The Upper Chesapeake Bay has been receiving a lot of notoriety over the last few years due to the improved catch rates and overall weight increases reported in the tournaments. While the true river rats have known of this bass fishing hotbed for some time now, the recent success is attracting clubs from all over Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even as far away as New York. Most of this pressure has converged on the Elk River, and the Tyding’s Park area in Havre de Grace, Md., since these areas provide more than adequate launching and parking facilities that are necessary to hold the tournaments. Many of the smaller club tournaments also start from the Northeast and Elk River areas. With this influx of angling pressure, many of the traditional hot spots have become increasingly crowded during the weekends, and have forced anglers to make longer and longer runs in search of untapped bass waters. Many of these anglers have now discovered that the 20-30 minute drive through sometimes rough and unsafe water, to the Sassafras River, has been well worth the effort.
Ramp and Launching Locations
The following locations and patterns, have not only produced tournament winning limits, but have produced over 100 bass in the 5-6 pound range, over the last 5 years, from this river. These are true “Trophy” bass for a Northeastern River system.
The Elk River, via Elk Neck State Park, is probably the most popular, due to it’s more than adequate parking facilities, and close proximity to the Sassafras. This is only a 10-15 minute drive from the Sassafras.
Tyding’s Park and Marina, located In Havre De Grace, Md., is the farthest, and most difficult drive to access the Sassafras River. We launch from this area only when we have located good numbers of bass on the Susquehanna Flats or in the nearby coves or docks of the Northeast. The drive from here can be dangerous in the early morning fog and heavy boat wakes in the Spring and Summer. At 55 mph, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the first starting point on the Sassafras. The best area to launch in the Sassafras is in Duffy Creek, located right behind the Granary Restaurant, on Sassafras Street, in the town of Galena. This is a private marina, with average parking facilities, and a good ramp. It is a pay per use facility, and charges a daily fee of $5.00.
The second area to launch is the public boat ramp on Sassafras Street, right before the restaurant. This is a small boat only ramp, but it is adequate for launching most any bass…