We Are On Lake Time!
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland is the largest man made lake in the state of Maryland. Wouldn’t you know that all lakes in Maryland are man made so that makes this one the largest in the state period! The lake itself covers approximately 3,900 acres and has 69 miles of shoreline. Because the climate is akin to the famous lake in between Nevada and California, it is often referred to as “Lake Tahoe of the East” and it is one of the premiere four season attractions in the mid-Atlantic!
Deep Creek Lake has some of the clearest water of any lake in the Eastern United States because it is fed by natural underground springs. The average depth of Deep Creek Lake is 25 feet but the deepest point reaches 75 feet! As the elevation above sea level is 2,462 feet, the outside temperatures are 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding metropolitan areas. Summers are not quiet as hot being in the mountains and with an average water surface temperatures around 73 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer the lake is the perfect refreshing vacation location to beat the city’s heat waves and humidity!
This lake go its start in 1925 when Younghiogheny Hydro Electric Corporation purchased land, removed thousands of trees , relocated roads and constructed a 1,300 foot long damn to direct the flow of water from Deep Creek to what would become Deep Creek Lake! What was thought to take at least 6 months to fill the lake only took a few short months due to heavy rains and snowfall. Deep Creek Lake began simply as the power behind the hydroelectric plant but quickly became a well-know destination for boating and fishing from residents from all of Pennsylvania and Baltimore/Washington DC especially after the interstate highways were built. Presently 1.3 million visitors enjoy the endless recreation offered Deep Creek Lake with historical records after the resort town opened back up after the coronavirus pandemic shut downs. Being a “drive to market” and with so many outdoor activities, Deep Creek Lake boomed once the shut downs expired. Now with so many new Deep Creek Lake admirers and along with the aged old repeat visitors, Deep Creek Lake is a premier destination to be reckoned with. With endless recreation in the spring, summer and fall and ice fishing in the winter the lake is a 4 season destination in and of itself!
There are 6 marinas for personal watercraft and boat rentals in high season. Check out their websites and call them for types of rentals, pricing, policies and questions. What I will say from personal experience, you get what you pay for and arrive early for your reservation or else you will be wasting your precious lake time waiting in line!
- Bill’s Marina
- Deep Creek Lake Boat Rentals
- Deep Creek Marina
- Fun Time Watersports
- Silver Tree Marine
- The Aquatic Center
Are you bringing your own boat? No problem Deep Creek Lake State Park has a boat ramp you can use for a fee to launch your boat. It is conveniently located in the center of the lake so you get get to your lodging (hopefully Mad Men Lake House), favorite fishing spot or happy hour location easily. Some of the local marinas can also allow boat launching and they also charge a fee. Make sure to ask about overnight parking for cars and trailers at these locations.
Mechanical issues happen to experienced and beginner boaters alike. Accidents are also common no matter how many years you have had or driven a boat. Be sure to follow the common steps when preparing to take the boat out for the day. Keeping a checklist to make sure everything is running smoothly, and safely can help prevent problems, and make your day more enjoyable.
Rules of the Water
Driving a boat on the lake is just like driving a car on the road. Make sure you “Know before you go” and that your passengers are aware of the rules before heading out on the water. Safety is key when having fun on the lake! Each state and lake can have different laws and regulations for watercraft. Deep Creek Lake has regulations on the size of boats permitted on the lake, as well as regulations for personal watercrafts (Jet Skis and Waverunners) during the summer months. Be sure to research these rules and regulations before launching or renting a boat.
The variety of fish stocked in Deep Creek Lake is wide-ranging. These include Trout, Bass, Yellow Perch, and Walleye. The best thing about fishing at Deep Creek Lake is not only is popular among locals and tourists, it is available all four seasons of the year. Some best places to check out include along the northern end of the lake in an area called McHenry Cove, areas by boat, and additional public access points. There are public fishing docks located at Deep Creek Lake State Park that are wheelchair accessible. Another fun way of fishing at the lake is to take a guided fishing tour with some of the local pro’s. You can find this at some of the local fishing shops.
Whether you are going on your own fishing trip or are using a local guide, here are some guidelines for planning your next outing on Deep Creek Lake.
Some species of fish in the lake are catch and release only. Make sure to research local fishing regulations or check with DNR to be aware of what types of fish are in season and which are for catch and release only. Here is a link to Freshwater fishing regulations in Maryland: http://www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/freshwater-fishing-regulations/
A fishing license is required to fish on the waters of the lake. Fishing licenses can be purchased online before your visit, or after you arrive from one of our local vendors. Individuals under the age of 16 are not required to purchase a license. Here is a link to purchase online: https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/
Free fishing days in Maryland, where no fishing license is required, are the first two Saturdays in June and July 4th.
Here is a link for more information on fishing in Maryland: http://www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/
The best time to fish is early in the morning or evening.
Be sure to bring along basic items such as extra clothing, rain gear, and comfortable shoes. Sunscreen, water, and snacks are also important for your trip. The weather can quickly change, so being prepared for the day is key enjoying your experience.
If you forgot something or need to stock up, live bait and artificial lures can be purchased locally. Some popular lures include jigs, topwater lures, and spinners. Some popular live bait to use includes shiners, crawfish, and nightcrawlers.
Deep Creek Lake is known to have some of the best freshwater fishing in Maryland, so get out and have some fun!
The best months for ice fishing in Deep Creek Lake is January and February. You will see fishermen dotting the frozen lake’s surface, huddled over small holes drilled from ice augers. The lake offers a variety of fish in the winter; yellow perch and walleye are typically the most abundant. Other varieties you may find include northern pike, bluegill, pickerel, trout, bass, crappie and sunfish. It is best to keep your line near the lake bottom, where the water is warmest in winter and fish are more active. Here is some of the equipment that you don’t want to forget: a chair or bucket to sit on; ice shanties which are small portable shelters called that help protect you from the elements; tip-ups, which “tip” a small flag when you have a hit on your line; and a skimmer, to scoop ice chips or slush from your fishing hole.
But be warned, ice fishing can be dangerous if you do’t take the proper precaution . There are two safety rules at the top of the list: The ice needs to be at least 4 inches thick and always wear a life vest under your winter gear. Make sure to test the thickness of the ice with an ice chisel or auger before venturing out. Ice is generally the thickest and hardest where it has a clear or blue color; gray, dark, crisp or slushy areas are danger signs. Also, don’t forget to dress in plenty of layers and wear boots that are well-insulated and waterproof. Before your ice-fishing trip, familiarize yourself with Deep Creek Lake’s “Ice Dangers and Safety” guide, which is available on the state park’s website and tells you what to do in an emergency.
Aѕ you саn see thеrе is something fоr аlmоѕt everyone іn Deep Creek Lake! And being so close to Baltimore, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, and New York, you can’t go wrong!