Welcome to the 2000 edition of the fishing report, with map. In addition to the print edition in your hands right now, we've got a copy of the report on our Web site (www.sunspot.net) and a recorded version on Sundial (information at the end of the report).
We'll do all we can to make this as accurate as possible by calling the selected tackle shops, charter captains and guides all day Thursday. But as you know from last weekend, a 30-degree temperature drop and all bets are off.
Let me know what you think. Call me at 800-829-8000, Ext. 6889. If you're reading this on Sunspot, click on my byline and send me an e-mail.
1. Morgan Run: Flow is good; water clarity is improving daily, reports Robert Sollett at Angler's Hollow. Early in the day, try little black stone flies. From noon until sunset, the trout have been sipping midges.
2. Prettyboy Reservoir: You should have been there three weeks ago, says Duke Nohe with a laugh. He caught a 5 1/4-pound smallmouth back then. With frost the last couple of nights, the water temperature is hanging at 46-50 degrees, and there's not much to talk about. Duke says success comes in 15-25 feet of water with crank bait, plastics -- but mostly pig and jigs. The reservoir is still 2-2 1/2 feet below crest.
3. Loch Raven Reservoir: Bill Caudill at the Loch Raven Fishing Center says the cold spell has really put the brakes on activity. A few bass are being caught on crank bait and Carolina-rigged lizards. Fishermen are finding a few crappie under No. 1 and No. 2 bridges in 20-25 feet of water on minnows with shad darters.
4. Susquehanna: Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop says wind and muddy water is putting a crimp in the catch-and-release striper season on the Flats. Fishermen are dodging debris -- logs, lawn chairs and plain old glop. Benjamin says flood water from Conowingo Dam has reduced fishing in many places to bait only. Give deceivers and bigger Clousers a try, too. He estimates the water will be clear enough three days after Conowingo releases stop. Anglers have seen a lot of male stripers up by the dam. There's a little more than two weeks left in the special season.
5.Gunpowder River: Wally Vait at On the Fly in Monkton reports water temperatures running about 50 degrees at Falls Road, with little or no turbidity. Despite the rain, hip waders are still OK. He reports a good hatch of caddis Wednesday just downstream of York Road, and suggests No. 16 tan caddis. Earlier in the week Quill Gordons were hatching upstream of Bunker Hill Road.
6. Middle River: Fishing is a little slow, and the passing cold fronts are confusing the fish, says Gene Kane, a Delaware guide who also works at Tochterman's. He suggests flipping smoke grubs and 4-inch ring worms against the sides of docks and piers. At the Dundee-Saltpeter complex, he suggests Bass Assassins and Sluggos.
7. Patapsco River: Although they've been fished hard, there's still some catch-and-release trout around, says Hank Holland at The Fisherman's Edge. The fish seem to be taking woolly buggers -- black, olive and black/olive combos -- and egg flies. Warmer temperatures this weekend might begin to coax out the smallmouth and sunfish. The shad are hanging back, but there are plenty in there, he says.
8. Chesapeake Bay: Netters are catching 3- to 4-pound hard head (croaker); hook-and-line anglers are catching them with bloodworms off the old Severn River Bridge and from boats, say the guys at Angler's Sport Center. Spring rockfish season begins April 25.
9. Patuxent River: Catch and release is from Route 27 to Route 97. Try moving streamers and large nymphs. Also, black and olive woolly buggers with a tungsten bead seem to be working. You might find some hickories in the lower river.
Potomac River: The white perch, hickories and alewife herring continue to run. The walleyes are just about done spawning on the middle Potomac, but some are still around for the taking. Hard head (croaker) are being caught in the lower river. Rat-L-Traps and crank baits are working.
Ocean City: On the coast, the wind is playing havoc with the fishermen. Juanita Mumford at Oyster Bay Tackle says anglers caught a number of large stripers off the Route 50 bridge Wednesday night. The boats are still going out for Atlantic mackerel, but the activity will soon shift to New Jersey. Summer flounder season started yesterday and will run through Nov. 30. Tautog are being caught bay side.
To hear the fishing report, call Sundial and enter category 5378 on your touch-tone phone. The phone number is 410-783-1800 in the Baltimore area, 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford and 410-848-0038 in Carroll.