Memories to last a lifetime
There’s probably no better way to spend a couple of your leisure hours than taking a kid fishing.
The shrieks, squeals and laughs make the experience something everyone will remember for a long time, and the photos you can look back on years later are a precious reminder of time spent with those near and dear.
Many families made their own fishing memories at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville on May 6 as Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism sponsored the annual Spring Fishin’ Buddies Derby.
The weather didn’t get the memo that it should have been sunny and warm. But the heavier rains held off and, even though the temperature never got above 54 degrees, the spring derby was a big success for the young anglers who braved the drizzle and gray skies.
Many of the youngsters who fished in the derby are already fast on their way to becoming lifetime recreational anglers. Several teams were repeat winners from the fall derby of 2016.
Patrick and Miranda Watson might be the most well-rounded anglers in Southern Maryland. They competed in the in the 11- to 15-year-old age bracket and caught both the most bass and the most crappie that day. That’s noteworthy considering they led last year in the bluegill category. I’d like to know the secrets to their success.
In the 6 to 10 age range, Kevin Earle and Mike Buoniconti were repeat winners, too, with the most bluegill from a boat.
Congratulations to all of the young anglers who took home a trophy for their fishing efforts.
Seventy teams caught a grand total of 344 fish in just a few short hours, including almost 200 bluegill, a pair of crappie and even a few leftover trout from spring stocking. The largest bass measured an impressive 20 inches.
And a special thanks to both managers of Gilbert Run Park, Casey Jones and Anthony Hancock, who put in a lot of hard work to make the derby such a success.
The fishing, right now, is very good in our local fresh waters. All it takes is a rod, a couple of hooks and bobbers, and a cup of nightcrawlers to turn a Saturday morning into a fishing
memory that will last a lifetime. Southern Maryland lakes
and ponds — Anthony Hancock, assistant manager of Gilbert Run, reports most of the bass are done spawning and will bite on a variety of lures like spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs and soft plastics. Most catches are on the small side but every now and then a 5-pounder hits the net.
Crappie are playing hard-to-catch in Wheatley Lake, but some will take a white curly tail grub or a live minnow under a bobber. Panfish at St. Mary’s Lake will take a nightcrawler or minnow fished under a bobber. Crappie have
moved off into deeper water now. Patuxent River — Joe from the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301863-8151) reports the croaker are still not hot and heavy, but a few have shown up at Solomons Pier.
White perch are all over the creeks and are active early in the morning and
late in the evening along the shorelines.
Potomac River — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Ken Penrod (240447-2206) tells anglers to stay off the upper Potomac for the next few days as the water levels are dangerous. The full moon this week is driving bass to spawn throughout the river despite the high water levels.
Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) recommends using shallow-running crankbaits worked over the tops of grasses on flats during the full moon high tide this week and then following up with a plastic craw or nine-inch worm. Shallow boat docks in marinas are also giving up bass to finesse worms or a flipped or pitched jig. Chesapeake Bay — It’s still hit or miss for trophy rockfish season. Recent charters have been catching fish, but not a lot of keepers. Trophy season is nearing its end with less than a week left before catch limits and boundaries change.
Joe from the Tackle Box said anglers are still plucking off stripers trolling near the power plant and gas docks. Shore anglers have been laying into perch along with some stripers mixed in at Point Lookout. Atlantic Ocean — The weather this past week has made for tough ocean fishing conditions. Larry Jock of the Coastal Fisherman reports bluefish are all over the bay. The flounder fishing is still slow but a few keepers have been caught on Gulp in the Thorofare.
Tip of the week
Unfortunately for many local anglers, this weekend isn’t shaping up to deliver the rockfish or croaker we expect this time of year. But right now the catfish in the Wicomico River are a sure thing.
Bushwood Wharf, Chaptico Wharf and Wicomico Shores Pier are all public fishing facilities and great destinations if you want to be guaranteed to feel a tug at the end of your line.