HomeFishingDeep Creek Lake, Maryland

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Deep Creek Lake Fishing in Maryland

Deep Creek Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Maryland, covering 3,900 acres and offering 65 miles of shoreline. It is located in the mountains of western Maryland at an elevation of 2,462 feet. The lake is a popular destination for anglers, boaters, hikers, bikers and winter sports enthusiasts.

Lake Statistics

Surface area3,900 acres
Length 12 miles
Average depth25 feet
Maximum depth75 feet
Shoreline65 miles
Elevation 2,462 feet

Fishing Opportunities

Deep Creek Lake has a diverse fishery that includes both coldwater and warmwater species. Anglers can fish from the shore, from the docks along the park shoreline, or from boats. Fishing licenses are required and can be purchased online or at the ranger station. Fishing regulations and seasons must be followed.

Some of the common fish species in Deep Creek Lake are:

  • Trout: Rainbow trout and brown trout are stocked in the lake by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. They can be caught year-round, but are more active in the spring and fall. Trout prefer cooler and deeper waters, so anglers should use downriggers, lead core lines or sinking flies to reach them.
  • Bass: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and rock bass are abundant in the lake and provide excellent sport for anglers. Bass can be found in various habitats, such as weed beds, rocky points, docks and submerged structures. Bass can be caught with a variety of lures and baits, such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs, worms and minnows.
  • Walleye: Walleye are one of the most sought-after fish in the lake for their delicious meat. Walleye can grow up to 30 inches and 10 pounds in Deep Creek Lake. Walleye are more active at dawn and dusk, and can be caught with live bait, such as minnows or nightcrawlers, or with artificial lures, such as jigs, spoons or crankbaits.
  • Yellow perch: Yellow perch are one of the most abundant and popular fish in the lake for their tasty flesh. Yellow perch can be caught throughout the year, but are especially plentiful in the winter and early spring. Yellow perch can be caught with small jigs, spinners or live bait, such as worms or minnows.
  • Northern pike: Northern pike are a trophy fish in Deep Creek Lake that can reach over 40 inches and 20 pounds. Northern pike are aggressive predators that feed on other fish, such as perch, bluegill and crappie. Northern pike can be caught with large lures that mimic their prey, such as spoons, spinners or jerkbaits.
  • Crappie: Crappie are a fun fish to catch for their scrappy fight and good flavor. Crappie can be found in schools around submerged structures, such as brush piles, logs or docks. Crappie can be caught with small jigs, minnows or wax worms.

Other fish species that can be found in Deep Creek Lake include bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, chain pickerel, bullhead catfish and carp.

Ice Fishing

Deep Creek Lake is one of the few places in Maryland where ice fishing is possible. The lake usually freezes over by late December or early January and stays frozen until March or April. Ice fishing is a great way to enjoy the winter scenery and catch some fish.

Ice fishing requires special equipment and safety precautions. Anglers should check the ice thickness before venturing out and avoid areas with cracks or open water. Anglers should also dress warmly and carry an ice auger, an ice scoop, an ice rod and reel, an ice shelter and a sled.

Some of the best fish to target during ice fishing are bluegill, walleye and yellow perch. Anglers should use small jigs or live bait suspended under a bobber or a tip-up.


Deep Creek Lake is a fishing paradise for anglers of all skill levels and preferences. The lake offers a variety of fish species that can be caught year-round with different techniques and baits. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day on the shore or an adventurous day on the ice, Deep Creek Lake has something

Source: Conversation with Bing, 4/30/2023
Ice Fishing in Western Maryland |
Fishing – Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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