Piney Run: Panfish action is terrific, says Clyde's Sports Shop in Lansdowne. Minnows, worms, and waxworms are your best bet. The weed beds are getting thick, with fish hanging out along the edges. Try a 4-inch, curl-tail worm rigged Texas style. Circle July 20 on the calendar, the next opportunity at the park for nighttime fishing, and stock up on black jitterbugs.
Prettyboy Reservoir: Fish pigs and jigs and plastic worms for bass in the coves and near the deeper foundations, says guide Duke Nohe. During four days of fishing in the last week, Nohe, Joe Butta and Clem Luberecki caught 62 bass, most at about 35 feet. The water is clear to about 30 feet. White perch can be caught under Beckleysville and Hoffmanville bridges with little spinners trailed by night crawlers.
Loch Raven Reservoir: The perch action's still good at Dead Man's Cove, Peerce's Cove, and Feather Island, says Kevin McComas at the fishing center. With the water at 80 degrees and the weeds about 2 feet below the surface, the bass are hanging back. Go for rubber worms, tube jigs, and Carolina rigs. On some evenings, the top-water bite is really good on poppers. Crappies are biting in the evening between Warren Road and Warren Point. Shad darts and wax worms will do, but "there's nothing like a minnow," McComas says.
Susquehanna River: Above the Conowingo Dam, set up shop on Broad Creek for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Best baits are rubber worms and spinners. Below the dam, anglers are enjoying a good run on rockfish, using live eels, says Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop in North East. Zero in on the islands and the old bridge piers for success with poppers.
Gunpowder River: The sulphur hatch is over. Yellow sallies, size 16, are hatching below York Road, says Wally Vait at On the Fly in Monkton. Tricos, size 18 or 20, have started, with some spotted at Big Falls Road and Monkton Road. There have been a few light cahills in the afternoon and sporadic caddis, especially in the afternoon and evening until dark. There's been great terrestrial fishing in the evening with firefly beetles, and a great flight of flying ants before noon on some days.
Middle River: Bass fishing remains good, with the top bite working morning and evening, says Bill Horstman at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. In midday, switch to jigs and worms, and Carolina rigs and fish off the points. Rockfish, on the rise, are taking live eels. But pickerel, which are taking bass baits like crazy, are the overlooked fish. Try around Dundee and Saltpeter creeks, Horstman advises.
Patapsco River: For smallmouth bass, the Zip code is 21043, the river near Daniels in Howard County, says state biologist Mike Naylor. Diehard anglers are finding a lot of elbow room if they can find a few hours during the week. The river has been generous with brown and rainbow trout, too. Naylor suggests small, dark-colored tubes, soft plastics, diving plugs, and in-line spinners. In the lower river, anglers are catching white perch and catfish on worms, shrimp, and peelers.
Patuxent River: Fishing is awesome at the river mouth, says Patrick Norris at The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Anglers are catching their limit of flounder on live minnows with squid trailers. The river has a good case of blues and rocks, too, with late-day surface action. Try poppers or jigging. Croakers and spot are taking bottom-fished bloodworms. The upper river is quiet though with some decent catfish and perch action, says Ed Johnson at C&EJ;'s in Lothian.
Chesapeake Bay: Tackle shops up and down the bay report chumming for rockfish remains good at Belvedere Shoals, the Hill, Chesapeake Beach, Solomons and the LNG dock. Rockfish are being caught around the Bay Bridge pilings on live eels or casting bucktails. Bottom fishing for croakers, spot, and perch remains good at Crisfield, Point Lookout, the Choptank River, and Hackett's Bar. Bloodworms, squid and shrimp are the best baits. Tangier Sound has become the hot spot for jumbo spot and croaker. Crab aprons and shrimp are your best bet.
Eastern Shore: Get out the buzzbaits and poppers, because the early-morning bite remains terrific on the small ponds and lakes, says Gene Kane, a guide at Tochterman's. Midday, it's Texas-rigged worms fished in the deeper water. Some lakes have been treated to reduce the weed beds, forcing the fish to stack up in the remaining beds and near lily pads, channel edges, and dropoffs. In late evening, big fish move to less than 2 feet "and really gorge themselves," he says.
Ocean City: Flounder are the fish du jour, says Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle. Best baits seem to be combinations of shiners and squid or minnows and squid. Head for the Convention Hall Channel near buoy 9 or the Thorofare near buoys 6 and 10. The U.S. 50 bridge is a good spot for trout and striper fishing late at night. Best baits are live eels, bucktails, twisters, and Got-cha plugs. Surf fishing has been only fair but with a surprising number of kingfish, Foster says. Big bluefin tuna have appearedas far north as Hambone and Massey's Canyon.
Potomac River: Guide Ken Penrod says upper-river fishing's as good as it's been in 40 years, with bass hanging out in the lanes between grass beds and in nearby deep water. Fish tubes for large bass, plastic jerk baits for mid-size fish, and topwater poppers to attract a mix. In the tidal river, fish the coves near Belle Haven Marina, the Naval Research Lab dock, the old railroad bridge pilings, and the Blue Plains outfall.- Candus Thomson
Slowing down: Crabbing has slowed in many bay areas. I worked 30 traps for 6 1/2 hours in Eastern Bay on Monday and did not even fill a bushel basket. Crab Alley also has been sluggish, with crabbers reporting only one to four dozen for a half day's work. However, the Wye and Miles rivers remain productive, with reports of a bushel of jumbos in six hours. The South River is yielding nice catches of two bushels on a 1,000-foot trotline. Crabbers can expect a packed bushel in an afternoon at the Magothy's mouth. On Stoney Creek, 2 1/2 bushels were caught on a 1,000-foot trotline in about five hours. Another crabber caught a quick bushel in three hours using 30 traps in front of Fort Howard. For more information, visit my Web site at members.home.net/thecrabman. - Mike Kobus
To hear the fishing and crabbing reports, call SunDial and enter category 5378 on your touch-tone phone. The number is 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.