Wake up early, stay up late for best re­sults

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

Ear­lier this month, the B.A.S.S. or­ga­ni­za­tion an­nounced that an­glers in the Elite Se­ries and those who qual­ify for the Clas­sic are pro­hib­ited from ob­tain­ing any in­for­ma­tion that might give them an un­fair ad­van­tage in any of bod­ies of wa­ter they’ll fish dur­ing tour­na­ments.

The new rule is meant to level the play­ing field for rook­ies who can’t lever­age the kind of sup­port the more sea­soned an­glers have come to rely on such as guides and scouts.

Good ethics dic­tate this change, but if B.A.S.S. wanted to take this new rule a lit­tle fur­ther, delet­ing way­points from fish-find­ing equip­ment be­fore the start of tour­na­ments would make things even more fair.

The an­glers would have to “read” the wa­ter and rely solely on skill and tal­ent and a lit­tle bit of luck. Now that would be ex­cit­ing.

And now to to­day’s Reel Re­port.

South­ern Mary­land lakes

and ponds — The wa­ter feels like a warm bath­tub and try­ing to catch some­thing dur­ing a hot, sunny af­ter­noon will be a waste of your time. You’ll have to set your alarm for when it’s still dark out­side or plan on stay­ing out past bed­time to find any fish in the mood.

Bass will re­act to top­wa­ters at first light and you can switch to a plas­tic worm or spin­ner­bait a lit­tle later. The al­most-fool­proof Jit­ter­bug is an­other op­tion.

Patux­ent River — Rock­fish are back in the shal­lows for lure cast­ers in the early morn­ing and late evening, ac­cord­ing to Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-8638151). You have your choice of pop­pers, swim­ming lures and buck­tails to en­tice them.

Lamb said the rain last week and some­what cooler tem­per­a­tures the last few days has stim­u­lated their ap­petites. Many are 26 to 30 inches.

Spot, perch and croaker are all bit­ing in the deeper holes of the river and peeler crab, blood­worms, squid and even nightcrawlers will catch them. Bot­tom fish­ing con­tin­ues to be ex­cel­lent with his rec­om­men­da­tion to hit the wa­ter dur­ing fall­ing tides for best re­sults.

Po­tomac River — Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Kenny Pen­rod (240-478-9055) re­ports good top­wa­ter ac­tion on frogs and pop­pers, even with wa­ter tem­per­a­tures over 90 de­grees. Later in the day, the frog got a sur­pris­ing num­ber of hits over thick grass beds.

Pen­rod rec­om­mends fish­ing cur­rent breaks such as bridge pil­ings, points and grass beds and stresses set­ting the alarm early and be­ing first on the wa­ter. That can make a dif­fer­ence when high wa­ter tem­per­a­tures and bright sun­shine slow things down later in the day.

LOU guide Keith Barker (301509-2102) sug­gests us­ing soft baits in a spot that com­bines two or more grass species and an­other el­e­ment like drift­wood, sticks or docks, and then

work­ing points, pock­ets and guts in the grass. Barker rec­om­mends green pump­kin red Mizmo Tubes and green pump­kin gold Case Magic Stiks.

Capt. Den­nis Flem­ing of Fishama­jig Guide Ser vice (240-538-1260) re­ports a strong striper bite from Swan Point up to Buoy 15 above the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memo­rial Bridge. Flem­ing ad­vises an­glers to fish shal­low in low-light con­di­tions and have a spin­ning rod rigged with a top­wa­ter lure. Sin­gle hooks or pinched down tre­bles are rec­om­mended to con­serve catc­hand-re­lease fish. Puppy drum are mak­ing a show­ing as well.

Aqua­land Ma­rina (301259-2222) re­ports steady bot­tom fish­ing ac­tion over oys­ter bars. Shore fish­er­men are catch­ing “eater” size cat­fish. Ch­e­sa­peake Bay —

Ac­cord­ing to Lamb, Span­ish mack­erel and blue­fish are in the ship’s chan­nel from Hooper Is­land Light to Smith Point. Span­ish like trolled spoons and eels on plan­ers.

Lamb re­ports co­bia south of Tang­ier Is­land in good num­bers. You can also find smaller fish and fewer num­bers on the lumps be­low the Tar­get Ship, on the Mid­dle Grounds and in the Mud Leads. Both chum­mers and trollers are get­ting co­bia in the lower bay, but the ra­tio of catch­ers to non-catch­ers is about 10 to 1.

Tip of the week

From Lamb: There are plenty of hefty spot to be had in the deeper parts of the Po­tomac and Patux­ent right now. They are tide driven and go dor­mant on slack tides. Make sure you check the tides be­fore you head out and be there when the wa­ter runs.

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