Plenty of catches were made at spring fish­ing derby

The Enterprise - - Sports - Jamie Drake jamiedrake­out­doors@out­

Last Satur­day, 65 teams con­vened upon Wheatley Lake at Gil­bert Run Park in Dentsville for the an­nual spring fish­ing derby.

While the weather was over­cast with pe­ri­odic mist, the rain held off long enough for ev­ery­one to en­joy some beau­ti­ful spring morn­ing fish­ing.

In less than four hours, over 400 bass, bluegill, crap­pie, cat­fish and trout were landed by teams con­sist­ing of one child and one adult.

Ear­lier that week, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources stocked 600 bonus rain­bow trout in the lake. Ev­ery­one who works at the park was hop­ing that would mean plenty of trout counted among the par- tic­i­pants’ catches, but the trout must have ei­ther been not very hun­gry or had de­cided to sleep in late on Satur­day morn­ing, be­cause only seven were caught.

The cat­fish must have got­ten the same memo, for only one was caught by the team of Aliese Rice and Robert Rice Jr.

Other no­table catches in­clude Kayla and Krys­tle Fraser tak­ing home the tro­phy for big­gest bluegill (9 1/2 inches) in the 11to 15-year-old age group fish­ing from the bank. Tyvon and Law- rence Chase, in the 11-15 boat cat­e­gory, found a whole boat­load of crap­pie, 27 to be ex­act.

I hope Mi­randa and Pat Wat­son are read­ing to­day’s Reel Re­port and send me an email with the se­cret to their suc­cess. That team caught an as­tound­ing 52 bluegill from shore and also caught the largest crap­pie (8 3/4 inches) and the largest bass (13 3/4 inches) in the 11-15 age group.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to all the win­ners.

South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds

— An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gil­bert Run Park, re­ports that the bass fish­ing has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly over the last week with many bass on their spawn­ing beds in shal­low wa­ter.

Al­though most of the bass that have been caught have been on the smaller side, Han­cock said he’s seen a few bass on their beds in the 5-plus pound range so they are cer­tainly around. The bass will bite many dif­fer­ent lures, so ex­per­i­ment with both mov­ing baits like crankbaits and

spin­ner­baits and also with slower mov­ing baits like jigs and soft plas­tic worms.

Crap­pie have been caught near shal­low wood and rock cover and some mea­sure around 12 inches. They’ll bite on small min­nows fished un­der a bob­ber or with small jigs or tube baits slowly jigged

through shal­low cover.

Bluegill and re­dear sun­fish are join­ing in on the spawn­ing ac­tion and can now be caught on small worms fished un­der bob­bers.

Patux­ent River — Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301863-8151) has heard three un­con­firmed ru­mors of croak­ers caught this past week­end in the mouth of the Patux­ent. The Tackle Box has a $25 gift cer­tifi­cate for the first an­gler to bring in a croaker caught hook and line.

White perch are in the creeks now and cat­fish con­tinue to be red hot in the Bene­dict area.

Up­per Po­tomac River — Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Ken Pen­rod (240-447-2206) re­ports that the higher-than-nor­mal lev­els that have been keep­ing an­glers away have abated and the Up­per Po­tomac is fishready now.

Be­tween Seneca and Brunswick find co­op­er­a­tive small­mouth bass feed­ing near ledges and cur­rent breaks. Camp­ground Spe­cial tubes on 1/8-ounce RAB jig heads is the No. 1 pro­ducer, but don’t over­look Mizmo or Zip­per grubs. Tidal Po­tomac River —

Ac­cord­ing to Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-9321509), wa­ter tem­per­a­tures have reached the 70s and bass and crap­pie are ac­tive. An­drze­jew­ski rec­om­mends fish­ing wood cover with fi­nesse worms and spin­ner­baits.

Rocky banks hold bass that like square bill crankbaits and plas­tic worms. Buzz a spin­ner­bait through pad fields or use shal­low-run­ning crankbaits, chat­ter­baits and crit­ter­baits over grass flats at the mouths of creeks.

Some large crap­pie, up to a pound or bet­ter, are in shal­low creek bays. Swim a curly tail crap­pie grub through those ar­eas.

Pen­rod said there are large groups of spawn-ori­ented bass be­tween Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and Charles County. He rates the Mat­ta­woman as No. 1 for now, but other ar­eas are pro­duc­ing too.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Lamb said a steady stream of tro­phy rock­fish were checked in this past week, with trollers catch­ing fish by the hand­ful for a day’s cruise. But, he cau­tions, there are still plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties to get skunked.

There’s still hope for three or four days of fast ac­tion on the tro­phy-size fish when the spawn is done and the big fish head out to sea.

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