A perfect reason to go outdoors
Yesterday was the first day of fall. Early hunting seasons have already begun and the best fishing of the year is upon us. Saturday is National Fishing and Hunting Day, and it’s the perfect reason to spend some time outdoors.
A recent Outdoor Foundation report shows fishing is the second most popular outdoor activity among adults 25 and older after jogging, and the fourth most popular for younger Americans 6 to 24. But don’t take my word for it. Get outside on Saturday, which should be a beautiful day, and see for yourself how much fun wetting a line can be.
Whether you’re holding a fishing rod, shotgun, paddle or binoculars, getting outside is what’s important. These gorgeous days aren’t going to be around forever.
Southern Maryland lakes and
ponds — It’s no longer exclusively only an early morning and late evening window for good fishing times. With the recent rain and cooling temperatures, the fish in our smaller waters now know it’s time to put on the feedbag. Bass and panfish can be found in shady spots and near any kind of submerged structure, like fallen trees. Lately, the bluegill haven’t been able resist a mealworm dropped about a foot or two below a small bobber.
Patuxent River — Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) reports there are breaking rockfish on some days with big flocks of gulls feeding on the scraps left by the fish. Other days the fish are down and they can be found on depth finders and jigged. Good days result in two per person over 20 inches. Bad days mean lots of action with undersized fish.
White perch are very active in the creeks and rivers for lure casters in the shallows and in the 30-foot depths for sinker dunkers. Undersize redfish are everywhere in the creeks. Some may be closing in on the 18-inch minimum.
Potomac River — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Kenny Penrod (240-478-9055) said the outgoing tides that coincide with the late evening hours this week is going to make for the perfect conditions for an evening fishing trip to target big largemouth and snakeheads that station themselves at the edges of grass looking for baitfish. The combination of tide and low light hours can produce exciting strikes on buzzbaits and frogs.
Lamb said anglers are reporting excellent fishing for medium-sized blue catfish in the lower part of the river from the mouth of the Wicomico River to past the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge. Juniata and Susquehanna rivers (Pa.) — Many of the areas that had poor fishing the past few years are on the rebound with lots of smaller fish being caught. LOU guide John
Stygler (717-368-3802) has been fishing the impoundments below Harrisburg with success. LOU guide Matt Greene (717-576-3735) said the baits of choice (topwater and spinnerbait) haven’t changed, but what has is the frequency of catching bass on top water during the middle of the day.
Deep Creek Lake — LOU guide Bret Winegardner (301-616-9889) said the topwater action is really good in the morning for smallmouth bass on rocky shorelines and stump points. Many of the docks have been pulled out, so those remaining will be extra good, and Winegardner recommends skipping plastics, such as wacky-rigged weightless Senkos, under them.
Lake Anna (Va.) — High Point Marina (540-895-5249) reports the water temperatures are dropping quickly and the gamefish are responding. Shoreline structure is prime largemouth bass territory. Pitching small plastic worms to docks has been the go-to pattern right now.
Mid-lake, the bass are moving to the back of creeks like Marshall, Pigeon, Mitchell, Sturgeon and Contrary. Each will have fish in them somewhere, it’s up to you to be there early and leave late to bump into them.
The September rockfish are still on the skinny side. Bigger fish will begin to bite better by the end of the month. Slip bobbers and minnows set at 5 to 8 feet are irresistible to crappie.
Chesapeake Bay — Lamb reports cobia and big channel bass were caught last week by sight casters, trollers and chummers from Buoy 72 to the Target Ship. Rockfish have been breaking in the evening at Cedar Point. Trollers and lure casters are catching plenty of rock with some blues mixed in. Speckled trout are in the Honga River and persistent fishermen have done very well in the back thoroughfares and cuts.
Atlantic Ocean — Charters are catching flounder and a few sea bass near the Bass Grounds on bucktails tipped with strip baits. Several boats have been returning with the limit of flounder. The offshore fishing fleet is finding the best white marlin fishing of the season. The Washington and Norfolk Canyon, Poor Man’s Canyon and the Rock Pile are putting out good numbers of white marlin along with the occasional wahoo, yellowfin tuna and mahi.
Tip of the week
It was just a few short months ago that spring trout were being stocked in Maryland’s managed waters. Well, get ready for another round this October.
If you want to be one of the first to find out when the fish have been put in, sign up on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website at http://dnr2. maryland.gov/Fisheries/Pages/ trout/stocking.aspx to get emails sent directly to your inbox as the waters are stocked. firstname.lastname@example.org