Fish­ing is good … if the wind isn’t blow­ing

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

What a week it’s been. I am hope­ful that last Satur­day’s hail and snow were Old Man Win­ter’s last hur­rah. The say­ing “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb” might hold true for April as well. The fish­ing is good when the wind isn’t blow­ing, but the wind has been a big prob­lem.

An­glers all over the re­gion have been wait­ing for this week­end, when spring tro­phy rock­fish sea­son opens. The sea­son runs April 16 through May 15 with a catch limit of one fish per per­son per day 35 inches or larger. Many of Mary­land’s reser­voirs such as Lib­erty, Piney Run, Conowingo and Rocky Gorge are also open to fish­ing for striped bass year-round with an 18-inch min­i­mum size, two fish per day limit, with only one of the fish over 30 inches.

South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds — Trout fish­ing is still the big story for the lo­cal lakes and ponds that have been stocked by the Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Fish­eries Ser­vice. There have been lots of re­ports of an­glers go­ing home with the daily limit.

At Gil­bert Run Park in Dentsville, park man­ager Casey Jones told me they weren’t very busy last Satur­day with the cold tem­per­a­tures and wet weather, but the park should be pretty busy this week­end and the trout fish­ing should be good.

Po­tomac River — Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Capt. An­drze­jew­ski of Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures (301-932-1509) re­ports that wa­ter tem­per­a­tures in the tidal Po­tomac are in the low- to mid-50s and the bass are be­com­ing more ac­tive.

Bass are be­ing caught by crank­ing rock and gravel points in the main river and rocky banks at the mouths of creeks with Rat­tle Traps. Grass flats are start­ing to re­cover from the ex­tremely low wa­ter lev­els last week and bass will re­act to shal­low cranks, spin­ner baits and plas­tics. Ledges in front of spat­ter­dock fields have bass that like grubs, worms, or small deep div­ing crank baits.

Keith Har­wood from the Mary­land DNR Fish­eries Ser­vice re­ports that be­low the Chain Bridge (Route 123) is a good place to catch blue cat­fish and catch and re­lease hick­ory and Amer­i­can Shad. Mary­land fish­er­men need to pur­chase a District of Columbia fish­ing li­cense when fish­ing over the Mary­land line.

Patux­ent River — The river is cur­rently closed to any striped bass fish­ing and even catch and re­lease is not al­lowed this time of year. You can try for white perch or cat­fish any time you like. Fish­ing with some blood­worm pieces on a bot­tom rig should re­ward you with plenty of white perch ac­tion.

Ju­ni­ata and Susque­hanna rivers (Pa.) — The wa­ter tem­per­a­ture drop from the mid-50s to the mid-40s has knocked back the spawn­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of rock­fish, hick­ory shad and Amer­i­can shad around the Susque­hanna Flats and lower Susque­hanna River. The much-needed rain last week has raised the level and flow rate of the river.

Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited Guide Capt. Dave Ker­ri­gan (301-252-5322) said the fish­ing con­tin­ues to be ex­cel­lent with the mid-river grass dom­i­nat­ing the game plan.The best baits con­tinue to be Camp­ground Spe­cial teaser tubes in D’s Kof­fee and Pen­rod Pur­ple. Jerk baits and swim baits catch their share and the crea­ture baits like the Case Zip­per Grub pro­duce as well. Har­wood re­ports large pres­pawn striped bass are be­ing caught and re­leased around the flats on soft plas­tic jigs and spoons. The shad are in the lower Susque­hanna and a few have been caught near the dam re­cently.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — The tro­phy sea­son opens in the bay and the Po­tomac be­low the Gov. Harry W. Nice Me­mo­rial Bridge with a one fish per day limit and a 35-inch min­i­mum, no max­i­mum, and no slot. So how good will open­ing day be? We’ll find out Satur­day. It sure is a lot of fun bring­ing in one of those big ones, and the cool wa­ter tem­per­a­tures bode well for sur­vival if prac­tic­ing catch and re­lease.

Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box (301-8638151) fore­casts that open­ing day will be very good, with the best fish­ing for the 40- to 50inch fish hap­pen­ing be­fore May 10. Medium-sized rock­fish (5 to 12 pounds) will be here all sum­mer.

jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

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