Summer is my favorite time of year
Summer is my favorite time of year. School is already out for all the kids in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s counties. I saw a candle recently that said “Life is short, burn the candle.” That pretty much sums up my philosophy for summer vacation with the kids. We go nonstop all summer long.
In the first week off from school we’ve been to the pool almost every day, went to a barn owl banding event, finally planted out our vegetable garden with the seedlings we grew this spring, searched for spawning horseshoe crabs by moonlight at Flag Ponds Nature Park, beach-combed at Elm’s Beach and went crabbing off a friend’s pier. Have I mentioned how much I love summer?
We’ll be spending the rest of this summer doing pretty much the same thing. We have a couple of months worth of sunscreen and bug spray and are ready for anything.
You can make this a summer your kids will never forget. Instead of coming home tonight and unwinding in front of the television, pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich dinner (trust me, your kids won’t mind one bit) and head to the nearest fishing spot to relax and spend time together as a family. And maybe bring some bug spray with you.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, said the fishing is really heating up.
There have been a lot of nice bass in the three to 6-pound range caught recently. The bass are biting well on large topwater baits early in the morning until the sun clears the tree line. During the day, white spinnerbaits, shallow diving crankbaits, soft plastic worms in natural colors and jigs all work on the bass.
Fishing under docks and low hanging trees when the sun is high in the sky is a good idea. The bass are also biting well in the shallows later in the evening on shallow crankbaits and Senko type worms.
The bluegill are finishing up their spawn and are hungry. A few bluegill over eight inches have been caught recently on small pieces of worm fished about two feet under a small bobber. A great way to catch these feisty panfish is with a flyrod. Small streamers, nymphs and popping bugs will work at different times during the day. Fishing under low hanging tree branches with either live or artificial bait is a good bet.
Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box (301-8638151) said the bass fishing has improved a lot at St. Mary’s Lake. This weekend should be a good time to try catching some whoppers. The season opened on June 15 and the daily limit is five fish.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Capt. Andy Andrzejewski (301932-1509) said this is a good week to avoid fishing on the Potomac due to a couple hundred bass boats here for a tournament out of Smallwood State Park.
Those bold enough to venture out with the crowd may find a dynamic top water bite early in the morning and late in the evening. Poppers, such as a Rico, are enticing hard strikes from bass over and around grasses as well as spatterdock pads. During the day, a crawfish color swim jig draws strikes from keeper bass around grass as well as hard cover. The spinner bait bite remains strong along marsh banks and in grasses. Creature baits will catch bass from all cover situations.
Large bluegill remain shallow along the shore and present a great opportunity for fly rodders.
Patuxent River — Lamb reports that the Patuxent has filled up with croaker. This tasty little fish, also known as hardhead, are on the small size measuring 10 to 12 inches, but they are plentiful. These tasty fish usually feed in schools, so chances are if you catch one or two in a short period of time, there are plenty more to be had.
Mixed with the croaker are some very nice white perch. Fishermen on the Town Creek Pier are consistently getting coolers full of croaker in the evenings with the pier is open Thursday through Sunday.
Juniata and Susquehanna rivers (Pa.) — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Ken Penrod reminds anglers that the bass season will reopen June 18. On the evening of June 20 a group of anglers to be called the Susquehanna River Smallmouth Advisory Committee will meet at the Pennsylvania Fish and Game Commission headquarters to discuss “what we want the middle Susquehanna River and lower Juniata River Smallmouth Bass fishery to be.” Penrod will be one of the members of the committee.
If you have suggestions or statements that deal with this subject, email email@example.com.
Deep Creek Lake — Joe McCloskey at Bill’s Outdoor Center (301-3873474) reports that fishing has been great this past week. Smallmouth bass are done spawning and can be found in the water under floating docks. The largemouth bass have just finished spawning and are moving into the grasses. Creature baits and plastic worms are good choices for lures. The water clarity is outstanding
with visibility around six feet.
Lake Anna (Va.) — Jim Hemby of Lake Anna Striper Guide Service (540-967-3313) reports that the largemouth bass are in post-spawn and summer patterns now and have retreated to deeper water to replenish their energy. They are feeding aggressively and are suckers for topwater baits right now. Spooks work well fishing parallel to bluff banks like those in Contrary Creek.
Crappie fishing is in full gear. They are being caught on deeper points with brush piles and on the deeper bridge pilings in the 10- to 20-foot ranges, hitting small minnows and jigs. The fish are also stacking up on ledges in the rivers in the 8- to 15-foot depths.
Crappie rigs (two hook rigs) tipped with minnows are the ticket to catching a lot. Simply lower your offerings to the depth of the fish and once you start catching doubles, mark your line at that depth and fill your cooler up.
Chesapeake Bay — Capt. Dennis Fleming from Fishamajig Guide Service (240-538-1260) reports a good early morning shallow water bite for stripers north of Chesapeake Beach in shallow water. Throwing Zara Spook style lures and sub-surface jerk baits get the most attention. Some days they just plain ignore poppers.
White perch have moved shallow as the water is above 74 degrees, and
now is the time for ultra-light tackle and beetle-spins to catch a nice mess of fish that are fit for a hot oil bath.
Atlantic Ocean — Bob Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle (410-524-3433) reports that flounder are showing up around the offshore artificial reefs and wrecks. Sea bass fishing continues to be steady around ocean structures. Flounder catches in the back bays continue to be slow.
Surfcasters are catching lots of skates and sharks and a few bluefish. Kingfish are starting to show up in the surf and are taking bloodworms and Fishbites. Short stripers are hitting rattletraps, Gotcha plugs and bucktails in the early morning and late afternoon around the north jetty.
Tip of the week
From Lamb: Croaker have invaded Southern Maryland. You’ll find them plentiful in the mouth of the Patuxent at Helens Bar, Hawk’s Nest, Green Holly, Fishing Point as well as the Three-Legged Marker and off the O’Club. You can find croaker in the Potomac, too, in Cornfield Harbor, Smith Creek, St. George’s Island and at Ragged Point and in the Wicomico River at St. Clements Island and Bushwood.
The folks at the Tackle Box recommend bloodworms, squid and peeler crabs for bait, all available in the shop.