Piney Run: Pan fish, bass and channel cats are all keeping anglers busy. Large yellow perch and bluegills are taking trolled worms on spinners in the shallow water. Hit the edges of the hydrilla beds with plastics and surface lures to entice the bass. The cats are biting on worms, liver and cut bait.
Prettyboy Reservoir: Guide Duke Nohe and his buddy, Joe Butta, only caught eight fish Wednesday, "but some fish," says Nohe. Working in the 20-foot zone along gravel bars and stump fields, Nohe caught four smallmouths. The largest were 7 pounds and 23 1/2 inches long and 6 1/2 pounds and 23 inches. Butta's largest was 5 3/4 pounds and 22 1/2 inches. The two men fished pig and jigs and crankbaits. The reservoir is full, and the water murky. The water is 73 degrees at the surface, 71 degrees at 20 feet, and 70 degrees at 32 feet.
Loch Raven Reservoir: The white perch appear to be moving above the Delaney Valley Road bridge, says Kevin McComas at the fishing center. Anglers are trolling a single-blade spinner trailed by a night crawler and 1/2 -ounce weight. Bass are taking rubber worms and lizards at the edges of the weeds. Top-water lures are still effective in the morning and on cloudy days. Switch over to jigs in midday. Despite all the rain, the water level is down about 4-5 feet. But McComas says boats can still be launched. The center is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Susquehanna River: Anglers are catching nice stripers near the Conowingo Dam on shallow diving, plus in the early morning, and Tony Accetta spoons later on, says Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop in North East. Trollers are taking some legal stripers near Port Deposit on surgical tubes tipped with bloodworms. Near Lapidum, anglers are catching smallmouths on small crankbaits and spinnerbaits and medium shiners. The Flats is producing some good-sized largemouths on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. White perch and catfish are plentiful on the Elk River. Bloodworms are the best bait.
Gunpowder River: Tuesday's rain didn't hurt the river much, says Wally Vait, owner of On the Fly in Monkton. Water temperature is in the mid-50s and the clarity is good. Tricos are still hatching from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Vait suggests green weenies, size 12. Hoppers and crickets remain good choices, too. Below York Road, Yellow Sally stone flies, size 16, are hatching in the morning and evening.
Middle River: "There's fish out there," says Bill Horstman at The Fishin Shop on Pulaski Highway, "but you need to fish hard." Fickle weather conditions in recent weeks have swung from fall to mid-summer to late spring. Experienced anglers trolling and drifting eels are having some success. The creeks off Middle River are producing some largemouth bass. And clam snouts are catching catfish.
Patapsco River: The river is finally clearing up after Tuesday's rain, says Hank Holland at Fishermans Edge in Catonsville. Small poppers are catching the panfish and small trout. Crystal buggers in chartreuse, white and root beer are effective. Smallmouth anglers also are having some success near Daniels fishing soft plastics and diving plugs. The main stem of the river also is producing 18- to 26-inch rockfish for anglers trolling small bucktails.
Patuxent River: The mouth of the river is still a good place to fish for flounder and jumbo spot, say the guys at The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Bloodworms are the best bait for the flounder and the spot are taking minnows. Rain runoff has "torn everything up," and slowed fishing on the upper river, says Ed Johnson at C&EJs; in Lothian. Still, there's some catfish and white perch out there.
Chesapeake Bay: Weakfish are being caught as far north as Pooles Island, with Sandy Point and the Bay Bridge two hot spots. Bottom fishing peelers produces the best results, but bloodworms and cut spot also are doing the job. Big stripers near the rock piles and pilings of the Bay Bridge are taking live, lined white perch. The Eastern Bay is still holding schools of breaking stripers, bluefish and weakfish. Flounder are starting to school near the mouth of the Choptank River and off the channel edges of the Eastern Bay.
Eastern Shore: Wild fluctuations in water temperature are keeping conditions unsettled on the lakes. Guide Gene Kane at Tochtermans suggests fishing from mid-morning to early afternoon. Fish the last of the grass patterns and channel drops and then any structure. Worms and lizards are still the best bait. Spotted sea trout are beginning to show up in the Choptank River. Fish squid, bloodworms and cut bait in the shallow, rocky areas. Anglers at the Choptank River fishing pier are catching some nice spot, perch and trout on bloodworms, squid and peelers.
Ocean City: Don't want to sound like "The Shining," but red drum, red drum, red drum. Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle says the first sciaenops ocellatus (Latin for good-eating fish) have been caught in the surf off Assateague. Cut bait, squid and bloodworms are the best bait for red drum. The U.S. 50 bridge is a good place to catch flounder on shiner-squid combos, trout on Got-cha Plugs and stripers on live spot. Oceanic and Shantytown piers reported good nighttime fishing for blues and trout. Surf anglers were catching stripers in the morning on frozen clams and finger mullet, and snapper blues in the afternoon and evening.
Potomac River: The water is a little muddy, but the catfish are everywhere. Liver and hellgrammites are good baits. At Violette's Lock in Montgomery County, bass and panfish are plentiful. White's Ferry and the Maryland side of Harrison Island are producing nice catches of smallmouths on green pumpkin tubes. In the tidal river, friends tell me that Mattawoman Creek has rebounded from the heavy fishing from several tournaments.
- Candus Thomson
On the upside: The Upper Bay remains your best bet this week. The Bird, Bush and Gunpowder Rivers are yielding a bushel of beautiful crabs to those willing to work for them. I caught 1 1/4 bushels of large to jumbo males this week at the mouth of the Dundee. Two bushels were reported on the Patapsco River. The Eastern Bay is still slow with average catches of a 1/2 -bushel along with the Wye, Miles and Choptank Rivers. The Magothy, Severn and South Rivers are also doing poorly, with only two dozen reported. The Lower Bay has picked up somewhat, with one crabber in Crisfield filling a bushel basket. The Back Bays of Ocean City are also averaging about a bushel with an abundance of females. For more, visit my Web site at members.home.net/thecrabman.
- Mike Kobu
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.