Weather mat­ters a great deal when fish­ing

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

Well folks, we’ve made it to the last Fri­day of Oc­to­ber and that means the Reel Re­port is re­tir­ing for 2018.

There are still plenty of good fish­ing days left in the year, and you can bet when­ever there’s a notable re­port, I’ll be in­clud­ing it in my reg­u­lar col­umn.

Be­fore this edi­tion went to print, Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources started stock­ing the lakes and ponds in Prince Ge­orge’s County. South­ern Mary­land can’t be far be­hind.

You can get the lat­est up­dates by email by sign­ing up at http://dnr.mary­land.gov/fish­eries/Pages/email.aspx. South­ern Mary­land lakes and

ponds — An­thony Han­cock, man­ager at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, said the bass were bit­ing well last week af­ter the

lake re­turned to more nor­mal lev­els and the water be­gan to clear.

Han­cock wit­nessed two 5-pound bass get pulled out of the lake last week. Fish­ing shore­line cover with soft plas­tic lures, shal­low-div­ing crankbaits and chat­ter­baits works well with the stained water. Wood cover is pro­duc­tive this time of year, es­pe­cially if the cover is near a drop off.

Many of the bluegill and re­dear sun­fish have moved to deeper water but will still bite small pieces of nightcrawler or meal­worms. Adding a few pieces of split shot and al­low­ing the bait to rest on the bot­tom will usu­ally do the trick.

An­gler Eric Packard hit up St. Mary’s Lake ear­lier this week

and caught 10 large­mouth bass on top­wa­ters and spin­ner­baits. Packard rec­om­mends that you don’t over­look the dis­charge pond at the bot­tom of the dam — he caught 7 of the bass there.

The next day, a cloud­less day with blue­bird skies and no wind, proved to be a tougher chal­lenge at Myr­tle Grove in Charles County. The pond on the prop­erty gave up one large­mouth.

Weather mat­ters a great deal when fish­ing. Cloudy or over­cast days are best for pond or lake fish­ing.

Patux­ent River — David Cor­rell at the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151) re­ports that perch are keep­ing an­glers busy this month. They are ev­ery­where in the creeks and river and can be caught on blood­worms and peeler crabs if you can still find some around. Of course, the old standby the beetle­spin works, too.

Po­tomac River — Scott John­son of SJ Fish­ing Ad­ven­tures (www.sj-fish­ing.com; Face­book and In­sta­gram: @SJFish­ingAd­ven­tures) said fall has set in quickly on the up­per Po­tomac and caused a rapid drop in water tem­per­a­ture, but the river is at a good level and the fish are still bit­ing.

While they’ll hit a va­ri­ety of lures, John­son rec­om­mends us­ing spin­ner­baits at cur­rent

seams and over sub­merged ledges and try­ing jerk­baits or soft plas­tics such as tubes along the seams of larger ed­dys. Dur­ing fall, fish­ing around wood and lay downs can pro­duce nice small­mouth.

As for the tidal Po­tomac, Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Kenny Pen­rod III (240-478-9055) has this ad­vice to pass on: There are only a cer­tain num­ber of chan­nel bends, drop-offs with cover and other ar­eas that are ca­pa­ble of hold­ing a pop­u­la­tion of bass as the water be­comes colder and most are not se­cret.

Pen­rod rec­om­mends pa­tience, mul­ti­ple casts and dead stick­ing to tempt pres­sured fish to take the bait. And fi­nally, check these spots at dif­fer­ent times dur­ing the day on var­i­ous tides. Ju­ni­ata and Susque­hanna

rivers (Pa.) — John­son re­ports that most of his catches this week came by slow-rolling spin­ner­baits. Fish are spread out still and cov­er­ing a lot of water is cru­cial.

John­son rec­om­mends you con­cen­trate on wood and lay downs, shore­line points and cur­rent seams.

The key to catch­ing is re­triev­ing the spin­ner­bait as slowly as pos­si­ble so that you can still feel the blades thump­ing. And with colder water tem­per­a­tures, re­mem­ber to al­ways wear a PFD while on the water.

LOU guide Matt Greene (717-576-3735) said clients have been catch­ing small­mouth on tubes and jerk­baits at a steady pace this week. In ad­di­tion to the many small­mouth bass, one of Greene’s guests caught a 45-inch musky. Now, that’s a beast.

Lake Anna (Va.) — McCot­ter’s Lake Anna Guide Ser vice (www.mc­cot­ter­slakeanna.com) said they are poised to en­ter the next phase of an­nual fish­ing pat­terns on the lake now that fall is upon us. When water tem­per­a­tures drop into the 60s, fish will be on the move. There will be vast ar­eas of no fish and small ar­eas of big schools of fish.

Find those hot zones and you’ll have ex­cel­lent fish­ing. For stripers, the hot zone will soon be above the sec­ond bridges in both branches in the up­per por­tion of the lake. Right now you can still find them from The Splits up to the first two bridges and around the power plant.

Large­mouth bass will be feed­ing heartily in the shal­lows dur­ing the mid-af­ter­noons. Cur­rently you can con­sis­tently catch bass pitch­ing worms and crea­ture baits to docks in the mid- and up-lake re­gions and along wil­low grass lines in the up­per sec­tion.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Cor­rell re­ports that an­glers are still catch­ing a va­ri­ety of fish with noth­ing slow­ing up ex­cept for croaker. Rock­fish are ev­ery­where with the mouth of the Po­tomac and water near Solomons putting out a lot of fish. Still, catches are mostly small with big­ger fish get­ting pulled up from deeper in the water.

At Point Look­out, an­glers are catch­ing rock­fish on any­thing from storm shads to blood­worms, and top­wa­ter bomber wind cheaters are a pop­u­lar choice as well. Fall rock­fish sea­son will be in full swing soon. Blue­fish are bit­ing on cut alewives.

At­lantic Ocean — There’s a lot of va­ri­ety to catch this time of year with lots of blues, floun­der and stripers in­shore. Sur­pris­ingly, the floun­der fish­ing has been down­right ex­cel­lent.

Capt. Monty Hawkins on the Morn­ing Star (410-520-2076) re­ports his clients are catch­ing lim­its of sea bass on 100 per­cent of his longer trips and the fluke bite is eas­ily the best Oc­to­ber bite he’s ever seen.

Surf fish­er­men are catch­ing a mix of king­fish, blue­fish and red drum on blood­worms and cut bait. When wind and/or rain isn’t a fac­tor, dol­phin and mar­lin are avail­able off­shore in the canyons.

Tip of the week

Maybe you read the Reel Re­port each week and would love to give your luck a try, but you’re not an ex­pe­ri­enced an­gler and you don’t even own a rod. You’ve got about two months of prime rock­fish sea­son left this year, so don’t let the op­por­tu­nity to catch some fish slip away.

You can view var­i­ous char­ter op­tions out of Solomons on­line at http://fish­solomons. com/fish­ing-char­ters. html. You’ll have to email or call to book a trip since the on­line op­tion doesn’t work (hey, these guys are skilled at read­ing the elec­tron­ics on their boats and can find the fish, but they make no claims of be­ing web­mas­ters).

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