New week, new re­sults

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors @out­

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.

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