Sum­mer is my fa­vorite time of year

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

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 ken­pen­rod@com­cast.net.

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.

jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

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