Fishing is good
The fishing is good all over Southern Maryland. If you can put down your smartphone for a few minutes to take a break from playing Pokemon Go, you’ll find that there’s something for every kind of angler. Whether you like fly fishing, a worm and bobber, or a bottom rig is the set-up of your choice, you’re going to catch some fine fish this time of year. Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, said a lot of bass are being caught throughout the day. Some anglers are catching more than 20 bass in one outing with a few nice 3- to 5-pounders mixed in here and there.
The bass are biting well early and late in the day on topwaters, small crankbaits, finesse worms and jig and craw combos. Bass are holding around wood cover along the bank as well as in offshore drop-offs. Some nice redears are being caught in 10 to 15 feet of water. And the bluegill are obliging the bobber and worm folks along the shoreline. It’s a great time to take a kid fishing for these feisty sunfish.
Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-8638151) said St. Mary’s Lake has bass, bluegill and pickerel in good numbers. Fly fishermen using popping bugs find the bluegill eager to hit early in the morning.
Patuxent River — Bottom fishing has been reasonably good lately and you can expect a trio of croaker, white perch and spot. There have been some dolphins sighted in the river searching out a quick meal of these fish.
Lamb reports croaker in the river from Point Patience to Benedict. The key to croaker fishing is time of day — the fish bite at dusk and all night long. Daytime in the summer heat just isn’t going to work for croaker, but the perch will bite all day providing the tide is moving.
My kids have been spending the week at Bunky’s Kids Fishing Camp on Solomons Island and have had a real blast doing some bottom fishing from their charter boats and even from kayaks. The spot have been keeping them busy, but these spirited fish are too small to be dinner. They make great bait live-lining for rockfish though.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Capt. Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) advises anglers to get on the water early or late in this summer heat and take advantage of the good topwater action that lasts until the sun is directly on the water. Poppers and grass frogs should catch good quality bass in main river and creek grass beds.
After the sun is up, switch to large plastic worms or crawfish imitators fished in grasses or along defined edges. Hardcover, fished with finesse worms and spinbaits, will produce bass. Marsh runoffs with dropoffs in front are good places to fish plastics and shaky heads
during the outgoing tide. An occasional catfish will take plastic worms. Juniata and Susquehanna
rivers (Pa.) — The guides from Life Outdoors Unlimited report the water levels are low so anglers should be extra cautious. LOU guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377) said the fishing has been good and the best fish have been caught in the early morning before the water warms.
Shay has been doing well on silver-bladed spinnerbaits with blue or purple skirts and an assortment of topwater lures. The water temperature is really heating up and he reminds anglers to return fish to water as quickly as possible.
Deep Creek Lake — An early topwater bite for smallmouths is the report. Ryan Roszell at Bill’s Outdoor Center in Oakland (301-387-3474) reports buzzbaits and poppers are catching smallmouth bass but the largemouth action has been slow. Topwater lures like buzzbaits and poppers are attracting strikes this week. Minnows and nightcrawlers are on the menu for perch and pike. First and last light are the best times to wet your line unless you like getting both sunburned and skunked.
Lake Anna (Va.) — The folks at High Point Marina (540-895-5249) report most of the bass have moved into deeper water, main lake points, ledges and deeper structure. There are still some stragglers in the shallows, but the quality fish are deep. The upper end of the lake is the most productive and fish are on almost every point that has some type of cover on it. Deep-diving crankbaits that run 14 to 18 feet and NABZ 5” Wacky Worms are getting a lot of bites.
Stripers are schooling in the main lake from the splits down to the power plant at 25 to 35 feet. Trolling is a popular way to catch them and lime green umbrella rigs, pearl or pearl bue sassy shads and tooth-ache
spoons are successful as well as live bait.
Chesapeake Bay — Get out the steel leaders because the bluefish have definitely arrived. Lamb reports chumming works and the bluefish have been in the 1 to 3-pound range. Cobia are in the lower bay and have been caught chumming, chunking and trolling.
Mike Henderson of Buzz’s Marina (301-8725887) reports the boats leaving his launching ramp are successful in a ration of four out of 10. Croaker are biting at sunset. They are mostly in the 10- to 12-inch range and will take squid, bloodworms and shrimp eagerly. Atlantic Ocean — Bob Foster of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City (410-524-3433) reports the back bays are loaded with small flounder. A few keeper flounder have been caught between the U.S. Route 50 Bridge and Martha’s Landing. Gulp! swimming mullet continues to be the hot bait. Anglers casting Gotcha plugs, bucktails and spoons from the U.S. Route 50 Bridge had several nights of blitzing bluefish action.
Tip of the week
Cobia can be part of the catch when you’re out in the bay. Chumming is the best way to attract these massive fish that can top out around 50 pounds. Effective baits include fresh menhaden, crabs and — the most popular cobia enticer around here — live eels.
Maryland doesn’t have any size or possession limit for these brown beasts, but once you enter Virginia waters the minimum size is 40 inches and anglers can possess only one with a maximum of two cobia per boat.