**** EXCELLENT*** GOOD** FAIR* POOR
Inshore *** -- Bluefish from 1 to 4 pounds have been caught ithe inlet at Ocean City, and small sea trout have been taken off the Oceanic Pier on squid baits. Surf fishing still is improving, with small blues hitting cut bait and shark, skate and kingfish being taken occasionally. Drifting minnows in the back bays and from the Route 50 bridge have turned up some flounder catches, but the majority are under the 13-inch limit.
Offshore *** -- Chumming east of the Jackspot continues to turn up 12- to 16-pound bluefish. But also try large spoons and squid imitations. DNR reports that four blue sharks over 100 pounds were taken east of the Jackspot. Sea bass fishing is good over the wrecks on headboats.
Lower bay **** -- Rockfish catches were limited mostly to fish under 36 inches, although a few trophies were registered. Large spoons and trolled bucktails also were turning up catches of bluefish along the edges of the ships channel, but catches were scattered. Rick Ince of Rick's Marine at Point Lookout reports blues schooling up beyond the Target Ship. DNR reports that larger numbers of smaller blues are starting to move into the Middle Grounds. In Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds down toward Crisfield, some red drum, speckled sea trout and sea trout have been taken in the shallows. Try peeler crab along the marsh edges.
Middle bay *** -- Trophy stripers checked in still come mainlfrom Poplar Island down to Cove Point while trolling spoons and bucktails from the surface down to 35 feet. Some catches of small bluefish reported out of Chesapeake Beach and off Poplar Island. Big blues were taken as deep as 70 feet -- although catches were very scattered -- and stripers a few feet off the bottom in about 40 to 50 feet. Fishing for blues from Deale down to Cove Point on the western edge of the ships channel seems to be best. Troll large spoons or bucktails or try chumming.
Upper bay **** -- Rockfish are illegal in this area, but white percand catfish have been active in the areas around Hart-Miller Island, Pooles Island, Key Bridge and Tolchester beach. Perch are hitting on bloodworms or grass shrimp, and catfish are hitting peelers or cut bait. On the Susquehanna flats and in the tidal coves, bass fishing has been picking up.
Upper tidal **** -- excellent -- Outdonr Life Unlimited, a bas fishing guide service operating out of Beltsville and specializing in the Potomac River, reports that from Marshall Hall to Pomonkey Creek fishing the grass beds with artificial worms and buzzbaits will turn up good catches of bass. The mouth of Matawoman Creek also is full of bass. Other hot spots are Belle Haven coves, Smoot Bay near the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Washington Channel.
Point Lookout * -- Most of the good action still is in the MiddlGrounds, where good catches of big blues have been made while chumming or trolling bucktails and spoons along the edge of the ship channel. Slow fishing at the state park pier and along the beach, but that is due to change with smaller blues moving in over the next week or so.
Patapsco *** -- Try bloodworms and grass shrimp for white perch and cut bait for catfish in the lower river.
Patuxent *** -- White perch fishing has been good. Grass shrimp and bloodworms work well. Off the river mouth, blues and stripers are a good possibility on trolled bucktails and spoons.
Magothy *** -- White perch in deep holes on bloodworms or grass shrimp.
Susquehanna **** -- Bass fishing has picked up. Try deep diving crankbaits and minnows. White perch on grass shrimp or bloodworms. Catfish are hitting peelers and cut bait.
Choptank *** -- White perch and catfish are being taken on bloodworms (perch) and cut bait (catfish) near Sandy Hill, the pier in Cambridge and at Chancellor's Point.
Chester *** -- White perch fishing with grass shrimp or bloodworms; catfish on cut bait.
Freshwater lakes and rivers
Deep Creek Lake **** -- Northern pike have been hitting big minnows fished in 3 to 8 feet of water along the shore. Small minnows have been turning up good numbers of stocked trout in less than 8 feet of water. Bass fishing has been slow, ODLU reports, and recommends early morning or night-time fishing with topwater lures over grass beds and stump points. Lots of yellow perch and pickerel. Walleye fishing scattered but susceptible to minnows over shallow humps.
Upper Choptank *** -- White perch and catfish in the Denton area. Cut bait for catfish; grass shrimp or bloodworms for perch. Bass fishing is picking up, with fish beginning to move to the grassbeds.
Upper Potomac River **** -- Check local conditions before going. Excellent smallmouth bass with buzzbaits and crayfish imitations over ledges and in deep holes early in the day and move to faster water with artificial worms once the sun gets high. Don't pass up a chance to try rocky or grassy shorelines. Night fishing for catfish is good.