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Friday, November 30, 2018

Maryland Fishing Report

Photo of Man holding up a beautiful fall striped bass
Travis Long holds up a beautiful fall striped bass to prove there is still good times to be had out on the water. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

Cold winds are blowing and minds are beginning to drift from fishing, but there will still be days where the outdoors call us away from the holiday rush. For those times, there are plenty of good fishing opportunities to be found from the streams and lakes of western Maryland to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Forecast Summary: Nov. 28 – Dec. 4
With Chesapeake Bay water temperatures around 48 degrees and dropping, fish are moving towards winter holding areas or migrating out of the bay. With plenty of cool waters and oxygen from surface to bottom, anglers can avoid waters with poor water clarity from recent heavy rains.
In addition, look for concentrations of fish in some of the slightly warmer bottom waters located from the Bay Bridge south to near the Maryland state line in areas with good structure such as underwater points, oyster bottom, reefs, channel edges and large schools of baitfish.
It will be cooler most of this week except for some milder weather on Sunday and Monday. Expect windy conditions on Wednesday and Thursday. Another chance of rain rolls in on Saturday and then again next Monday and Tuesday. Expect sunny to partly cloudy conditions most of the other days with air temperatures in the upper 40s to the mid-50s and cool night-time temperatures in the upper 30s to mid-40s. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Maryland Department of Natural Resources buoys, water temperatures continue to cool, with the Susquehanna Flats at 43 degrees, Gooses Reef at 48 degrees, Mallows Bay at 43 degrees and Point Lookout at 49 degrees. Water temperatures should continue to drop this week due to the cooling air temperatures.
There is still poor water clarity on the main bay down to Bay Bridge and on the Potomac River down to near Colonial Beach. In addition, expect water clarity to decline in localized and nearshore areas as another round of rain enters the area Saturday and Monday. There will be above average tidal currents on Monday and Tuesday as a result of the new moon on Dec. 7.
Department monitoring crews will be out early next week to provide updates on bay conditions from surface to bottom.
For the full weekly fishing conditions summary and more, please be sure to check out Click Before You Cast.

Picture of a cluster of false dark mussels
Evan Keicher sent in this picture of a cluster of false dark mussels he scraped off the trim tabs on his boat, which was docked in the Severn River. Photo by Evan Keicher

As the fishing and boating season winds down in the Chesapeake Bay, many have been pulling their boats out for winter storage since the Thanksgiving weekend. There is always the task of power washing down a hull that usually has some degree of bio-fouling on it. Those who have kept their boats in slips in the brackish waters of the upper and middle bay’s tidal rivers may notice clusters of tiny mussels on lower units, trim tabs or outboard motor brackets.
These clusters are called false dark mussels, and they have been prolific in the brackish portions of tidal rivers. They were first noticed back in 2004 when there was a population surge of them and they tended to grow large clusters on lines left in the water, dock piers and most anything below the surface of the water.
They grow up to 1/2 inch-3/4 inch in length and generally are considered native, although there are some conflicting views on their origin. They can be confused with zebra mussels, but the false dark mussel has a defining, pronounced hook of shell on the inside of the mussel near the hinge.
They do a great job of filtering the waters of the tidal rivers and really help with water clarity which is a good thing. They also provide food for diving ducks, crabs and terrapins. The bad thing is they are extremely toxic to dogs that ingest them.


Anonymous said...

We caught a 100 lb striper in the net.They are out there,but when they get really big they don't bite a hook.The 100 pounder was just south of Sharptown last Sat night.It tried to bust through the net to no avail,but we turned it loose.Anything over 50 lbs doesn't taste good.We've turned 120 lb Stripers loose in the past because they're too strong.

Anonymous said...

Is that a fish story? I just looked it up and the record is 81.88 lbs.