The fish are biting everywhere
Last week I found myself over in Calvert County with just my oldest daughter and some spare time in the afternoon and nothing to do. So we headed to Calvert Cliffs Pond to while away a few hours, which is arguably the best way to spend a beautiful summer afternoon (maybe an all-you-can-eat crab feast is number one).
We were the only folks fishing that day. Although the bluegill were on the small size, they were feisty and fun to catch. When it was time to pack it up and head out, my daughter wanted just “one more cast,” which is hard to argue with when the fish are so cooperative.
The weather has been mild this summer, so if you find yourself with a few hours to spare, the fish are biting everywhere in Southern Maryland.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville said the fishing is good for largemouth bass, especially early in the morning and again late in the evening.
Topwater lures are the most fun and they often lead to the biggest bass. Slowly fishing natural color finesse worms and jig and craw combos are a great way to catch both quantity and quality bass. Shallow diving crankbaits and small white spinnerbaits also work well around shoreline rock and wood cover.
The bluegill are attacking small popping bugs on fly rods and just love a small piece of worm fished a foot or two under a bobber. Hancock hasn’t heard much in the way of crappie being caught lately, but would suspect they are holding in deeper water, around 10 to 15 feet, near wood cover.
Patuxent River — Ken Lamb from the Tackle Box (301-8638151) said the white perch and croaker are in all the creeks and rivers and just waiting to be presented with bait or lure. The high tides with water moving on the ebb and flow are the best times to fish for them. The croaker are consistently in the 10- to 12-inch range.
Small schools and individual rock are near the shorelines eager to take cast lures. These fish are on the small side and many are under the 20-inch minimum.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Capt. Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports the topwater bite is remaining strong. Buzzbaits,
poppers, frogs and floating worms will all catch bass in the grasses. Following up with large 9- or 10-inch plastic worms and swim jigs can entice the reluctant bass to bite.
Large yellow perch in the grass will strike downsized crankbaits or spinbaits. Catfish are everywhere and part of the daily catch.
Chesapeake Bay — Lamb reports the rockfish are schooled up in the north- ern regions of the bay in huge quantities and ranging in size from 20 to 34 inches. Boats out of Deale and Chesapeake Beach have the fish at their doorsteps. Bait and fish are in profusion at the Bay Bridge and north to Baltimore Harbor.
Atlantic Ocean — Bob Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle (410-524-3433) reports that flounder fishing is getting a little better with each day in the back bays. The best bite has been in the south bay from the inlet to the Frontiertown campground and around the south jetty.
The offshore reefs and wrecks are producing decent catches of flounder and sea bass. Shark fishing from the beach is heating up for surfcasters using chunks of bunker or mackerel on circle hook rigs.
Tip of the week
It was surprising how many people stopped to talk to my daughter and I when we were fishing last week. There were lots of questions about how to catch bluegill and even more about how to take them off the hook, which we happily demonstrated a few times.
The easiest way to ensure that you can release a fish quickly and without injury is to flatten the barbs on the hook. You can purchase snells (hooks on a small piece of line) at any tackle shop, but nearly all of the hooks come with barbs. Just take a pair of pliers and crimp the barbs flat.
It won’t make too much of a difference in how many fish you land as long as you keep the line tight when you bring in the fish and will make taking them off the hook a whole lot