Morgan Run: The water is still high and a little green, but clarity is good, says Robert Sollott at Angler's Hollow in Westminster. Caddis and hendricksons are still hatching, and there's a lot of midge activity when the sun comes out. Light olive woolly buggers with a little flash are working, as are muddler minnows (size 10-14) when the water clears. Use smaller CDC caddis with an elk-hair wind in faster water, and trail a brassie or serendipity in the slow water
Prettyboy Reservoir: Duke Nohe says his fishing buddy of more than years, Clem Luberecki, caught a 4-pound smallmouth on a pig and jig in about 17 feet of water on Monday. The two men took three largemouth in the 2-pound range. But with cold nights and the water temperature not breaking 54 degrees, "there's no signs of [spawning] anywhere," he says. Anglers are trolling the middle of the reservoir and catching white perch from near the surface to 40-feet down. Try small spinners trailing a night crawler.
Loch Raven Reservoir: The fishing has really taken off, with anglers catching crappie "almost with every cast," says Kevin McComas at the fishing center. Catches are running 10 inches on average, up to 14-15 inches. He suggests shad darts with minnows and cheap jigs fished about a foot off the bottom.Bass will be spawning next week, he estimates. Use artificial worms and jigs. Pike and pickerel are being caught. "This is the time to bring your kids and get some good-eating fish," he says.
Susquehanna: Catch and release fishing for hickory and white shad remains excellent at Deer Creek and Conowingo Dam. The word is that the closer to the dam you are, the better the fishing for whites. Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop says the stripers were really biting on the Flats Wednesday, with anglers catching 24-inch to 43-inch fish on Bass Assassins in 12-18 feet of water. Shore fishermen are catching nice stripers on bloodworms at Elk Neck State Park, Perryville Park and Red Point. White perch averaging 13 inches are being taken on bloodworms in the Flats, the Susquehanna, Elk River, Bohemia and Sassafras.
Gunpowder River: Hallelujah! Water is pouring over the top of the dam, says Wally Vait of On the Fly in Monkton. That's good news for a fishery that has been suffering since last year's drought. The water was 52 degrees Wednesday at 9 a.m. at York Road, and the color was slightly tea colored. He saw a great caddis hatch -- tan, black and olive -- on the lower river Wednesday, and blue winged olives most of the afternoon. Go with CDC hendricksons, CDC elk hair caddis (size 14-16), and elk hair caddis with trailing shuck (size 14-16).
Middle River: Anglers are catching largemouth bass around the woods, and "grubs seem to be the ticket," says Bill Horstman at the The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. If that doesn't interest you, the catfish are taking chicken livers, bloodworms and nightcrawlers. Some catfish anglers are swearing by a new product -- freeze-dried chum made by the White Marsh Bait Co. "Catfish are nosy critters and this has a lot of herring in it," he says.
Patapsco River: Water temperature is in the mid-50s and flow is high. The Daniels area is being stocked this week with brown trout that, given the water levels, should last into May. There is a two-fish-per-day limit. Dark, weighted woolly buggers and small weighted nymphs are doing the job. Baits and spinners are producing. Slower moving waters are producing redbreast sunfish and smallmouth bass.
Chesapeake Bay: Striper season opened Tuesday from Brewerton Channel to the state line. Plenty of croaker in the range of 12-18 inches have been caught near Hoopers Island. Capt. Mike Murphy of Tide Runner Charters says success came with a green sickle tail jig tipped with squid. If you can stand the weather, say the guys at Angler's Sports Center, croaker fishing is hot from Point Lookout Beach and Pier north to Bodkin Point. During the day, they're biting off the mouth of the Choptank River; at night, it's the Mattapeake Pier. Use bloodworms instead of squid until the water warms up. Perch are starting to move out of the rivers -- use shrimp and bloodworms.
Patuxent River: Ken Lamb, owner of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, says the weather has made it a struggle this week. Anglers are catching croakers on bloodworms and squid. In the Little Patuxent, rainbow trout were stocked at Vollmerhausen Road. The average is 10-11 inches, weighing 2 to 3 pounds. Try bottom rigs with power bait, mealworms or wax worms.
Potomac River: Heavy rains and runoff have made the river near Williamsport unsafe for boating. Even the tidal Potomac received a surge of water, although guide Ken Penrod says the fish will adjust. The hot spots, he says, are the Washington Channel, the gravel pits near the Wilson Bridge, the rocky points near the mouth of the Mattawoman and the grass beds near the mouth of the Nanjemoy.
Eastern Shore: Guide Gene Kane at Tochterman's says fluctuating water temperatures continue to flummox fish and fishermen alike. At Leonard Mill Pond outside Salisbury, he and clients caught 25-30 largemouth bass last weekend. "The first full moon in May will be a tremendous spawn," he predicts.
Ocean City: If the weather improves, so will surf fishing, says Sue Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle. Even with a week of bad weather, bluefish up to 20 inches and stripers up to 29 inches were taken. Tautog action, off in wind-whipped conditions, should pick up quickly. Use clam, green crab and shrimp.