Wait­ing game for cooler weather

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By JAMIE DRAKE jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­look.com

It’s Fri­day the 13th and that shouldn’t scare any­one who wants to do a lit­tle fish­ing to­day or over the week­end.

Although we’ve seen some un­sea­son­ably (and un­com­fort­ably) warm weather ear­lier this week, tem­per­a­tures will be­gin to feel more fall-like soon. And that’s great news for an­glers who are wait­ing for the fall trout-stock­ing in our lo­cal wa­ters.

Trout are nat­u­rally cold-water fish and don’t do well in warm water, so Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources must wait un­til cooler tem­per­a­tures give them a green light to com­mence stock­ing around here. The pro­gram has about 28,000 brown, golden and rain­bow trout ready for put-and-take through­out the state.

But here’s a warn­ing that ought to scare you. Trout fish­er­men on the up­per Gun­pow­der River (in Bal­ti­more) are be­ing asked by DNR to be ex­tra cau­tious when us­ing waders and hip boots.

A new in­va­sive species, the New Zealand mud­snail, has been de­tected. Sev­eral hun­dred snails were col­lected in just a few min­utes when bi­ol­o­gists in­spected the area near Bush Cabin Run.

DNR asks all an­glers to de­con­tam­i­nate their boots, waders, fish­ing rods, tackle and buck­ets to pre­vent the spread of in­va­sive species from one body of water to an­other. As a re­minder, Mary­land banned all felt-soled shoes and waders in state wa­ters or within five feet of state wa­ters in 2011.

Lo­cally, the Po­tomac River Rock­fish Tour­na­ment held at Aqua­land Ma­rina was a suc­cess last week­end. Thirty-four boats com­peted for the big­gest rock­fish in con­di­tions that all who fished would de­scribe as a tough bite.

Lo­cal an­gler Chad Bar­ron proved to be the top an­gler when his crew placed first and third and an­other lo­cal pro known by the nick­name Lt. Dan (real name: Ralph Aqua­viva) took sec­ond place with the help of Mary Bowie.

The event raised thou­sands of dol­lars for the char­ity Hope4 Ni­c­hole which pro­vides as­sis­tance to breast cancer vic­tims.

South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds — Bass and bluegill are ac­tive in our lo­cal wa­ters and the lit­tle bit of rain we had re­cently should make the fish­ing even bet­ter. Top­wa­ters early and late are still the pat­tern for bass. There are still a few weeks left to fish af­ter work be­fore we have to fall back and dark­ness be­comes a chal­lenge.

Bluegill are ea­ger to take a lit­tle piece of nightcrawler un­der a bob­ber and an­gling for th­ese feisty pan­fish is a great way to spend a few hours with the kids on the week­end.

Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-8638151) said re­cent tem­per­a­tures are a bit too warm still for crap­pie in St. Mary’s Lake, but the

re­cent rains and cooler tem­per­a­tures should goad them into bit­ing soon.

Patux­ent River — Lamb re­ports ex­cel­lent rock­fish op­por­tu­ni­ties in the river over the past week with nice­sized fish around the shore­line for an­glers cast­ing from the light­house rocks at Cedar Point.

Kayak­ers are catch­ing rock­fish on top­wa­ter lures and buck­tails. White perch are start­ing to gather up in the deeper holes, but it’ll be a few more weeks be­fore they are out of the creeks and into the river.

Lamb fore­casts ex­cel­lent fish­ing this week­end, pre­dict­ing the rain and cooler tem­per­a­tures will translate into an­gling op­por­tu­ni­ties ga­lore.

Po­tomac River — Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Capt. Kenny Pen­rod (240-478-9055) re­ports the higher than nor­mal water tem­per­a­tures have not had a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., area bite, but there’s been ex­cel­lent top­wa­ter frog ac­tion in the south­ern trib­u­taries.

Grass mats have been pro­duc­ing best on sunny days in the last hour of the out­go­ing tide. Many times bass will just nudge the frog with their heads on the first cast but not in­hale the lure un­til an ac­cu­rate fol­low-up cast into the hole in­duces them to strike. Top­wa­ters and shal­low-div­ing crankbaits are other good op­tions right now.

Ju­ni­ata and Susque­hanna rivers (Pa.) — LOU guide Matt Greene (717-576- 3735) said fish are start­ing to group up this week. The main bait this week re­mains top­wa­ter, but when the wind picks up, spin­ner­baits are a good choice.

LOU guide Ja­son Shay (717-5074377) rec­om­mends throw­ing tubes and flukes when the bite slows down. The key to suc­cess is cover­ing water and find­ing groups of fish. They’ve been mostly in just inches of water and are feed­ing ag­gres­sively.

Lake Anna (Va.) — Car­los at High Point Ma­rina (540-895-5249) said bass have moved into deeper pat­terns with the re­cent warmer weather. Fish top­wa­ter in the early morn­ing and ad­just a foot deeper ev­ery hour for the next 6 to 8 hours.

Stur­geon, Con­trary, Mitchell, Marshall and Pi­geon creeks are all places you could catch a few on Tiger Shad spin­ner­baits in the af­ter­noons. Fish will be on the crankbait holes up-lake, but are still hit­ting plas­tic worms re­li­ably.

An­glers are tar­get­ing break­ing stripers in the morn­ings within a mile of the Route 208 Bridge in ei­ther di­rec­tion.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Bot­tom fish­ing for spot is wind­ing down for the year. They can still be found in deeper water, at depths of 50 feet or more most days.

Solomons Char­ter Cap­tains As­so­ci­a­tion cap­tains (www.fish­solomons.com) are catch­ing blue­fish just west of the Calvert Cliffs Power Plant trolling. Look for the birds to get you in on the ac­tion. SCCA cap­tains live-lined this week near Cove Point with suc­cess. The key to get­ting le­gal-sized rock­fish is us­ing larger spot.

Fishama­jig Guide Ser­vice (240538-1260) re­ports a strong striper bite in the shal­lows of the Honga River wher­ever there is clean water and mov­ing cur­rent on shal­low water points. Ac­cord­ing to Lamb, Capt. Brady Bounds has been hook­ing up keeper-sized rock­fish to 28 inches cast­ing lures in the Hooper Strait area.

At­lantic Ocean — There’s been good fish­ing both in­shore and off­shore this past week. The sheepshead bite is still go­ing strong in the South Jetty with tau­tog oc­ca­sion­ally part of the mix.

An­glers on the U.S. Route 50 Bridge are con­sis­tently bring­ing up floun­der that are stack­ing up to pre­pare for their fall run. Dol­phin are keep­ing an­glers busy in the Bal­ti­more Canyon.

Tip of the week

From Capt. Ken Pen­rod (240447-2206): It’s been a hot week in South­ern Mary­land. The lack of rain and warm tem­per­a­tures have been tough on the fish and the fish­er­man and that com­bi­na­tion of heat and low water can be a health risk if you’re not care­ful.

The low water vol­ume means the pol­lu­tion lev­els are el­e­vated, and warm water lets bac­te­ria thrive. When you’re out on the water, keep your hands away from your face and use dis­in­fec­tant wipes of­ten and al­ways be­fore eat­ing.

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