Largemouth bass hooked in Mattawoman Creek
What a difference a few 80degree days can make. Dale Knupp, who lives in La Plata, Md., and who fishes the upper tidal Potomac River as often as possible, launched his boat at the Smallwood State Park boat ramps in Mattawoman Creek this week and, thanks to his electronic depth sounder, discovered that the surface water temperature had reached almost 60 degrees.
Under such welcome water-warming conditions, Knupp, using broadtailed soft plastic grubs and even some shallow-running crankbaits, landed 17 largemouth bass, including a fat-bellied female that tipped the scales at 7 pounds. All the bass were released. Knupp also found a number of willing crappies and a few spawned-out yellow perch.
Let the spring fishing commence even if spring is still a week away.
Reports have reached us concerning good bass and crappie catches in Virginia’s Aquia, Quantico and Occoquan tributaries to the Potomac. The same holds for Maryland’s Mallows Bay, Chicamuxen Creek, the main stem’s Fenwick stretch (near the Marshall Hall launch ramp), and the upper river’s Spoils Cove, as well as the Fox Ferry Point area.
White perch spawning under way: I visited the Allen’s Fresh (Route 234) sector of Charles County’s Wicomico River at midweek and found half a dozen shoreline anglers waiting for the tide to recede. By midmorning, the water began to ebb and, almost simultaneously, catches of spawning white perch began.
One of the regulars at the Fresh, Pat Capps of Bryantown, Md., used a tandem, high-low rig of red-and-white 1/16-ounce shad darts that he cast into the middle of the river and then slowly, erratically, began to retrieve the little lures. They never made it back to land because during nine casts, Capp caught nine white perch.
Other anglers, some of whom simply tied on a single shad dart, then tipped the hook with a small minnow, would fish their bait under a bobber. They scored as well. Bill White drove over from Calvert County’s Port Republic and he caught white perch and a few spawned-out yellow perch. Hughesville’s John Kern also hooked the tasty fish.
Freshwater Potomac gives up musky: Kevin Wilson of Boyds, Md., spent a day fishing the Williamsport, Md., mountain section of the freshwater Potomac along with his Fairplay, Md., friend Bob Barber and Barber’s son, Carson. While Barber wanted to hook a few walleyes, Wilson intended to catch a muskellunge with a large lure and stout equipment. It paid off. Wilson caught a 39.5-inch-long musky — his personal best. Yes, we know that a near 40-inch-long musky might not raise eyebrows in Ontario or Minnesota, but in Maryland it’s a fish worth talking about.
Patuxent River shows action: From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park comes word that blue catfish are taking chicken livers and cut bait past Chalk Point in the Patuxent. The waters above Jackson’s Landing clear up to and beyond Hills Bridge on the Prince George’s/anne Arundel counties line deliver white perch and some yellow perch. The Western Branch feeder creek has been good for tiny bass and fat crappies.
Dale Knupp of La Plata, Md., displays a 7-pounder from Mattawoman Creek.