Water temps, fish­ing have been heat­ing up

Maryland Independent - - Sports -

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.

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