Freshwater Fishing Reports

Freshwater Fishing Report, April 12 Update:

It finally felt like spring this week after a chilly start to the season. Temperatures made it into the 70s this week which brought out many anglers to fish. FishTalk’s own Zach Ditmars and Eric Packard both made it to Mason’s Run at different times last weekend, and both reported good action on hickory shad with dozens being caught in a few hours of fishing. There was no apparent pattern to the lure preferences as different colored darts and spoons both worked, but Ditmars mentioned that small jigs with fuzzy bodies seemed to work particularly well. Packard had a slower bite but still caught a few in the upper Patuxent in high, muddied waters, where using black (even darts colored black with a sharpie marker) did the trick. He also hit a farm pond where bass were biting strong on wacky worms.

angler with a black bass
Lindsay found the bass biting at a Delaware pond this week.

FishTalk Intern Adam Greenberg reports that crappie were biting in the Miles, but they were more hand-sized than pan-sized. White and chartreuse tube jigs suspended under a bobber got them biting. There was a report from an angler who fished in a southern Maryland lake this week without much success. Despite the warm temperatures, the bass didn’t seem to be very active. They caught two bass during a three-hour afternoon trip. One came on a chatterbait and another came on a small crankbait. They didn’t see any bass on their beds but noticed Ospreys diving and catching smaller looking fish in the shallows. If these warm temperatures persist, we can expect largemouth bass to push onto their beds in the next few weeks. Bed fishing for bass can go two ways. Sight fishing for them is very exciting when they are willing to bite, but when they have lockjaw, it can be very frustrating.

Snakeheads were much more active this week and we should see them return to their status as a reliable freshwater target now that water temperatures are quickly rising. Captain Mike from Apex Predators guide service had good luck this week catching snakeheads on the Potomac. He said the big ones were willing to bite and topwater frogs got some nice blowups. The snakehead bite also picked up on the Eastern Shore with successful reports coming from Blackwater and the lower shore millponds. The sunny and warm afternoons will still be your best chance to find actively feeding fish. The season is changing and we couldn’t be more excited for all the great fishing opportunities coming our way.

Freshwater Fishing Report, April 5 Update:

The weather this week made for tough fishing conditions across the region. The good news is that there are an abundance of freshwater fishing opportunities to take advantage of. FishTalk Intern Adam Greenberg reports a few largemouth bass were biting in local ponds over the weekend, but only on Senkos fished very slowly. He also noted that the upper Potomac was running high and muddy, as many area rivers surely have been with all the recent rains. Downstream a bit at Fletcher’s, however, shad were willing to smack weighted spoons and then decided they wanted a fast retrieve up near the surface, which led to catching about 20 fish in just two hours of casting. Shad have been running strong in most of the southern tributary areas that see a run and are now also beginning to make a serious showing up in the northern areas. Last weekend readers reported getting good numbers up in the Way North zone and feeder creeks to the Susquehanna should be producing; green darts were mentioned as the ticket in those areas.

shad caught in the river
Henry found some shad willing to bite in the river!

The forecast is calling for warmer temperatures next week which could kickstart some bass moving into spawning mode creating beds. The warm and sunny afternoons will be your best bet for fishing the shallows searching for a big fish. The warmup should also increase snakehead activity. The warm week we saw in mid-March led to a lot of snakehead anglers catching their first topwater fish of the year. If we get a few warmer days in a row, look for that pattern to develop again. The thick grass beds have yet to develop, so look for these fish near fallen trees, sunken wood, and other hard structure. The mouths of feeder creeks are also areas you won’t want to overlook this time of year.

A lot of anglers took advantage of the opening days for trout season. There are still a ton of fish in the stocked locations and all closure areas are now open. Trout opportunities are available in most of Maryland and Virginia as both agencies have been stocking fish throughout this winter and spring. Visit the Maryland DNR trout stocking website and the Virginia DWR trout stocking website for more information. We checked in with Mossy Creek Fly Fishing who let us know that most of the mountain streams and the bigger rivers are running high after all the rainfall. It will be good to check the USGS flow gauges before hitting the water so you know what stream conditions to expect. Mossy Creek said to be prepared to fish nymphs and streamers until the creeks clear up. If the weather holds next week, conditions should be good to catch some of our freshwater favorites.If you haven't chased stockers in a while here's the rundown on catching them with the float-n-fly technique:


March 1, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, March 29 Update: Spring is not off to the fair weather start many of us were hoping for this year. The rain and wind made things tough last weekend, but we heard from a couple hearty anglers who braved the conditions and… Read more...
February 2, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, February 23 Update: It is getting to be that time of year where the yellow perch are getting ready to spawn but reports have been slow to come in, so it seems that the spawning run hasn’t kicked off just yet. We had a… Read more...
January 5, 2024
Freshwater Fishing Report, January 26 Update: Hopes of an ice fishing season have been dashed by the warmup and rain; the latest we heard from the southern PA lakes was that it never got much past four inches in most areas. Deep Creek had frozen… Read more...