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The grip of winter is tightening upon the Maryland landscape this week and many types of fish and fishermen are hunkering down for the winter months. The striped bass season in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay is now closed and the lower Potomac will close on December 31st. Anglers in the coastal areas can still enjoy sea bass fishing until December 31st and tautog season opens on January 1st. It is always exciting when various fishing and outdoor shows begin to occur in January and mark a good time to restock on lures and equipment. It is also a good time to reflect on equipment and swap out that line that served you so well through the past season and be ready for 2017. In short the winter months provide down time to get everything ready for the upcoming fishing seasons and a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn't. As in most outdoor adventures, preparation and planning leads to anticipation which adds greatly to the total experience. . Freshwater opportunities include fishing for chain pickerel, yellow perch in the tidal rivers along with largemouth bass that are holding close to deep structure. Walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and trout are active in the western areas of the state and often provide fun fishing opportunities for those who are prepared for it. The Fishing and Boating Services staff wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season with family and friends. The next fishing report will occur sometime in middle of January depending on fishing news and weather. Cold weather is in the forecast and although it can be troublesome to our day to day lives it holds the promise of ice fishing conditions at Deep Creek Lake and other western region impoundments. The Fishing and Boating Services staff have put together a fun parody on the song the "Twelve Days of Christmas" below for you to enjoy. Source: http://dnr.maryland.gov/