Fish are bit­ing all over

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors @out­

It’s back. The Reel Re­port will be ap­pear­ing in this space ev­ery Fri­day un­til the end of Oc­to­ber.

Water tem­per­a­tures are steadily ris­ing and fish are bit­ing all over the re­gion, with some­thing to whet ev­ery an­gler’s ap­petite this April.

There’s so much to cover on this first Fri­day, let’s get right to it.

South­ern Mary­land lakes and

ponds — An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gil­bert Run Park said, the fish there are still in late-win­ter shut­down mode for the most part.

Bass are co­op­er­at­ing on warmer af­ter­noons but are still holding in deeper water from 10 to 12 feet deep. Fishing steeper drop-off with plas­tic lures, jigs and sus­pend­ing jerk­baits have of­ten been the best method for catch­ing the rather slug­gish bass. Tar­get­ing deeper wood cover near the drop-offs is the way to get bites.

Bluegill are mak­ing their way up into the shal­lower edges and in an­other week or two they will be within reach for shore­line an­glers. The trout have been play­ing hard-to-get on sunny days since they were stocked but have been more co­op­er­a­tive ear­lier in the morn­ings, later in the evening and on cloudy days.

Baits of choice range from Power­bait fished off the bot­tom, small flashy spin­ners and spoons, or even nymph and streamer pat­terns on a fly-rod. It pays to move around if you are not get­ting bites in one spot.

Calvert Cliffs Pond and Hutchins Pond in Calvert County and Hugh­esville Pond and Myr­tle Grove Pond in Charles County are slated for trout stock­ing next week.

Patux­ent River — Alvin Reyes at the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151) re­ports the croaker aren’t here yet, but an­glers are still hook­ing up with white perch close to shore us­ing bee­tle spins and rat­tle­traps.

Po­tomac River — Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-932-1509) re­ports the bass ac­tiv­ity is reach­ing spring peak with sev­eral pat­terns pro­duc­ing fish.

Bounc­ing a li­p­less rat­tle bait along main river rocky points as well as at the mouths of creeks can pro­duce good-sized bass. Shal­low hard cover in creek bays give up de­cent num­bers of bass that will re­act to fi­nesse worms or Ned rigs fished through the cover.

Creek ledges con­tinue to hold bass that will take deep-div­ing crankbaits in a va­ri­ety of col­ors as well as grubs. Main river grass beds have bass that like jerk­baits, spin­ner­baits and es­pe­cially ar­ti­fi­cial craw­baits. Crap­pie are leav­ing their deep haunts and gath­er­ing around mari­nas and wood cover in creeks. Crap­pie grubs and tiny traps work well..

Fishama­jig Guide Ser­vice’s Capt. Den­nis Flem­ing (240-5381260) re­ports that he and Capt. Dale Coon have been do­ing well on pre-spawn crap­pies in the Po­tomac River creeks north of Fort Wash­ing­ton.

These fish are some real mon­sters, with some ci­ta­tion size (15 inches plus) on most trips. Live min­nows un­der a bob­ber are the ticket.

Po­tomac catfish an­glers are do­ing well and catch­ing a lot of stripers on cut bait, as well. Cir­cle hooks min­i­mize the dam­age to these spawn­ing fish in the up­per reaches of the river.

Lake Anna — Jim Hemby of Lake Anna Striper Guide Ser vice (540-9673313) said April is go­ing to be awe­some. Stripers are feed­ing all over the lake now on 5- to 15-foot flats, humps and points, how­ever, the best ac­tion is from the splits and up. They are not se­lec­tive about what they want to eat.

Hemby sug­gests tr ying se­cluded ar­eas for more con­sis­tent ac­tion and a good pat­tern for now is to cast up and un­der docks. There’s go­ing to be a full moon on April 11, so cou­pled with the re­cent warm weather, the ma­jor­ity of bass will at­tempt to spawn this month. Re­mem­ber to re­lease bed­ding fish where you catch them.

The types of baits that will work this month are end­less. Just use any tech­nique you’re com­fort­able with and con­cen­trate your ef­forts in 10 feet or less.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — It’s tough to get a re­li­able re­port this time of year with cap­tains scout­ing for open­ing day and keep­ing mum about where the fish are.

Some trollers have been catch­ing rock­fish near the power plant and off the navy base. And shore an­glers have had suc­cess fishing with blood­worms and alewives. The tackle stores have been busy with ev­ery­one gear­ing up for open­ing day on April 15.

At­lantic Ocean — Char­ter and head boats are hav­ing fair to good tau­tog catches near the off­shore wreck and reef sites. Tau­tog have yet to ven­ture in­shore.

Larry Jock re­ports good catches of catch-an­drelease striped bass, all un­der the 28-inch mark, from the Route 90 Bridge up to the Delaware line.

Tip of the week

Flem­ing re­ports hick­ory shad and her­ring are in the creeks. The next two weeks should be prime fishing for these “poor man’s tar­pon.”

Try fishing as a guest at the Ma­son Springs Con­ser­vancy prop­erty at Route 225 and Mat­ta­woman Creek on evening af­ter work. Light line, shad darts and small spoons are the ticket here.

Be ready to be checked by Mary­land Nat­u­ral Resources Po­lice dur­ing this catch-and-re­lease fish­ery as both species are un­der a mo­ra­to­rium. And take away yours and oth­ers’ trash so this prop­erty will stay open to the pub­lic.

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