lures or a simple worm and bobber combination.

Atlantic Ocean and Coastal Bays

Finally, in the Atlantic Ocean and Coastal Bays, there have been a few unconfirmed reports of the first flounder being caught in the back bay regions of Ocean City. Flounder are starting to show up at Wachapreague, so flounder should be showing up in the Ocean City area now or very soon.

Anglers are fishing for tautog at the inlet and Route 50 Bridge area this week. Most of the fish being caught are reported to be just shy of the 16-inch minimum, but there is plenty of action on sand fleas. Other anglers are casting soft plastic jigs around bridge and jetty structure and catching a few striped bass, but most are not making the 28-inch minimum.

The boats and anglers wishing to head out to the wreck and reef sites in search of tautog are finally seeing calmer seas. Many anglers have been catching large tautog, with some exceeding 20 pounds. These are true trophy fish, and most anglers respect how old they are and release them. White legger crabs tend to be the favored bait for these large fish, but other anglers are having good luck with jigs on smaller fish.

In summary, anglers all across Maryland have plenty of options to choose from this week. From trout fishing to chasing trophy tautog in the Atlantic Ocean, there is something for everyone. The warming temperatures and increasing daylight hours will only make for more active fish, so it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy all that Maryland has to offer for anglers.

Discounted Fishing License

Now through January 31, 2015, Marylanders who have not bought an annual nontidal or tidal fishing license since 2011 will automatically enjoy a 50% discount on their fishing license purchase.

It’s as simple as logging into the DNR Compass Licensing System or visiting a DNR Service Center or a tackle shop to buy a 2015 license. The discount is automatic, but only through January, 2015.

The promotion is designed to encourage anglers to return to Maryland waters and enjoy the excellent fishing the state has to offer.

Fishing is one of the best values in life, promoting quality time in nature with friends and family.

For a limited time, the already low cost of entry is just 50% better

More Information Here:  http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2014/12/19/7807/

Garrett anglers win Md. high school tourney

And the winners are...

OAKLAND — Joe McClosky and Morgan Winegardner, fishing for the Southern Garrett Bass Slayers, won first place at the Maryland State High School Bass Fishing Championships on the Potomac River in Charles County recently.

The pair’s two-fish weight of 5 pounds, 6 ounces earned the top spot. McClosky caught the largest bass during the tournament at 3 pounds, 8 ounces.

Read More Here:  http://www.times-news.com/sports/outdoors/article_be1177e6-5744-11e4-ac5c-93b7c5b5b440.html


Fishing Maryland’s Deep Creek Lake

By  in Outdoors | July 08, 2014 at 1:36PM

Fishing Deep Creek Lake can be a cool down from what you're normally used to in the summertime

Fishing Deep Creek Lake can be a cool down from what you’re normally used to in the summertime

MCHENRY, Md. — The first thing you notice is the cool air. Nestled in the western mountains of Maryland, not far from the West Virginia border, is a unique lake which can be a gem for a summer retreat.

Deep Creek Lake is a highland reservoir that features attributes normally confined to the deep south.

“It has characteristics of each,” said Brent Nelson, a longtime guide on the lake. “You go really far south into Turkey Neck and Green Glade you feel like you’re in a southern impoundment. there’s a lot of meadow grass, lily pads, and cattails. Then you get down to the dam you get that rocky shoreline and it looks like a highland reservoir. We have two very different types of habitat on the lake.”

More here.

DNR talks Savage River trout at open house

Michael A. Sawyers Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — More than 30 people came to an open house Saturday to hear about brook trout management in the upper Savage River drainage, some traveling from as far away as Baltimore and Sugar Grove, W.Va.
The Maryland Fisheries Service, a part of the Department of Natural Resources, conducted the meeting at Allegany College of Maryland to discuss impacts of special regulations in place for brookie fishing during the past five years.
Beginning in 2007, the use of bait and the keeping brook trout in 111 miles of the river’s drainage was prohibited. Much of the drainage is made up of tributaries flowing into the Savage River Reservoir or the river that feeds it.
“There has been no significant improvement (in the brookie population),” said Don Cosden, chief of the freshwater fish management. “In fact, there has been a drop across the board.”
Cosden said bad reproduction of baby brookies throughout the study period have made the results inconclusive. Robert Hilderbrand, PhD, of the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Sciences, Appalachian Lab in Frostburg, directed the study.
Reproduction was poor, Cosden said, because of high water flows in some years and low water flows in others.
Visitors to the open house were given the opportunity to supply written comments about the brook trout management.
“We had the gamut,” Cosden said. “Some passionately told us we had made the wrong decision (with the regulations). Some agreed with the regulations and some wanted the regulations to be even more strict, such as a moratorium on fishing.”
The complete study is available at www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries as is a place for online comments.
Cosden said all public comments will be reviewed and considered in future management decisions.
Doug Oxford, Oakland, said he is an avid Garrett County brook trout fisherman who has mixed emotions about the regulations.
“In 1987, a friend and I would start at the top of Poplar Lick and fish all the way to the bottom. We would catch 200 brook trout using small red garden worms and hooking them in the lips. We put them all back,” he said.
On the other hand, Oxford said he doesn’t think all fishermen have the knowledge and skill to use bait to catch brook trout in that manner. More fish die that swallow hooks into their throats or gullets, according to Hilderbrand.
The regulation will remain unchanged for now, Cosden said. The agency will continue annual population surveys of brook trout by shocking them with electric current for weighing and measuring before their return to the water.
Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

