Water temps, fishing have been heating up
Both water temperatures and fishing have been heating up since last week.
The fish are biting aplenty all across Southern Maryland and the rest of our beautiful state. The only thing more exciting, maybe, is the 2016 presidential election.
The spring trophy rockfish season hasn’t disappointed many anglers, trout are still biting in the local waters where they were stocked and the first flounder has already been caught in Ocean City. And if there are any youngsters at home, now is a good time to try some local pond fishing together. There’s a pretty good chance of rain and possible thunderstorms this weekend, so be careful out there.
The Spring 2016 Fishin’ Buddies Derby at Gilbert Run State Park in Dentsville will be held from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 7 and is open to both county and out-of-county residents. Teams consisting of an adult 21 years of age or older and a child 6 to 15 can compete in either the boat or bank division to win trophies in categories for largest and most bluegill, crappie, bass, trout and catfish.
The cost is $7 per team and the deadline to enter is at noon May 4. Applications can be picked up at Gilbert Run Park or by calling 301-932-3470.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager at Gilbert Run State Park, reports the bass are in a state of flux, at all stages of spawning. They can be caught in water as shallow as a few feet to water around 15 feet deep. It pays to experiment and fish at different depths. Fishing wood cover at any depth tends to be very effective in the spring, especially when the grass cover has not come up yet.
Shallow-running crankbaits, white spinnerbaits, Senko type soft plastics and jigs are all great lures to use to both cover water and provide finesse presentations.
Spring is the time of year to catch a true trophy bass. Bluegills are roaming the shallows on warm afternoons, crappie have been playing hard-to-catch and trout are being caught now and then at best.
Overall, the fishing at Wheatley Lake is very good and improving with the warm weather. Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) reports that bass, crappie, bluegill, and pickerel are biting at St. Mar y’s Lake and at other lakes and ponds in Southern Maryland. Live crickets will drive the sunfish crazy.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Capt. Andy Andrzejewski (301-9321509) said the spawning flats are taking a beating from heavy tournament pressure and commercial haul seining but continue to give up some good bass when fished with Mann’s Baby-1 Minus, chatterbaits, and plastic crawfish imitators. Spatterdock fields have become more productive and spinnerbaits, soft jerk baits, plastics and jig and creature combos work well. Don’t overlook any downed tree or shallow bridge piling as well as docks.
Crappie are shallow and like tiny crappie tubes and action tail grubs. Many catfish are being caught on cut bait or live perch in water from three feet to deeper.
Keith Harwood of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Service said there are plenty of blue catfish to go around in the tidal Potomac River. The small ones make for the best eating, but the larger ones need to be weeded out since they reproduce so prolifically and eat fish that are valuable to fishermen and the ecosystem. A monster cat was caught by Jay Fleming in the tidal Potomac near Chain Bridge and later examination revealed two adult hickory shad and a white perch in its stomach.