Take the day off and go fishing
The weather pattern the past few days has been phenomenal and let’s hope those temperate days continue into the weekend. The sound of school bells is not far off, so now is the time to break out the tackle boxes and Barbie or Spiderman fishing rods and head to your favorite fishing spot to make some summertime memories.
Weekdays are less crowded than weekends, a good reason to take a day off from the daily grind and spend it with the family instead. It’s a proven fact that people smile more and worry less after a day of fishing.
Southern Maryland lakes and
ponds — There are some nicesized bluegill at Tilghman Lake Park in La Plata that are eager to take a nightcrawler or mealworm. With the more mild temperatures the past few days, you can even find willing fish during the daytime. Walk around the perimeter to find an opening in the lilypads, then enjoy reeling them in. The largemouth bass there aren’t shy either. Topwater lures like frogs or poppers should get their attention.
Patuxent River — Ken Lamb from The Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) reports the bottom fishing has been excellent. The perch in the rivers on 20- to 30-foot edges are steadily taking bloodworm and peeler crabs; squid or shrimp should work, too. They have been 9 to 11 inches consistently in the deeper water. The perch are plentiful in the creeks and the smaller-sized fish are crowding in for cast lures, but finding the big ones reeuires searching up the creeks and rivers looking for structure and deep holes under overhanging trees.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Capt. Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports the bass fishing can be very rewarding if you locate grass beds with a noticeable current flow. Use topwater poppers early and then switch to hard jerk baits in areas where current is present. Marsh outflows can be very productive toward the end of the outgoing tide. Wacky rigged stick worms or finesse worms are catching fish.
Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Ken Penrod said there is an abundance of 7- to 11inch smallmouth throughout the upper Potomac and it’s hard to have a bad day unless you just don’t go. Topwater buzzbaits and poppers, spinnerbaits and swimbaits will catch ‘em but nothing beats the teaser-size Campground Special tubes in the KP series on RAB jig heads.
Trolling has produced rockfish in the 20-inch size range around St. Clements Island to Nomini Bay. A friend has been lucky enough to catch four over 30 inches in the past two weeks. He caught them trolling in the 20-foot range with
tandem bucktails high in the water column. Juniata and Susquehanna
rivers (Pa.) — Not a lot of boaters have been out lately, maybe it’s been too hot or they have used up all their vacation days, but it’s great for anglers because even though the water temperatures are warm, the bass are biting.
LOU guide Matt Greene (717-576-3735) reports he’s had some of his best fishing days of this summer this past week. The topwater lure bite has been strong followed up by spinnerbait, swimbait, and case magic stik. LOU guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377) said bigger baits have been the key to catching bigger fish. Big topwater lures and swimbaits are his recommendation for putting bass in the boat.
Deep Creek Lake — An early and reliable topwater bite for smallmouths has been reported this past week. The grass bass prefer soft plastics and creature baits. Target structure near drop offs for the bigger fish and casting near docks is always a good choice. Live bait, especially minnows, will catch walleye, perch and the occasional pickerel.
The lake has been especially busy the past few weekends. Midweek, when the jet skiers are less abundant, is a better time to go fishing.
Lake Anna (Va.) — Now is the time to make the drive to the lake for a summer fishing trip. Like Deep Creek Lake, the weekdays are less crowded than the high-traffic weekends.
High Point Marina (540895-5249) reports there are plenty of schools of stripers roaming the main regions of the lake. Some of the best catches have been on live bait. Stripers are feeding heavily on herring and shad, and once the nights start to cool there will be a bait migration to the backs of the creeks and the stripers will turn on in very shallow water. Anywhere there is structure you can catch bass and crappie.
Chesapeake Bay — The greater amberjack has been gracing the Maryland portion of the bay this past week. Juveniles in the 26- to 30-inch range have been caught as far north as the mouth of the Choptank River by chumming, trolling and casting.
Lamb reports the cobia are continuing to be caught on the lumps below the Target Ship by chummers using fresh chum or frozen chum logs and baiting their hooks with fresh alewives. Live eels are also a bait of choice, but it’s hit or miss at the bait shops. Trollers are getting blues and cobia using surgical eel lures as well as spoons and feathered jigs. A big one was caught last week on a big MoJo lure dressed with a nine inch yellow/ green shad.
Atlantic Ocean — The bad news is the flounder fishing on the wrecks has slowed a bit this past week. The good news is Bob Foster from Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City (410-524-3433) reports several keepers caught in the stretch between the airport and Castaways Campground and from the Second to Fourth Street bulkhead and Ninth Street pier.
Now is the time to grab a dozen bloodworms and a tub of shrimp and take the kids spot fishing. Small spot and croaker are being caught around the Route 90 Bridge.