877-563-5350 – toll free

Bass fever takes hold at National Harbor

By Judy Colbert

September 15, 2011 | 10:11 a.m.
Luke Clausen found a rare day in June when, on the fourth day of the FLW Tour bass fishing tournament on the Potomac River out of National Harbor, he brought in 19 pounds, 4 ounces of fish, two pounds more than any other professional fishermen had caught that day. His total catch weighed 69 pounds, 14 ounces, and it earned him a cool $125,000 paycheck….

…Lesser events churn up interest too, and Deep Creek Lake and other watery venues in Maryland host more than 100 tournaments each year.

Bass is easily the number one fresh-water sport fish, according toChad Gay of FLW Outdoors, because the bass population is so large and available in rivers, lakes and even backyard ponds. “They’re a predator,” says Gay, “and a fun fish to fish for. They’re somewhat aggressive and they will bite almost anything, just out of curiosity.”

Read more here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

877-563-5350 – toll free

DNR suspending fishing licenses of 60 offenders

New regulations implemented in spring
Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News The Cumberland Times-News Wed Sep 14, 2011, 11:31 PM EDT

CUMBERLAND — Acting for the first time on newly implemented regulations, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources intends to suspend the fishing licenses of 60 recreational anglers.

“We were given legislative authority in 2009 for suspensions and revocations and this spring the guidelines were implemented,” Thomas O’Connell, director of the Fisheries Service, said Wednesday. “Fishermen need to follow the rules or know that there are consequences.”

Even first-time offenders may face a suspension for violations such as exceeding the trout creel limit in put-and-take waters or possessing trout while in a catch-and-return area. Other qualifying violations include the possession of trout in a zero-creel-limit area, too many or wrong-sized yellow perch and keeping or possessing trout in a delayed-harvest area during prohibited times.

The use of bait or artificial lures where they are prohibited are violations, but will not trigger suspensions, according to Fisheries Service spokeswoman Sarah Widman.

“These 60 anglers were sent letters on Aug. 26 informing them that their licenses would be suspended and telling them that they have 30 days to appeal,” O’Connell said. Appellants will meet with an administrative law judge — in Annapolis, Hunt Valley or Centreville — who has the options of upholding, lessening or eliminating the suspension.

Suspensions range from 30 days to one year, depending upon the violation.

“This time around, we have recommended the maximum suspensions for the particular violations,” O’Connell said. Suspensions are proposed only after conviction in court or prepayment of fines.

Four of the proposed suspensions, each of 180 days, are for violations committed in far Western Maryland.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

877-563-5350 – toll free

Reel Report: Get fishing before school starts up

By James Drake

Those people who keep track of such things tell us this past July was the hottest month on record.

And, not only was it the hottest July, but the hottest anything….

Deep Creek Lake — The largemouths are finally starting to make an appearance. LOU guides Bret Winegardner and Brent Nelson are finding them around both grass beds and boat docks while throwing wacky-rigged plastics along with frogs, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and chatterbaits.

For the smallmouth, the best areas continue to be the park shoreline, offshore humps and rocky shores and coves toward the dam. If you seek those big Deep Creek bluegill, try around the docks and also look along the grassbeds and in stump fields.

For more information, go to www.fishdeepcreek.com.

More here.

Buying or selling real estate in Garrett County or Deep Creek Lake, Maryland? Call Jay Ferguson of Railey Realty for all of your real estate needs! I take great pride in referrals, and I assure you, I will take great care of your friends, family & colleagues!

877-563-5350 – toll free