Piney Run: Consider a weekend trip to Piney Run Park, where the knowledgeable guys at Clyde's Sports Shop say they've heard of shore anglers catching bass of up to 5 pounds. Park rangers say stripers are appearing in the evenings, with one catch hitting almost 19 pounds. Plenty of pumpkinseeds and bluegills are hanging out in the weed beds. Use live bait and plastic worms and lizards for the bass, worms for the panfish, and small jigs and minnows for the crappies.
Morgan Run: The water is dirty from all the heavy rain but "should be fishable by the weekend - fishable but not a lot of fun," says Marshall White at Angler's Hollow in Westminster. Use something really small, such as a crystal bugger, or little white millers on the surface
Prettyboy Reservoir: Hit the cove mouths for white perch. Troll a spinner trailed by a worm, says Duke Nohe. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are going for pigs and jigs, spinner baits and plugs.
Loch Raven Reservoir: It's bass in the morning and white perch all day long, says Kevin McComas at the fishing center. Bass on the edge of the weeds are biting artificial worms and jigs. Perch are thick, especially in Peerce's Cove. "You can't keep them off your line," McComas says. Best bait is a spinner hook with a piece of night crawler. And "with every 10 to 15 perch, you get a 25-inch pickerel as a bonus," he says.
Susquehanna: Break out the dough balls, chicken livers, and cut bait, and head for the Conowingo Dam catwalk for carp and catfish. Fish the Flats for largemouth bass, says Capt. Mike Benjamin of Herb's Tackle Shop in North East, using plastics and spinner baits in the grass beds. Above the dam, smallmouth and largemouth bass are biting crankbaits, worms, and spinners.
Gunpowder River: Sulphur action has dwindled to size 16 and 18, says Nick Yowell at On the Fly in Monkton, with terrestrials picking up. Go with black ants and black beetles. Gray midge activity is plentiful on sunny days. At the dam's punch bowl, red midge action occurs anytime the dam gates are adjusted.
Middle River: Bill Hortsman of The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway says, "It's about time," meaning stripers. They're taking eels. Anglers are fishing the top water mornings and evenings for bass, using buzz baits, and going for deeper water and grass beds during the day.
Patapsco River: Some terrific smallmouth bass near Daniels will reward you for starting early and using soft baits on top. In quicker water, you'll find brown trout and rainbows in the morning. Go with muddler minnows and wooly buggers in neutral colors.
Patuxent River: Yellow perch are dominating, says Big Al at C&EJ;'s in Lothian. Try Wayson's Corner with a yellow-and-black rooster tail, he suggests. "Just flick it out there and slowly reel it in." At the Patuxent's mouth, stripers are breaking morning and evening, says Ken at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Croakers are taking peelers, bloodworms and squid. On the Middle Patuxent in Howard County, between U.S. 29 and Murray Hill Road, the delayed harvest area is open, meaning that with no bait, lure or tackle restrictions, anglers can keep two trout a day through Sept. 30.
Chesapeake Bay: If you're chumming for stripers, Love Point and The Hill are "red-hot," says Fishin' Charlie at Angler's Sport Center on U.S. 50. Good catches also are coming at the mouth of the West River. The bottom of the eastern bay "is littered with" croakers, some 20 inches long.
Eastern Shore: With water temperature fluctuating as much as 20 degrees, , fishing is good, says guide Gene Kane at Tochterman's. Bass are in the 5-pound range. On cloudy days, the bite continues well past noon; fish sunny days from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Best baits are soft plastics, top-water poppers, and chug bugs.
Ocean City: Flounder fishing off the U.S. 50 bridge can be really good. Just ask Dundalk's Bruce Miller, who caught a 6-pound, 6-ounce fish with squid and a 3-pounder with a squid-and-minnow combo. Sue Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle says Oceanic Pier is the place for trout (up to 6 pounds reported), blues, and shad. At Shantytown Pier, evening tides bear some trout. At the Ocean City Inlet, trout are biting bucktail lures fished close to the bottom. For croaker, try the bay near the Route 90 bridge.
Potomac River: In the tidal river tributaries, largemouth bass up to 4 pounds are hitting crankbaits and plastics. In the upper river, catfish and bass remain hot.
In the bay: Crabs are in almost all areas of the bay. The Miles, Wye, South and Magothy Rivers are averaging a bushel using traps and/or a line. A family with 15 traps caught two dozen large males next to Hog Island in the Eastern Bay in 1 1/2 hours, and a crabber in Crab Alley caught 27 crabs using 27 traps but only one crab on a trotline. The Potomac River is yielding medium to large crabs. The cut between Miller and Hart islands is picking up. For more information, see my Web site at members.home.net/thecrabman.
To hear the fishing report, call SunDial and enter category 5378 on your touch-tone phone. Call 410-783-1800 in the Baltimore area; 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford County; and 410-848-0038 in Carroll County. Or go outdoors via the Internet at www.sunspot.net.