Maryland Fishing Report

April 12th, 2019

The recent warmer weather has the bite heating up, nearly everywhere. More and more reports of good pre-season trophy rockfish are coming in, shad fishing in the spawning rivers is on fire, trophy trout are being caught in mountain streams, perch have been running and the snakehead are literally flying out of the water!

Snakehead

Captain Avedon landed an epic snakehead with a weedless paddletail while fishing in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge this week. Amazing fish Capn’!

The hottest bite over the last week has been the snakehead bite. A warm few days has them incredibly active throughout the day. The best way to catch them is with a float and a large minnow, mummichog or snakehead salty, with a slip float. When they get active, they’ll hit lures like 4″-5″ swimbaits, Mepps spinners, Whopper Ploppers, Frogs, Rats, Snakes, Ducks, Chatterbaits, Buzzbaits, I think you get the idea. They eat literally everything.

Pro-staffer Alex Perez landed a few quality snakes over the last week or so. Nice fish Alex!

The best area to focus your efforts is in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. Another good area is the northern Potomac river in the DC area. If you go to Blackwater, remember to be safe on roadsides, please pick up after yourself and be respectful of other’s property. Focus on the bridges and roadsides that have water access. If you have any questions, stop in and check out our snakehead snack rack…we’ve put together a “must have” section in the shop for all your snakehead needs.

Snakehead Regulations

We want to remind everyone of the regulations on snakehead fishing with this info from Maryland DNR’s website regarding this species:

It is against Maryland, Virginia, and federal laws to possess, import, or transport live northern snakehead.

If you catch a snakehead and want to keep it, you must immediately kill the fish by removing its head, gutting it or removing its gill arches. Anglers are encouraged to catch and keep northern snakeheads year round. There is no minimum size or creel limit for snakeheads.

The Department of Natural Resources asks anglers to report snakeheads caught outside of the Potomac River and its tributaries or upstream of Great Falls. Send catch information to [email protected] or call 410-260-8300 to help the department track the range of the species.

If you catch a northern snakehead with a blue or red tag, please report the tag number and the location, date and time of day when the fish was caught to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 800-448-8322.

Rockfish

Trophy season begins next Saturday, April 20th. We’ve had good reports over the last week of bigger fish being caught trolling the ledges of the shipping channels in the southern bay area. Anglers fishing fresh bunker off Matapeake fishing pier landed a big one a few nights ago. The Susquehanna flats have been decent while jigging or fishing fresh bunker on the bottom.

Make sure you head over to the Maryland DNR’s Fishing site for all the rules and regulations before you head out next week!

Shad

Local legend and author of “Chesapeake Panfish”, Shawn Kimbro hit the creeks and managed to pull in this monster shad! Heck of a fight on light tackle!

Walking the banks of the upper reaches of the Potomac, Patuxent, Tuckahoe and Choptank you will most likely find shad breaking as they make their way up to spawn. They’re in full spawn mode now and will be for another week or two.

Anglers are having success finding them with shad darts tipped with plastics or minnows either in tandem or under a float. We’ve also had reports of fish being caught on small gold spoons as well. Ideal times are going to be a half hour before and after tidal shift, especially on an outgoing tide so pay attention!

White Perch

The white perch spawn is nearing it’s end with another week possibly two of strong perch activity. A good number of the females being caught are spawned out but not all. Fishing deeper water, look to use a bottom rig with bloodworms or even tandem heavier darts tipped with minnows. Fishing shallow water, look to use shad darts or small jigs under a float tipped with either soft plastics or live bait like minnows or bloodworms.

A small mix of yellow perch have been caught in a few of the creeks and rivers on either darts or just nightcrawler on a hook under a float.

Crappie

Isaac landed this nice crappie while fishing with his Granddaddy! Looks like he’s loving life! Photo courtesy Eric Packard.

In many of the area’s lakes, ponds and rivers anglers are catching nice sized Crappie. Targeting submerged structure with a small jig under a float with either minnow or worm will work well. Small jerk baits, rattletraps or swimbaits will also catch a few of the bigger crappie.

Largemouth Bass

This little lady was mighty surprised when she landed her first largemouth bass! Not a bad largemouth for her first one! Photo credit Kevin Maher.

Bass are very active right now. They’re eating everything from worms (artificial and live) on the bottom to topwater baits retrieved slow, especially early in the morning or later in the evening. Target transition points like drop-offs, ledges, bushes, rocks or submerged structure like docks, brush or trees. You can fish for them with minnows on a hook or with lures like swimbaits, buzzbaits, whopper ploppers, weedless flukes and jigs with craw or creature bait trailers.

Show us what you caught!

We’d love to see your catch! Send your photos with some simple info (your name, location, bait/technique) and any other info you’d like to share to [email protected] By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online. If there are any children under 18 we need their parents permission before posting any images online!