Fishing is heating up like the weather
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.