Freshwater Fishing Report from Maryland DNR

It is the peak of summer vacation at Deep Creek Lake and there is plenty of safe fun to be found, whether you are with the kids watching a bobber from shore or out in the lake fishing the depths. Rainbow trout can be found deep along the dam face by trolling worm rigs, and a mix of smallmouth bass, large yellow perch, and perhaps a walleye can be caught by drifting live minnow deep along grass beds. A mix of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass can be found lounging in the shade under floating docks and caught by flipping wacky rigged worms under the docks.

Many of the trout streams and even the upper Potomac River are experiencing typical low flows this week. Fishing them often calls for light lines and long casts. Tailrace waters usually have good flow rates – the upper Gunpowder and the North Branch of the Potomac are just two examples. Many anglers write off trout fishing during the summer, but the catch-and-release trout management waters offer good fishing opportunities all season.

For many freshwater anglers, the summer months mean lazily fishing favorite ponds, reservoirs, and tidal waters for largemouth bass. If you get out on the water early you can find largemouth bass still cruising in relatively shallow water feeding on baitfish, crawfish, and whatever else looks like food. Casting topwater frogs, buzz baits, and weedless soft plastics over grass can cause some exciting surface strikes. Working spinnerbaits, jerk baits, and soft plastic baits along the edges of grass beds and brush piles in slightly deeper waters is a great tactic for largemouth bass moving along the deeper edges.

As the sun climbs into the sky, most largemouth bass will go deep looking for cool shade and structures like sunken wood and bridge piers. Largemouth bass can also be found under thick mats of floating grass in slightly deeper waters and under old docks or overhanging brush. Proven tactics include working wacky rigged soft plastics near deep-water hideouts or dropping them through the floating grass and working them slowly.

Northern snakeheads are holding in the same grassy waters as largemouth bass. Most are protecting fry balls – they’re very young – and they will attack anything that threatens their progeny. Casting noisy buzz baits, frogs, and chatter baits near the fry balls can elicit a violent strike.

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