Wonderful day for Wounded Warriors
Last week, the Solomons Charter Captains Association hosted the fifth annual Wounded Warrior fishing event on our local waters.
The SCCA captains donated their time and vessels to give these heroes and their families a truly positive fishing experience.
Despite a few rain showers, about 70 Warriors enjoyed a day of catching coolers of fish.
Warriors had a choice of fish species to target. Many caught Spanish mackerel and bluefish near the Targets. Others chose to catch spot, croaker and whiting near Drum Point.
And when the fishing was through, everyone retired to the Calvert Marina charter dock for a barbeque dinner. Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Low-light conditions, mornings and evenings are still the best times to be outside casting. Set your alarm for before sunrise or go out after dinner and stay until the sun goes down.
Topwaters are the ticket for bass, but don’t be afraid to try soft plastics, too. Crickets from the pet store or grasshoppers collected from your yard work well dangled under a bobber when hunting for bluegill. You’ll need to use a split-shot to keep them down.
Patuxent River — Spot have been plentiful near the mouth and their size continues to tip the large end of the scale. If you don’t go fishing now, you’re going to miss out on a tasty summer meal. Perch and croaker are part of the mix. You can find catfish near the Benedict Bridge.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports that limits of bass have been hard to come by this week. Andrzejewski recommends concentrating on hard cover with Ned rigs and finesse worms, which has proved more successful than the standard grass patterns.
Creek ledges and especially marsh run-offs on the outgoing tide can produce bass on scaled-down baits. Don’t abandon grasses completely and when you find bass, stay at that location and work it with a variety of baits.
LOU guide Kenny Penrod (240-478-9055) concurs, reporting the Washington, D.C., section of the Potomac and has been “stingy” at best this week. There are big fish out there for patient anglers who can work the tides and wait out lulls till the bite picks up again.
Aqualand Marina (301-2592222) reports that trollers are still connecting with decent-sized stripers over main river humps and channel edges. Anglers should have a mix of high and low baits in their spread to maximize effectiveness.
Bottom fishermen are doing well off Swan Point. It’s a party
out there in the evenings with most of the fleet anchored and trying their luck for croaker or some of those jumbo spot.
There seems to be no end in sight to the amount of catfish being caught by the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge as boaters, kayakers and even shore fishermen can fill a cooler in an evening with these tasty fish. Juniata and Susquehanna
rivers (Pa.) — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Jason Shay (717-507-4377) cautions anglers to watch out for rocks as the river level drops. Big mayfly hatches have turned on the evening bite and he recommends lures in natural colors.
LOU guide Scott Johnson (240-625-2550) said the higher water level has enabled the fish to spread out all over the river, so covering water has been helpful for finding fish.
All the typical summertime haunts are productive — submerged ledges, chunk rock, grass lines with current and shallow riffles — but Johnson said don’t overlook in non-descript areas such as sandy bottoms with good current.
Chesapeake Bay — Capt. Dale Coon from the stable of guides at Fishamajig Guide Ser vice (240-587-8307) reports stripers and bluefish in their late-summer pattern. A good pair of binoculars will help you locate the schools and metal jigging spoons get the job done once you’ve found some breakers gorging on bay anchovies.
Capt. Coon advocates barbless hooks, which are both good for the fisherman and the fish since most of the stripers are undersized.
Atlantic Ocean — Another big tournament, this time the Mid-Atlantic, has brought a lot of excitement to Ocean City this week.
Many white marlin releases have been reported as well as the usual suspects — dolphin, wahoo and some heavy yellowfin.
The flounder bite remains steady in the bay, and switching bait to sand fleas or shiners can perk things up. The minimum size is 17 inches and while there are lots of shorts, keepers have been hard to come by for even experienced anglers.
Tip of the week
Only a few more days to go before school bells ring. Take some youngsters to a local lake or pond to score bluegill in the shallows.
If your kids already have the basics — casting and reeling — down, let them try throwing a little floating Rapala. Put a small piece of worm on one of the rear hooks and watch the feisty bluegill attack. Your kids will have a blast tr ying to hook ‘em.