Take the day off and go fish­ing

Maryland Independent - - Sport - Jamie Drake

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.

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