The heat is on

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­

The hu­mid­ity has been se­vere the past few days, but that didn’t stop the kids at Bunky’s Fish­ing Camp from learn­ing the ins and outs of bot­tom fish­ing and catch­ing loads of spot to boot.

Each morn­ing, be­fore the heat got in­tense, the kids prac­ticed ty­ing their bot­tom rigs and then boarded the “Marchelle,” a 47-foot ves­sel bound for the part of the river near the Gov. Thomas John­son Bridge.

Tues­day, while round­ing the point where the re­search pier of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bi­o­log­i­cal Lab­o­ra­tory is lo­cated, a pod of nat­u­rally cu­ri­ous dol­phins ap­proached the boat. But this wasn’t the typ­i­cal group of a half-dozen dol­phins you might some­times see in lo­cal wa­ters.

This group num­bered close to a hun­dred, and they swam and jumped around the boat, lay­ing on the charm quite thickly.

I sin­cerely hope all who at­tended camp will get plenty of chances in the fu­ture to prac­tice what they learned and de­velop a life­long love of recre­ational fish­ing, and I’m will­ing to bet not one of them will ever for­get the time they saw a hun­dred dol­phins in the Patux­ent River. South­ern Mary­land lakes and

ponds — The fish­ing re­mains con­sis­tent for bluegill and bass at Wheat­ley Lake, even though the lake wa­ter might be com­ing to a boil soon, said An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville. The staff at the park is host­ing their 4 Day Fish­ing Fun­da­men­tals pro­gram for some lucky young­sters this week and the kids have been catch­ing bluegill and re­dear sun­fish along the shore­line mid-morn­ing.

Just a sim­ple piece of worm sus­pended a few feet un­der a bob­ber is all that’s needed to have some shore­line pan­fish fun. The bass are bit­ing well around shore­line grass and wood cover, es­pe­cially early in the morn­ing be­fore the sun clears the trees and dur­ing that last hour of light be­fore the park closes.

Dur­ing the heat of the day, Han­cock rec­om­mends soft plas­tic lures or jig and craw com­bos fished slowly along the bot­tom.

Patux­ent River — The Solomons Char­ter Cap­tains As­so­ci­a­tion fleet (www. fish­ re­ports that the lower Patux­ent near the Gov. Thomas John­son Bridge has been the hot spot for large and jumbo spot with all the char­ter cap­tains bring­ing back happy clients and cool­ers full of fish.

Blood­worms are the bait of choice; Fish­bites will do in a pinch. If that’s not enough to en­tice you, whit­ing have just ar­rived in lo­cal wa­ters as well.

Po­tomac River — Andy An­drze­jew­ski with the Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guides (301-9321509) said the top­wa­ter bite re­mains strong early in the morn­ing dur­ing the lower part of the tides. An­drze­jew­ski rec­om­mends us­ing pop-

ping frogs or hard pop­pers over and along grasses.

You’ll do well to fo­cus on grass beds with bait­fish ac­tiv­ity or birds hunt­ing around for a meal. Small, shal­low-run­ning crankbaits and small, white spin­ner­baits are An­drze­jew­ski’s baits of choice this week. Hard cover

holds bass that can be taken with 4-inch fi­nesse worms rigged with light sinkers.

Aqua­land Ma­rina (301-2592222) re­ports good bot­tom-fish­ing on nearby oys­ter bars for perch, medium-sized croaker, big spot and an oc­ca­sional cat­fish. Rock­fish are avail­able to knowl­edge­able an­glers at dawn and dusk. Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — An­glers have had some suc­cess catch­ing blue­fish

and a few sur­prise co­bias while trolling near Point Look­out, ac­cord­ing to the SCCA.

Dal­las Croce of the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151) re­ports an­glers are catch­ing fish al­most ev­ery­where in the bay this week, in­clud­ing white perch and hefty jumbo spot.

Rock­fish have been co­op­er­a­tive in the early morn­ing on top­wa­ters, but it takes pa­tience and per­sis­tence to catch a keeper.

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