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Guide to Trout Fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake

Welcome to the “Guide to Trout Fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake!” Located at Cunningham Falls State Park in Frederick, Maryland, Cunningham Falls Reservoir offers an exciting fishing experience for trout enthusiasts. While it is primarily known as a summertime fishery for largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill, the months of March and April bring an abundance of rainbow trout to the lake. As these trout are stocked during this time, anglers eagerly line the banks, hoping to catch their daily limit of five trout.

The preferred bait for trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake is Powerbait, although many anglers also find success using earthworms. Along the banks near the boat ramp, where the fish are released, you can witness the excitement as fishermen cast their lines. Boaters can also join in on the action, utilizing electric motors to troll lures such as small Rapala floating minnows, Mepps spinners, and Super Dupers.

As the water warms and the trout retreat to deeper areas, March, April, and early May are considered the optimal time for trout fishing before the bass take over. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, fly fishing with brightly colored streamer flies from a canoe or kayak has proven to be highly productive and rewarding. Imagine the satisfaction of catching your dinner and enjoying a fresh trout meal with your family!

Let’s now join local expert Daniel Neuland’s fishing journey on Cunningham Falls Lake. On St. Patrick’s Day, he embarked on his kayak just before 5:00 PM. With calm waters and overcast skies, the stage was set for an exciting fishing expedition. With a 9’-5wt fly rod and a size 6 streamer fly, Daniel had already caught three small stockies the previous day. However, he experienced some mishaps as a few fish managed to escape. Determined to improve his success rate, Daniel decided to switch things up during this outing.

To prevent losing more fish, he tied smaller size streamer flies with marabou and a touch of crystal flash on a size 8 hook. Opting for a full sinking line (Cortland 333, 5wt) and a newly spooled TFO 5wt reel, Daniel changed from a clear sink tip line to a thinner and level Cortland line. While this change sacrificed distance in casting, Daniel’s focus shifted to trolling the small streamer behind his kayak. And his tactical adjustment paid off handsomely, as he managed to catch his limit of five fish in just under thirty minutes!

If you’re interested in learning more about fishing in Maryland, obtaining licenses, or gathering additional information, don’t hesitate to check out the complete series on Fishing in Frederick County compiled by our expert, Daniel Neuland. His passion and knowledge will surely enhance your fishing experience. So get ready to embark on an exciting trout fishing journey at Cunningham Falls Lake!

Guide to Trout Fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake

Guide to Trout Fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake


Welcome to the comprehensive guide to trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake! If you’re an avid angler or simply looking to try out trout fishing for the first time, Cunningham Falls Lake is the perfect destination for you. Located at Cunningham Falls State Park, this picturesque lake offers abundant opportunities to reel in some impressive trout. In this guide, we will cover everything from the best time to fish to the different fishing techniques you can use to maximize your success. So grab your fishing gear, and let’s dive into the world of trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake!

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Best Time to Fish

When it comes to trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake, timing is everything. The best time to fish for trout is during the months of March and April, when thousands of rainbow trout are stocked in the lake. During this time, the water temperature is still cool, making it ideal for trout to thrive near the surface. As the water warms up in late spring and summer, trout tend to go deeper, making them harder to catch. It’s important to plan your fishing trips accordingly and take advantage of the prime trout fishing season on Cunningham Falls Lake.

Fishing Techniques

Trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake offers a wide range of fishing techniques that you can employ to increase your chances of success. Whether you prefer bait fishing or using artificial lures, there is a technique that suits every angler’s preference. One popular technique is powerbait fishing, which involves using scented dough bait to attract trout. Another effective method is using earthworms as bait, which has proven to be successful in enticing trout to bite. If you prefer using lures, trolling with small Rapala floating minnows, Mepps spinners, or Super Dupers can yield great results. It’s essential to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.

