Know the laws be­fore you go out

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­

I’ve seen a lot more po­lice pres­ence on the wa­ter and at lo­cal lakes and rivers this year.

That’s a good thing for an­glers, be­cause when ev­ery­one fol­lows the rules the re­sources can be prop­erly man­aged so there’s some to go around for ev­ery­one.

Make sure to check the reg­u­la­tions on­line be­fore you head out to do any fish­ing. Although the Mary­land Guide to Fish­ing and Crab­bing pub­lished by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources con­tains the most up-to-date in­for­ma­tion avail­able at print­ing, the min­i­mum sizes, daily creel and pos­ses­sion limit can change and it’s the an­gler’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to know and abide by the law.

The 2017 sum­mer floun­der reg­u­la­tions are set at a 17-inch min­i­mum size with four per day un­til Dec. 31. This is a change from last year that wasn’t avail­able when the guide was pub­lished.

Although floun­der are usu­ally part of the Ocean City fish­ing re­port, they can be found in the lower and mid­dle Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gions dur­ing the mid to late sum­mer months. I’ve caught my fair share of small­sized “vol­un­teers” in a col­lapsi­ble crab trap off my sis­ter-in­law’s pier on the Po­tomac River.

DNR’s Keith Lock­wood said the Corn­field Har­bor ar­eas as well as Po­comoke and Tang­ier sounds of­fer the best lo­ca­tions to find them. South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds

— Op­por­tu­ni­ties for catch­ing bass and bluegill are lim­it­less this month. The large­mouth and small­mouth sea­son opens on June 15 with a min­i­mum size of 12 inches and creel of five fish in ef­fect.

An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gil­bert Run Park in Dentsville, said he was sur­prised to see a few an­glers last week with stringers of three to four trout apiece. Cast­ing small spin­ners and spoons on ul­tra­light gear will catch trout along with just about any­thing else that swims in the lake.

Patux­ent River — Cap­tains Dale Coon and Den­nis Fleming of Fishama­jig Guide Ser­vice (240-538-1260) found plenty of stripers in the Patux­ent last week but not many keep­ers.

Spot and croaker haven’t hit full sum­mer­time mode yet, ac­cord­ing to Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151), but white perch are abun­dant in all the creeks. Cat­fish­ing is great in the up­per Patux­ent for hook and line and bow fish­er­men.

Po­tomac River — Ac­cord­ing to Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Scott John­son (240-625-2550), it’s safe to get out on the up­per Po­tomac now that the wa­ter lev­els have dropped.

John­son rec­om­mends fo­cus­ing on sub­merged ledges and rock flats with mod­er­ate cur­rent in the up­com­ing days as the river level con­tin­ues to go down. Camp­ground tubes in bold col­ors are work­ing well

along with spin­ner­baits re­trieved along cur­rent seams par­al­lel with the cur­rent.

The ac­tion in grass beds is heat­ing up, ac­cord­ing to Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-932-1509). An­drze­jew­ski rec­om­mends small pop­pers or frogs fished around grasses or pad

fields un­til the sun is high on the wa­ter. Bluegill are plen­ti­ful on the in­side edges of grasses in coves and small spin­ners, grubs or fly rod pop­pers will col­lect them.

Con­sid­er­ing there wasn’t much good news to re­port on dur­ing tro­phy rock­fish sea­son, the Po­tomac has ex­pe­ri­enced a com­plete turn­around in the past week.

Lamb re­ports there’s lots of ac­tion from Point Look­out all the way to the Gov. Harry W. Nice Me­mo­rial Bridge and be­yond. Trollers are find­ing good-sized rock­fish off St. Ge­orge’s Is­land in 30 feet of wa­ter. He said lo­cals are catch­ing more rock­fish in the St. Mary’s River than they have in decades.

Aqua­land Ma­rina (301259-2222) re­ports steady cat­fish ac­tion from their rental boat fleet as they await the first run of croaker and spot. Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Fleming said the larger fish have once again moved north in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and an­glers in the An­napo­lis area are en­joy­ing good fish­ing for bigger fish.

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