Fishing report

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Free tip

Trout: Scott Hillhouse of Maryland Fly Anglers suggests trying for brown trout in Beetree Run, a five-mile stream along the North Central Railroad Trail in northern Baltimore County. It's a bitty thing in spots but, here and there, widens to 20-30 feet. Numerous pools break up the standard riffles. Black woolly buggers, elk-hair caddis and light-colored mayflies are good choices. Take a short rod because of lots of overhanging trees and high grass. Access is easiest at some of the NCRR parking areas. A tip of my ratty but comfortable baseball cap to Scott!

The locations

Piney Run: The crappie spawn is over, with few fish hanging around woody cover, say Jim Gronaw and Loren Lustig at the park office. Redworms and tiny jigs, especially those tipped with maggots, are very effective. Largemouth bass are spawning. Use slow-moving rubber worms or lizards or small crankbaits. Tiger muskies, 24-34 inches, are being caught and released by anglers targeting largemouth bass and panfish. Remember the Governor's Youth Fishing Tournament, 6 a.m. to noon June 2. Entry fee for youngsters 15 and under is $3. Information: 410-795-3274.

Prettyboy Reservoir: The surface water temperature is 66 degrees; 63 at 20 feet, says guide Duke Nohe. Bass are at 15-20 feet. Fish the points, humps, and ledges with pig and jigs, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, live shiners or crayfish.

Loch Raven Reservoir: Anglers are catching bass and chain pickerel, with some bass boats catching 20-30 fish a day, says Kevin McComas at the Fishing Center. Take bass on plastic worms, jigs and spinnerbaits; go with shiners for pickerel. Crappies have finished spawning and bluegills are starting up. White perch are sporadic, waiting for warmer weather, but you can find them at the cove mouths.

Liberty Reservoir: Anglers on the Nicodemus Bridge are taking white perch on small minnows and nightcrawlers, with some good walleye action in the early morning and evening, fishing with jigs. Drop down under the Route 32 bridge for crappies; minnows are best bait.

Susquehanna River: Above the dam, bass are hitting plastic worms, small crankbaits and live bait. Catfishing with clam snouts and bloodworms is good around Bird Island. Crappie fishing is picking up, especially around Broad Creek.

Gunpowder River: The river is low and clear, says Theaux LeGardeur, owner of Backwater Angler in Monkton. Water temperature at Falls Road is 52 degrees. Sulphurs, size 12 and 14, are starting to come off in the evening. There's also a gray-and-tan caddis hatch, size 16. Anglers also are relying on LaFontaine's, olive caddis and ants - all size 16-18.

Middle River: With water temperatures rising, bass fishing is picking up in Dundee, Saltpeter and Seneca creeks, says Bill Horstman at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. Catfish are "hitting anything that smells," he says, such as cut herring, clam snouts and bloodworms. White perch are appearing at the mouths of the Middle and Back rivers. Go with bloodworms and grass shrimp.

Patapsco River: Flow is down, but the river is still very fishable, says Hank Holland, at Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. Cool nights have kept the water temperature acceptable for leftover stocked trout. Afternoons are better for smallmouth bass and panfish. "This time of year, if it's comfortable for people, it's comfortable for fish," Holland says. PK40s, Joe's Crystal Buggers and black woolly buggers are the fly angler's friend. In-line spinners and small crankbaits also are pulling them in.

Patuxent River: Croakers and spot are being caught. Trout are following the croakers, and blues lurk nearby, say the guys at The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Catfish and white perch are in the upper river, with bloodworms and grass shrimp the best baits, says Ed Johnson at C&EJs; in Lothian.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs: A Silver Spring man caught an 8-pound, 6-ounce pike at Triadelphia last week. Crappies are taking worms, jigs and crankbaits. Stay in the shallows for the bass and bring them in with minnows, shiners and jigs. Walleyes in the 5- to 6-pound range have been caught on minnows and jigs.

Chesapeake Bay: Big stripers are about gone. Bottom fishing at Cedar Point yielded some good-size croakers, spot and white perch, says Capt. Jim Brincefield. Large red and black drum were caught on peelers at Crisfield. Night anglers at Point Lookout are catching their limit on squid and bloodworms.

Eastern Shore: Croakers are being caught at the mouth of the Choptank River on bloodworms and squid. At the Choptank fishing pier in Cambridge, anglers are catching croakers, white perch and catfish. Near Denton and on the upper Chester River, white perch and catfish action's decent; use bloodworms and cut herring. The Pocomoke River near Shad Landing is yielding lots of 2- to 3-pound bass. Try casting spinnerbaits to the spatterdock and cypress roots. On the Wicomico River in Salisbury, cast crank baits to sea walls and points to catch bass. Try plastics skipped under docks and spinnerbaits cast to spatterdock. At Johnson's Pond and Leonard's Mill Pond, aggressive post-spawn bass are taking topwater lures.

Ocean City: Flounder fishing is happening, says Sue Foster, owner of Oyster Bay Tackle. Keeper doormats are hitting live minnows and frozen squid and shiners. The Route 90 bridge is one hot spot. Jamie Cooper of Willards caught a 9-pound, 29-inch flounder from the bridge on a minnow. Drifting the bay behind Assateague and south of the U.S. 50 bridge are other spots to try. Oceanic Pier reports terrific sea trout fishing at night. Got-cha plugs or spec-rigs will do the trick. Anglers are catching tautog on sand fleas and green crabs at the Indian River and Ocean City inlets and the bulkhead from Second to Fourth streets. Shad are in the inlets; shad darts, small Rat-L-Traps and small jigs with orange tails are working. Surf fishing remains slow.

Potomac River: The post-spawn slowdown in the tidal river is over and good-sized bass are back, says guide Ken Penrod. Bass near the bridge foundations are taking tubes. Fish in the main river grass bed near Blue Plains are hitting spinner bait. Try fishing buzzbaits in the grass beds along Reagan National Airport runway. Remember, the Potomac above the U.S. 301 bridge is catch-and-release for stripers. In the upper river, from Seneca to Brunswick, use green pumpkin tubes fished on 1/8 -ounce jig heads and 8-pound test line in rocky cover and ledges. Fish the deeper water on the Maryland side of Harrison Island down to Balls Bluff.

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