My favorite place to fish, in the state of Maryland, is the Patapsco River. The best fish can typically be found upstream of the abandoned paper mill on River Road in Ellicott City. There are plenty of spaces on the side of the road where you can pull your vehicle over and check out different spots along the river. One thing to remember about river fishing is that there is oftentimes trees on both sides, and little in the way of open space in which to cast your line out. Because of this you need to be a fairly good fishermen before you even attempt to tackle a river.
There are some things you need to bring in order to make this a successful trip. The first being you fishing license, which can be obtained online, or from Wal-Mart, for $20.50. If a ranger catches you without one of these you will be slapped with a heavy fine. Second, bring clothes you don’t care about. Ideally, fishing on the Patapsco is done by actually wading out into the water. The water if often muddy, so make sure you aren’t wearing clothes you like, this isn’t a fashion show. Also important, is a pair of old sneakers, the kind you would mow your lawn in, or a pair of water shoes would suffice. The reason for this being the occasional sharp rock, piece of glass, or even freshwater clam shells that you might encounter on the bottom of the river- you don’t want to step on any of that.
As I mentioned before, the water can be muddy, so it is important to bring lures that can be seen in these conditions- bright or reflective spinners work best. As for bait, you can purchase nice fat night crawlers at the nearby Highs convenience store on Rolling Road, or you can bring a net and a bucket to catch your own bait in. Depending on what time of year you go, you might be able to find tadpoles, but minnows work very well also. You will need a bobber in order to keep track of your line, as well as some weights to keep your line submerged in case of a particularly strong current. You probably want to bring medium to large hooks, the fish can be fairly sizable here. I have caught bluegill, large mouth and small mouth bass in this river, and have heard of people catching catfish as well. Bring extras of everything, as you are likely to catch your line on something at least once.
When searching for a suitable place along the river to fish keep in mind the fact that fish like to hide. Look for places where a bush or low handing tree dip into the water, submerged logs, or rock formations. Time of day is also important, fish bite most early in the morning and sunset. If you prepare well, and follow some of the tips I have suggested you are likely to have a great time fishing on the Patapsco River. It is beautiful and teaming with fish that always manage to put up a good fight.