Piney Run: Something must be in the water. Carroll countian George Waldner caught a striper that tipped the scales at a shade under 21 pounds in the upper portion of the reservoir with live bait. Glen Burnie's Mel Montgomery caught an 18-pound, 40-inch tiger muskie on a Rat-L-Trap. Bass are taking top-water plugs in the morning and evening. Bluegills are taking worms and grubs. Reserve a spot in the fall fishing tournament on Sept. 30 by calling 410-795-5165.
Prettyboy Reservoir: Set up shop just off the gravel bars where the bottom drops off to deep water for good smallmouth-bass fishing. Also try the cove behind Graves Run Island near the old road foundation and the deep foundation above the Beckleysville Road bridge. Troll spinners with live nightcrawlers above the bridge for white perch.
Loch Raven Reservoir: The fishing center has gone to fall hours; closed Tuesdays and Thursdays. Gates open the other days at 6 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m. White perch trolling remains good in Peerce's Cove, Cedar Point, Deadman's Cove and along the golf course. From the shore, fish rubber worms from the Warren Bridge. Bass remain at the edge of the grass beds in 15-20 feet of water. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, plastic worms and crayfish work well.
Susquehanna River: Above Conowingo Dam, anglers are fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass in 20-30 feet of water with deep-diving baits. Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits fished around wood structures can attract good-looking largemouths at the Flats. Midday, action shifts to the grass beds with fish taking buzz baits and plastics.
Gunpowder River: Some tricos are still hatching, says Pete Streett at On the Fly in Monkton. He suggests "small caddis and smaller caddis," woolly buggers, and bead-head nymphs. Water temperature at Falls Road is 55 degrees; excellent clarity.
Middle River: Wind will be the deciding factor this weekend, says Bill Horstman at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. Choppy water has kept activity low. Rockfish are still off Hart and Miller islands, and live lining is pulling in white perch and spot. Grass is dying off, moving bass the other cover. Pitching worms and jigs around rocks and piers has been successful.
Patapsco River: Some decent evening hatches are still going on, says Hank Holland, at Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. He suggests white crystal buggers underwater or little poppers on top. Fishing's good downstream from Marriottsville Road, below the Old Frederick Road bridge, and below the Daniels dam. State biologist Mike Naylor says fishing for smallmouths is an early morning and late evening exercise. Try live baits, soft plastics, and dark-colored tube jigs.
Patuxent River: Croakers are all over the lower river, from Charles Landing to the mouth, says George Thompson at The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Peelers, squid and bloodworms are the best bait. Trout are being caught off Point Lookout and from the shore near the naval air station. Use squid, peelers and lures. "Bountiful catfish with white perch mixed in" are on the upper river, says Ed Johnson at C&EJs; in Lothian. Croakers are around Benedict.
Chesapeake Bay: You don't have to go far for rockfish action, say most tackle shops and anglers. The trolling bite is starting to pick up on the eastern side of the bay and along channel edges at the mouth of the Patapsco River. Rockfish with perch mixed in are still plentiful at the Key Bridge, as well. Eastern Bay also is seeing increasing numbers of weakfish and large Norfolk spot.
Eastern Shore: Heavy rain last week muddied the water and raised lake levels, taking fishing "a grade off," says guide Gene Kane at Tochtermans. Water temperatures are starting to drop, perhaps signaling an early fall feed. He suggests fishing top water on cloudy days, using buzz baits and worms, "but be on guard to switch to crankbaits or jerk baits if conditions change."
Ocean City: Stripers of the keeper variety are showing up at the U.S. 50 bridge, especially at night, says Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle. Live eels, live spot, and Got-cha Plugs are some of the best baits. Flounder, as heavy as 8 pounds, are in the channel from 14th Street to the U.S. 50 bridge. Anglers are catching trout at the Oceanic Pier and from boats casting near the U.S. 50 bridge pilings. At the Route 90 bridge, anglers are using a bloodworm and squid combo bait to catch croakers, Norfolk spot and trout.
Potomac River: The Brunswick area continues to be a good place for smallmouth fishing, if you stick with the grass flats. Closer to Washington, try the Maryland side of Harrison Island. In the tidal river, best bets are along the spatterdock lilies in Mattawoman Creek and Nanjemoy Creek's grass beds. - Candus Thomson
Hard work: Crabbers have to work extra hard to take home just a few dozen. The upper bay is averaging a half-bushel, and the Magothy, Severn and South rivers on the Western Shore are yielding dismal catches of only a couple dozen. Most crabbers are avoiding Crab Alley with its discouraging reports this year. The Wye and Miles continue to yield about a half-bushel of large crabs. A crabber near the mouth of the Wye on Eastern Bay was happy with his catch of three-quarters of a bushel of males and a half-bushel of females. The Choptank has dropped off, as one crabber caught only 28 crabs, with a majority of females. I visited Crisfield last weekend and caught a dozen males and three dozen females that were small but tasty. For more, visit my Web site at members.home.net/thecrabman. - Mike Kobus
To hear the fishing or crabbing report, call SunDial and enter category 5378 for fishing or 5379 for crabbing 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 County; and 410-848-0038 in Carroll County.