Bait and Lures

Choosing the right bait and lures is crucial when it comes to trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake. As mentioned earlier, powerbait and earthworms are highly effective baits for attracting trout. Powerbait comes in various colors and scents, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect combination that entices the trout in the lake. Additionally, lures such as small Rapala floating minnows, Mepps spinners, and Super Dupers have proven to be successful in fooling trout into striking. It’s important to have a variety of baits and lures in your tackle box to adapt to different fishing conditions and the preferences of the trout.

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Guide to Trout Fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake

Fishing from Shore

If you prefer fishing from the shore, Cunningham Falls Lake offers excellent opportunities to catch trout. The small fishing pier and the banks near the boat ramp are popular spots for anglers to cast their lines. When fishing from shore, it is essential to find areas with submerged structures or vegetation where trout are likely to hide. Cast your bait or lure near these areas and be patient. Trout are known to be cautious, so it’s crucial to remain still and avoid making unnecessary movements that might scare them away. With the right technique and a bit of luck, you’ll soon be reeling in some impressive trout from the shore.

Fishing from Boats

For those who prefer a more mobile fishing experience, fishing from a boat on Cunningham Falls Lake can be an excellent option. Boaters typically use electric motors to move around the lake silently, allowing them to troll their lures and effectively cover a larger area. This method is particularly successful when using small Rapala floating minnows, Mepps spinners, or Super Dupers. When fishing from a boat, it’s important to pay attention to the water depth and adjust your bait or lure accordingly. Experiment with different depths and trolling speeds to find the sweet spot where the trout are actively feeding.

Kayak and Canoe Fishing

If you’re looking for a more adventurous and rewarding fishing experience, kayak and canoe fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake is highly recommended. Maneuvering through the calm waters of the lake in a kayak or canoe allows you to access areas that are inaccessible to larger boats. This gives you the opportunity to target trout in secluded spots where they are less likely to encounter fishing pressure. When kayak or canoe fishing, consider using streamer flies as they have proven to be productive in enticing trout on Cunningham Falls Lake. Be sure to bring along the necessary safety equipment and follow all boating regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing experience.

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Fly Fishing Tips

Fly fishing enthusiasts will find Cunningham Falls Lake to be a haven for their favorite angling method. The calm and clear waters of the lake provide an ideal setting for fly fishing. When fly fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake, it’s important to use streamer flies that mimic the natural prey of trout in the lake. Experiment with different sizes and colors to find the flies that the trout are actively feeding on. It’s also crucial to pay attention to your presentation, as trout are known to be selective feeders. Practice casting techniques and work on your accuracy to ensure that your fly lands where the trout are likely to strike.

Fishing Regulations

Before heading out for a day of trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in the area. Fishing regulations help ensure the sustainability of the fish population and maintain a healthy ecosystem. In Maryland, a fishing license is required for anglers aged 16 and older. Additionally, there may be specific regulations regarding catch limits, minimum size requirements, and fishing seasons for trout. It’s important to abide by these regulations and practice responsible fishing to preserve the natural beauty of Cunningham Falls Lake for future generations.

Other Fishing Opportunities

While trout fishing is a popular activity on Cunningham Falls Lake, the lake also offers other exciting fishing opportunities. During the summer months, largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill fishing are in full swing. Anglers can target these species using a variety of techniques such as casting or trolling with different types of baits and lures. Exploring the diverse fishery of Cunningham Falls Lake will provide anglers with a chance to experience the thrill of reeling in different species and enjoy a well-rounded fishing experience.

In conclusion, trout fishing on Cunningham Falls Lake presents anglers with a wealth of opportunities. Whether you prefer fishing from shore, boats, kayaks, or canoes, this picturesque lake offers a variety of fishing techniques that cater to all preferences. With the right timing, bait or lure selection, and a bit of patience, you can have a successful day on the water reeling in rainbow trout. Remember to always follow fishing regulations, practice ethical angling, and respect the natural beauty of Cunningham Falls Lake. So grab your fishing gear, head to Cunningham Falls Lake, and enjoy a memorable trout fishing experience!