Fish­ing is heat­ing up like the weather

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

For Fa­ther’s Day this past week­end, my daugh­ters and I treated the big guy to din­ner at our fa­vorite restau­rant on Solomons Is­land.

Many of you prob­a­bly re­mem­ber or are liv­ing the re­al­ity of eat­ing out with kids and know you only get a few min­utes to bolt down your food while you and your part­ner eat in shifts. But even if we did have time for a leisurely meal, I don’t think crabs would have been part of our or­der as the ad­ver­tised menu price was $55 a dozen. They might have tasted de­li­cious, but at that price I wouldn’t have been able to en­joy them much.

Lucky for us recre­ational crab­bing is very good this year and we can catch our own. The crabs that just molted are fill­ing out nicely and some heavy crabs are to be had. Any­way, they taste bet­ter when you’ve caught and cooked them your­self. That’s a fact.

South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds — Keith Lock­wood of the Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Fish­eries Ser­vice said the bluegill are fin­ish­ing up spawn­ing and are very ac­tively feed­ing. The trusty worm and bob­ber won’t let you down. Cast­ing small rub­ber-legged pop­pers with a light fly rod is hard to beat for fun. Large­mouth bass fish­ing is very good and the best ac­tion is from dawn to mid-morn­ing and starts again early in the evening some days.

Patux­ent River — Ken Lamb from the Tackle Box (301-863-8151) re­ports the croaker are abun­dant all up and down the oys­ter bars and edges. The day­time fish­er­men have to seek out the fish in 60foot holes, but dusk brings them into the shal­lows to feed.

Capt. Bernie Shea on his char­ter boat the “Shea-D-Lady” (301-672-3282) took a party up the Patux­ent on Satur­day morn­ing and re­turned with a boat­ful of croaker culled at 10 inches. They may be plen­ti­ful but are rel­a­tively small, most fall­ing in the size range of 10 to 12 inches.

The min­i­mum size for croaker is nine inches and the daily limit is 25, which is not that dif­fi­cult to catch these days. Peeler crabs are the best bait to use on a bot­tom rig, but blood­worms, shrimp and squid can do the trick, too.

Po­tomac River — Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Capt. Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-932-1509) re­ports the top wa­ter bite is at its peak. Pop­pers, frogs, float­ing worms and spoons worked across the sur­face will take bass from grass beds. As the sun rises, swim jigs or crea­ture baits work well. There is still a strong spin­ner­bait bite dur­ing the low parts of the tide around iso­lated grass clumps, wood cover and spat­ter­dock edges. Fly rod­ders are en­joy­ing the bluegill ac­tion around sandy shore­line ar­eas in creeks and bays.

Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Capt. Kenny Pen­rod (240-478-9055) re­ports that most of the bet­ter fish­ing on the tidal Po­tomac is around grass beds. Dur­ing low tides, the outer edges of grass in about three to four feet of wa­ter are putting out the fish, which are spooky so make long casts. On higher tides, move fur­ther back into the grass and fish the in­ner edge. Pen­rod rec­om­mends pop­pers and top­wa­ters, but said noth­ing beats a Magic Stik fished slowly through the grass.

Ju­ni­ata and Susque­hanna rivers (Pa.) — With the clo­sure area re­opened this past Satur­day, the river was teem­ing with bass boats a lot like the first day of trout sea­son. LOU guide Ja­son Shay (717507-4377) was among the crowd and re­ports that there were lots of ju­ve­nile bass ev­ery­where and ev­ery fish caught was ex­tremely healthy and ac­tive. The big­ger fish could be found in deeper pools. Spin­ner­baits worked best with top­wa­ters

a close sec­ond.

Deep Creek Lake — LOU guide Bret Wine­gard­ner (301-616-9889) re­ports that the lake level is at the high­est its been all year due to some re­cent rain­storms. Large­mouth bass are deep in the shore­line cover and in the backs of feeder creeks. With the bluegill spawn­ing in the shal­lower cove ar­eas, the large­mouth bass are close by try­ing to pick off an easy meal. Frogs and magic stiks are the best bets right now.

Lake Anna (Va.) — High Point Ma­rina (540895-5249) re­ports an­glers are catch­ing crap­pie on min­nows in about 15 to 25 feet of wa­ter in most ar­eas of the lake. Bass are bit­ing early in the morn­ing in the shal­lows. Buzzbaits and wacky-rigged worms are work­ing well in the mi­dand lower up-lake re­gions.

Stripers are eas­ier to find early in the morn­ing from dawn to about 7:30 a.m. Later in the day they school up deep in 25 to 35 feet of wa­ter and you’ll need to tune up your depth fin­der and your in­ter­pre­ta­tion skills to find them. The cat­fish are bit­ing on any­thing and ev­ery­thing.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Lamb af­firms that this year con­tin­ues to be a good one for rock­fish. There are large num­bers in the norther re­gions of the bay from Parker’s Creek to Bal­ti­more and they are big, plen­ti­ful and

will eat any­thing. Chum­ming, trolling, jig­ging and even cast­ing in the shal­lows are all get­ting re­sults. In the tidal rivers of the up­per bay the white perch are bit­ing strong as long as there is a good tide run­ning.

At­lantic Ocean — Char­ter boats are catch­ing big eye tuna, yel­lowfin and sharks with a cou­ple mar­lin also re­leased this past week. The floun­der fish­ing is steadily pick­ing up, with some an­glers catch­ing the limit. Gulp, min­nows and squid are the most suc­cess­ful baits.

Lock­wood re­ports that surf fish­ing has been good lately, with blue­fish and a few large striped bass bit­ing on cut men­haden, fin­ger mul­let, and sand fleas.

Tip of the week

Bluegill fish­ing on a fly rod is a blast, as they are plen­ti­ful and ag­gres­sively feed­ing this time of year. They will eat al­most any wet or dry fly, but small foam pop­pers are the most en­joy­able way to catch them.

If there’s a clus­ter of bluegill fight­ing over your fly, cast fur­ther and fur­ther away un­til you find the edge of that zone and the bites di­min­ish. Chances are this is where a bass is holed up look­ing for a tasty meal. Switch to a larger fly that matches a bluegill’s color and pat­tern and you just might land a nice bass.

jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

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