Summer has returned and the fish keep biting
Summer has returned with temperatures in the 80s earlier this week.
There’s no word yet on trout stocking at Wheatley Lake at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville. Perhaps Maryland Department of Natural Resources is just waiting until a cool spell before they release them. Some of the 25,000 trout DNR will be stocking in Maryland’s waters should find their way to Wheatley Lake within the next two weeks.
But even without an influx of trout, the lake is teeming with bass, bluegill and crappie. The results from the 2016 Fall Fishin’ Buddies Derby earlier this month is proof of that On a slow fishing weekend, when the rain was pouring down steadily, 45 teams caught a total of 198 fish, all of which were released back into the 60-acre lake for other anglers trying their luck.
Bluegill was certainly king at this derby. The winners of the most bluegill in the 11- to- 15-year-old age range fishing from shore, Patrick and Miranda Watson, picked off an astounding 27 bluegill in about four hours of fishing. Kevin Earle and Mike Buoniconti, in the 6-10 age range fishing from a boat, led the pack with 16 bluegill landed.
And if that doesn’t whet your appetite for a visit to Gilbert Run this weekend, Ron and Rylee Allen caught the largest bass with a 16-1/2 inch beauty. The largest blue gill measured 9 1/2 inches and was caught
by Kayla Fraser fishing with her partner Jeremy Minton. Southern Maryland lakes and
ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager of Gilbert Run Park, reports the water in the lake is very clear right now and most of the bass have left the shallows. When the water is this clear, the bass often will wait until early evening when the sun is low to come up into the shallows. They are on the lookout for predators, too.
The bass are responding best to natural-colored finesse worms and jig ‘n’ craw combos, and fishing slowly around wood cover is recommended. Topwater lures fished up shallow in the evening are another good choice. Patuxent River — Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) said there are still some croaker and spot in the river for bottom fishermen. White perch are everywhere now and have been eager to bite on lures as long as the tide is moving. You can catch two at a time on bits of bloodworm on spinner hooks in the deep holes.
Rockfish are dependable for trollers on the oyster bars and edges. Those dragging tandem rigs and umbrellas can find plenty of keepers.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports the bass are active now that
the water temperatures are cooling. Topwater poppers or hard jerkbaits around thinning grasses are catching quality bass. Following up with a white spinnerbait waked just under the surface and then a swim jig or plastic worm can increase your chances. Hard cover is becoming more productive when fished with square bill crankbaits that bounce off the cover.
Striper action can be fast and furious at times along the main river. They will crush topwater baits or Rat-L-Trap type lures. Some ver y large crappie are starting to show up around marina pilings.
Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Ken Penrod (240-447-2206) reports the Woodrow Wilson Bridge sector is “kicking in” with big bass coming from Penrod Cove, nearby piers of Smoot Bay, Belle Haven, Broad Creek, Piscataway Creek and Dogue Creek.
Last weekend, LOU had two novice anglers, a 12-year-old and 14-yearold, each catch a “DC Slam.” That means both young men each caught a smallmouth, largemouth, striper and catfish in one outing.
LOU guide Kenny Penrod (240-478-9055) said stripers are the most dependable fish, particularly early in the morning and in the first few hours of an incoming tide and will reliably hit topwater poppers and chartreuse and black crankbaits. Juniata and Susquehanna rivers (Pa.) — LOU Guide Matt Greene (717-5763735) reports topwater baits are still number one, with spinnerbaits filling in the gaps of inactivity. Some rain would be welcome as the water is still very low.
LOU Guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377) said the full moon is hurting the fishing this week since the fish can feed all night and aren’t biting as fiercely during the day. Smallies are hunting for baitfish in packs and chasers are getting wise to the follow-up bait tactic.
LOU is already scheduling spring trophy fishing trips. Call 240-447-2206 to make a reser vation.
Deep Creek Lake — DNR Biologist Kenny Wampler from Garrett County reports fish are deep, shallow, and everywhere in between. The lake has little boat traffic this time of year, making it an angler’s paradise. Throwing jerkbaits, crankbaits, and jigs along weedbeds will produce a mixed bag of bass, perch, walleye, pike, and pickerel.
On the outside edges of weedbeds and drop-offs, jigs tipped with minnows, minnows under a bobber and drifting worms are catching mostly perch with an occasional walleye or bass. Lake Anna (Va.) — C.C. McCotter of McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service (540-894-9144) reports stripers are moving into the upper portion of the lake to feed on massive schools of threadfin shad. The “hot zone” will soon be above the second bridges in both branches. Toothache spoons under breaking smaller fish are catching keepers. Multiarm rigs with three-inch baits are working well, too.
Largemouth bass are feeding heartily in the shallows in the mid-afternoons. Pitching a creature bait or jig to willow grass lines in the upper portions of the North Anna and Pamunkey branches will produce the biggest catches.
Chesapeake Bay — Lamb reports the bay has rockfish up and down the channel. Clouds of seagulls will signal the locations of active fish where trolling and casting lures will catch stripers. Chartreuse and white are always popular, and yellow joins their ranks this week as top colors for small to medium size bucktails.
Between the Target Ship and PR Buoy, schools of gray trout can
be found. They are often under or on the edge of breaking rockfish and one-ounce metal jigs bounced on the bottom will catch these strong fighters.
Atlantic Ocean — Last weekend there were lots of anglers fishing in the bay and off the U.S. 50 Bridge. Black drum, sheepshead, some red drum and flounder were all part of the mix. Sand fleas were the bait of choice except for flatties, which preferred Gulp. The East Channel is producing some nice keeper flounder and an occasional red drum all caught on bunker.
Tip of the week
There’s not much time left if you want to launch your boat or rent one of the rowboats or canoes from the concessions by the boat ramp at Gilbert Run Park. Rentals are available on the weekends for the rest of October, so that’s just two more weekends to get out on the lake and do some fall fishing. The park is walk-in only after Nov. 20.