New week, new results
What a difference a week makes. The trophy rockfish season has steadily improved since opening weekend.
According to Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151), the trolling still isn’t good and is still in the fair range, but that’s certainly an upgrade from the poor rating just a short week ago. Better fishing is on the horizon. With the warmer temperatures recently, the season should hit full stride in a matter of days.
As usual, and with most things in life, the early bird gets the worm. Anglers up and out at first light are the ones returning to dock with stripers on ice.
And what’s the best color for parachutes and bucktails? The answer is there’s been no clearcut winner so far. Most fishermen pick white or chartreuse as a personal favorite, but even unpopular purple has been winning hearts — and keepers — lately. Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — The rain earlier this week kept many anglers home, so expect good crowds at your favorite fishing holes this weekend.
Anthony Hancock, assistant manager at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, reports the larger bass are done spawning now, but smaller bass are still on the beds. Bass of all sizes can be caught in shallow water to depths of up to 15 feet right now. Looking for isolated cover such as stumps, laydown trees or dock pilings is a good way to find the better-quality fish.
Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and soft plastic lures are all catching bass along with properly presented topwater lures on warmer evenings.
Patuxent River — The first croaker of the season have officially arrived. Lamb happily reports the gift card prize has been claimed. Clay Arnold caught a pair of 10-inch croaker off the public fishing pier under the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge early Sunday morning.
April 23 is about the average arrival date for the first of these species, which migrate into the local waters from the Atlantic Ocean to spend the summer feasting on the Chesapeake Bay’s bounty of crabs, shrimp and forage fish.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports that changing weather patterns have slowed down the bass bite a bit, but nice bass can still be caught by concentrating on grass beds on the flats.
Topwater is coming more into play as bass are eager to hit buzzbaits, poppers, frogs and jerkbaits worked over grasses. Shallow-running crankbaits and swim jigs or stick worms worked through the same area do well.
Crappie are in shallow bays in good numbers and will hit crappie tubes slowly retrieved off the bank. Bluegill are collecting in the shallow waters and fishermen are finding a good quantity of snakeheads as well.
Juniata and Susquehanna rivers
(Pa.) — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Ken Penrod (240-4472206) reports this week the Juniata produced five 100-plus
bass days this past week. He’s been working Campground tubes, jerkbaits, Case Magic Stiks and Case Salty Shads with huge success.
LOU guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377) adds that rose-colored Campground teaser tubes and chartreuse spinnerbaits worked best. The Juniata has seen a lot of boat traffic lately.
Lake Anna (Va.) — Carlos at High Point Marina (540-895-5249) said the bass bite has slowed down with the fickle weather lately. This weekend, the bass are going to be active with the warm temperatures.
Both ends of the lake are seeing better fishing than the middle. Carlos recommends fishing creeks and coves from one end to the other, concentrating on stumps and post-spawning areas with creature baits.
Big citation crappie are still being brought in, with minnows or 2-inch grubs fished near bridge pilings reliably catching them.
Chesapeake Bay — Lamb reports that the folks at the Tackle Box are hearing from the fishermen who come in that the most reliable area to target is from Little Cove Point to above the Power Plant in about 40 feet of water. Other good trolling spots include near the Bay Bridge, by the LP Buoy and Tangier Sound.
White perch are biting now and grass shrimp fished near the bottom have been putting them on the dinner table.
Atlantic Ocean — Larry Jock of the Coastal Fisherman said the last few days have been good for catching bluefish from the beach. Stripers are still on the small side.
Headboats are often catching limits of tautog on the offshore wreck sites. Capt. Monty Hawkins and his crew on the headboat “Morning Star” took a few trips out to Capt. Bob Gowar’s Reef last week and dropped nearly 300 large cinderblocks on the northwest corner.
Thanks to Capt. Hawkins, his crew and the Ocean City Reef Foundation, that site is turning into quite the reef habitat.