Fishing report

OUTDOORS

May 03, 2002|By Candus Thomson

The locations

Piney Run: "It's basically a panfish thing," says Jim Gronaw at the park office. Slab bluegills are around the docks and crappie are taking minnows in the fallen wood. The crappie aren't done spawning yet. Skilled anglers are taking stripers in the 18- to 26-inch range on chicken livers and live minnows. Catch-and-release bass are being caught on plastics, and a few citation-size channel cats are being landed.

Prettyboy Reservoir: The water level is down about 32 feet, making launching a "little hairy," says Duke Nohe, president of the Maryland Aquatic Resource Coalition. The surface temperature is 58 degrees, down about nine degrees from last week. The bass are in 12-15 feet, and you can catch them on crankbaits, jerk baits and spinnerbaits.

Loch Raven Reservoir: Anglers are catching bass along the shoreline using spinnerbaits, plastic worms and nightcrawlers, says Ryan Ward at the Loch Raven Fishing Center. Pickerel fishing using the same baits remains good. Last week, an angler brought in a 14-pound pike. The crappie are still spawning. You can catch them on shad darts and minnows. The fishing center is open daily, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Liberty Reservoir: Hit the coves for bluegills and pre-spawn crappie. Small shiners are best bait. Some rockfish are being caught on jumbo shiners from the Nicodemus Bridge. Warmer weather has improved bass fishing, both smallmouth and largemouth. Try crankbaits and lizards.

Susquehanna River: Striped-bass catch-and-release fishing at the Flats ends at midnight, so if you're going to do anything, fish now or wait until next year. The combination of warm water and incredible clarity has given anglers an outstanding run at dawn and dusk, especially. Watch for diving gulls to find the fish. Bucktail/shad combos, plugs and soft plastics are all effective. Smallmouth fishing is fairly good around the rocky cover and bridge foundations, using tubes. The river has some decent white perch action near Rock Run and the condominiums; bloodworms and shrimp are best baits. Smallmouth bass are taking shiners and crawdads. Work the Northeast River docks with tubes and sugar shads for good-sized largemouth bass. Tackle shops say this could be the weekend for the massive wave of American shad at the Conowingo Dam.

Gunpowder River: The up-and-down weather has the hatches all fouled up. In spots, there's been some prolific midge hatches for topwater action. Rocky Cox at Backwater Angler in Monkton suggests caddis, brown or tan, in size 16. Fishing is fair in the traditional stocked area, with the fish remaining from last fall very stream smart. He says if you're thinking stone flies in sizes 16-18, you're thinking too small. The water level remains at minimum release. Hip waders are OK. In the lower portion of the river, where 6 million gallons of raw sewage spilled this week, officials warn against boating or fishing from Perry Hall downstream to the Bird River.

Middle River: Fishing is picking up in the Dundee-Middle River complex, says Bill Horstman at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. The water is clean and there's lots of grass. Fish lizards, jigs and spinnerbaits.

Patapsco River: Downpours have made the river unfishable on occasion, but it generally begins to clear up right away, says Hank Holland at Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. Panfish, trout and smallmouth bass action has been good, he says. Try the Daniels area or downstream at Old Frederick Road. Woolly buggers, size 6 and 8, in all black, olive with black tail or all brown work best. There's some popper action for bluegills, as well.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs: It's murky and the water temperature is hovering in the low 60s. Low water levels have made access and launching difficult, say watershed officers. Anglers have called in some decent catches of bass near the Green Bridge Road launch area using jigs and plastics.

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