Heat is af­fect­ing the fish­ing

Maryland Independent - - Sports - jamiedrake­out­doors@ out­look.com

My husband loves oys­ters, so his fa­vorite time of year for seafood is all the months that have an “r” in them. I won’t turn down oys­ters, but crabs are by far my fa­vorite seafood of all to feast upon.

I re­cently had din­ner with a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion water­man re­cently and asked if he ever got tired of eat­ing crabs. He told me ev­ery time he sits down to eat them he prays, ‘Please don’t let this be that day.’

I’m re­minded of a time my dad took my sis­ter and her friend crab­bing down at Chap­tico Wharf. My dad got the lines all baited up and my sis­ter took them down the pier and threw them out. Only af­ter she tossed in the last one did she re­al­ize she never tied any of them to the pier. It was a rare bad crab­bing day.

Crab­bing with chicken necks has al­ways been a fa­vorite fam­ily ac­tiv­ity. We don’t even bother to weight them down. Af­ter a few min­utes they get wa­ter-logged and sink on their own if they haven’t al­ready. We weren’t able to find any at the lo­cal gro­cery store and went with chicken backs this year in­stead. The crabs didn’t seem to mind much.

Chicken necks or chicken backs — ei­ther bait will put crabs in your bas­ket. Just don’t for­get to se­cure your lines. South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds — An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gil­bert Run Park in Dentsville, said he can count the num­ber of fish­er­men he saw this past Sun­day on one hand. The heat is surely af­fect­ing the fish­ing right now. Last week he taught a free fish­ing class for kids and they had a hard time catch­ing even a few bluegill.

Af­ter the sun clears the trees, small swim jigs, fi­nesse worms in nat­u­ral colors, white tube­baits and senko-type baits fished slowly along the bot­tom in 5 to 12 feet of wa­ter, es­pe­cially around drop-offs with wood or grass cover, are a good choice for bass. Wheat­ley Pond is a catch-and-re­lease only bass fish­ing area.

Most of the bluegill near shore are on the small side, but a few big ones will bite early in the morn­ing on pieces of live bait or small flies. It’s go­ing to be tough fish­ing dur­ing the day un­til we get a few good rains. Plan on get­ting to the park right when it opens for the best fish­ing.

Patux­ent River — Ken Lamb from the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151) re­ports the white perch are as plen­ti­ful as ever this sum­mer. The early morn­ing and evenings are good for an­glers casting bee­tle-spins and small jigs. Dur­ing the day­time sun, bot­tom fish­ing heats up.

The perch are com­pet­ing with tiny red­fish that love the hot weather and are steadily get­ting big­ger, though most are still 10 to 12 inches. Lamb knows of only one that has been keeper-sized (18 inches) so far this sea­son. Croaker fish­ing is al­most ex­clu­sively an evening/ night fish­ery and they are be­ing caught on peeler crab, shrimp,

squid and blood­worms.

Po­tomac River — Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Capt. Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-932-1509) re­ports that even though the heat has been un­bear­able, bass can still be caught. Grass frogs fished over thick grasses and large plas­tic worms fished out­side grass lines will catch bass. A buzzed spin­ner­bait or rapidly re­trieved chat­ter­bait will take bass around iso­lated clumps. Jig worms fished along creek chan­nel ledges can be a good way to col­lect a limit. Ju­ni­ata and Susque­hanna rivers (Pa.) — Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited (LOU) guide Ja­son Shay (717-507-4377) re­ports top­wa­ter lures have seen the most con­sis­tent bite dur­ing early morn­ing and evening hours. Spin­ner­baits and non-weighted flukes have been work­ing best dur­ing mid­day hours.

LOU guide John Sty­gler (717-368-3802) says the Ju­ni­ata wa­ter lev­els are very low. Many ar­eas are choked with grass and the al­gae is get­ting bad. He rec­om­mends tar­get­ing ar­eas with ledges, grass is­lands, and shal­low flats that cre­ate a strong cur­rent.

The LOU guides warn an­glers that high tem­per­a­tures mean more bac­te­ria in the wa­ter. Don’t get the wa­ter in your mouth, use an­tibac­te­rial wipes be­fore eat­ing, shower when you get home and treat abra­sions with dis­in­fec­tant.

Deep Creek Lake — Joe McClusky at Bill’s Out­door Cen­ter in Oak­land (301-387-3474) said the fish­ing is pretty good lately con­sid­er­ing the wa­ter has heated up con­sid­er­ably the past week.

Bass and pick­erel have shifted off the end of docks and the wall­eye and pike have moved off the points into deeper wa­ter where its cooler. Nat­u­ral pre­sen­ta­tions like plas­tic cray­fish and crea­ture baits are work­ing best as well as the old stand­bys min­nows and nightcrawlers.

Lake Anna (Va.) — High Point Ma­rina (540-8955249) re­ports bass are

in their clas­sic sum­mer pat­tern right now. Fish are be­ing caught on the top of roadbeds in deep wa­ter, over the older fish struc­tures that were put in the lake years ago and around bridge pil­ing and docks.

Cat­fish love the warmer wa­ter this time of year and can be caught every­where and on any kind of bait. Some larger than nor­mal cat­fish have been caught over 25-foot deep flats on live bait.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — No mat­ter what you call co­bia (brownie, ling, and crab-eater are a few names I’ve heard that come to mind), this game­fish has been mak­ing the fish­ing es­pe­cially exciting lately in the lower bay re­gion.

Lamb re­ports they’re be­ing caught around the Tar­get Ship, the Mud Leads and the Mid­dle Grounds and south near Smith Point and the Cut Chan­nels in Vir­ginia. Chum­ming and chunk­ing with alewives is a pop­u­lar method and live eels are al­ways a good bet to at­tract a slow-prowl­ing co­bia.

At­lantic Ocean — Bob Foster at Oys­ter Bay Tackle in Ocean City (410524-3433) re­ports try­ing to catch a keeper floun­der in the back bays has been chal­leng­ing. Bait-sized spot have moved into the bay and are around the Route 90 Bridge. Many an­glers catch these small spot to use as bait for floun­der and stripers. Surf an­glers are catch­ing lots of tasty king­fish on blood­worms and Fish­bites.

Tip of the week

Recre­ational crab­bing con­tin­ues to be good this sum­mer. Crab pots used by wa­ter­front prop­erty own­ers must be fit­ted with a by-catch re­duc­tion de­vice at ev­ery fun­nel en­trance be­cause di­a­mond­back ter­rap­ins are drawn to the same baits used to at­tract crabs. With­out the ex­cluder, tur­tles and other an­i­mals that en­ter the pot can­not es­cape and drown. The de­vices, sold in tackle shops, are easy to in­stall and of­ten cost less than $2.

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