Jennings Randolph Reservoir in Garrett County is perhaps best known in the rest of the state for the innovative net pens at the base of the dam that produce tremendous trout. But the impoundment on the North Branch of the Potomac River also produces decent bass fishing and an occasional monster walleye.
On May 16, John McCarley of Union Bridge was fishing a crawfish-colored crankbait for smallmouth bass on the reservoir upstream from Luke, when he had a walleye encounter of the state-record kind.
McCarley's catch on 4-pound test line weighed 14 pounds, 4 ounces and measured 34 inches.
McCarley, who told DNR biologists he thought he had hooked a carp, caught the record walleye in 20 feet of water in the lower portion of the reservoir.
The old state record was held by Marty Hullihen, who caught an 11-pound, 6-ounce walleye on Deep Creek Lake in May 1993.
Beat the drum soon
The first black drum of the season has been caught off James Island aboard Capt. Drew Payne's charter boat, Worm. Black drum also reportedly have moved into the mouth of the Choptank River and soon should be on the Stone Rock, where anglers often have the most success.
The run of drum usually lasts four to five weeks, with the fish moving suddenly and mysteriously.
DNR Fisheries Service biologists recently spent six days tagging and releasing 16,000 pounds of black drum taken from pound nets off Hooper Island, where drum have been concentrated along the eastern channel edge. A new law this year makes it illegal to sell commercially caught black drum.
Sauter strikes again
Jerry Sauter, the Catonsville angler who has held, lost, held and lost again the state record for freshwater striped bass, has caught the first 30-plus pound striper of the spring season on Liberty Reservoir, a 42-incher that weighed 31 pounds.
Makos moving in
The arrival of mako sharks off Ocean City signals the start of the offshore season there, and over the weekend Capt. Marty Moran of the Memory Maker logged the year's first confirmed hook-up with a mako, a 150-pounder that broke off after a fight at the 20-fathom line south of the Fingers.
Upper Chesapeake -- Rockfish action remains slow, but on Monday the upper bay and its tributaries will be opened to fishing. The mainstem of the bay above Brewerton Channel and all tributaries have been closed since the season was opened in the mainstem of the channel south of Brewerton late in April. The minimum size will remain 28 inches through midnight, June 14. When fishing opens the next day, the size limit will drop to 18 inches.
Middle Chesapeake -- Limits of keeper rockfish by trollers continue to diminish, but chummers have been getting lots of action, with The Hill and the Summer Gooses producing some of the largest fish. Still some action for big blues occasionally. Bottom fishing has picked up with croaker in the Choptank, at Breezy Point and in Eastern Bay at depths from 16 to 32 feet over hard bottoms. White perch north along the hard edges near Thomas Point, in Eastern Bay and the Choptank over oyster bars.
Lower Chesapeake -- Large numbers of small bluefish on the Middle Grounds. Best rockfish action is by chummers, but most of the catches are 1993 year-class fish and must be released. Croaker are plentiful in Tangier Sound, at Deal Island, in the mouth of the Potomac and on the Middle Grounds.
Tidal Potomac -- The river has cleared and largemouth bass anglers' success rates have improved, as well. Worms and plastics fished in the grasses have worked well.
Susquehanna -- White perch to 12 inches and stripers off all sizes are moving throughout the river. Smallmouth bass action is good near islands and rocky outcrops.
Gunpowder River -- Sulphur hatch in late morning, spinner fall from 6: 30 p.m. to dark. Terrestrials in sizes 12 to 20.
Morgan Run -- Water temperature 60 degrees and water still slightly colored. Trout active all day on nymphs drifted through riffles and pools.
Loch Raven Reservoir -- Coves are producing good crappie fishing, some northern pike near Warren Road Bridge and bass on spinnerbaits and small crankbaits in the shallows.
Liberty Reservoir -- The striped bass action is heating up, along ,, with good angling for smallmouths to 6 pounds.
Prettyboy Reservoir -- Smallmouth bass in the shallows and white perch suspended for trollers.
Piney Run Reservoir -- Large yellow perch off the points, but bass and crappie action has been slow.
Deep Creek Lake -- Minnows and small spinners continue to take smallmouth bass from depths less than 6 feet. Crappie in the northern coves, and bluegills around piers.
Upper Potomac -- Reports to DNR indicate a resurgence of smallmouth bass after a disappointing season last year.
Inshore -- Flounder at the inlet and in the back bays and sea trout to 9 pounds at the south jetty, Route 50 bridge and inlet piers. Bluefish from 2 to 4 pounds scattered in the surf, inlet and back bays.
Offshore -- Blue sharks are in in decent numbers, the first mako of the season has been hooked and bluefish remain scattered from the Bass Grounds to the Fingers. Wrecks are turning up better numbers of sea bass.
Pub Date: 5/29/98