- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
By James DrakeNational Safe Boating Week is May 19 to 25 this year and “Wear It!” the essential message.
If you haven’t seen the latest in life jackets available today, you’re in for a most pleasant surprise. They are about as different from those old, bulky, orange, uncomfortable designs of yesterday as is a 2012 ZR1 Corvette poles apart from the 1949 4-door Hudson Commodore.
Yes, the Vette is a far better ride, and these new life jacket designs are so comfortable you won’t even know you’re wearing one. In fact, some of the very latest inflatables are less obtrusive and more attractive than ever before.
Every year, about 500 people drown in recreational boating accidents and the U.S. Coast Guard says 88 percent of them were not wearing a life jacket.
Have a great time on the water, catch lots of fish, enjoy the waves and sport plenty of smiles, but do it all safely. Wear it.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds Game on, for there are lots of active fish in our smaller waters. If it’s bass you seek, try a spinnerbait or crankbait first, but topwaters will work and so will soft plastic baits although these latter two might be better suited to cloudy, overcast days. Fly fishermen should break out their little poppers and the bluegill will do the rest.
Mattawoman Creek Ken Penrod, boss guide with the Life Outdoors Unlimited guides (301-937-0010), said the fishing in here lately has been below expectations. They are catching bass up in the 6 mph zone, but there are better opportunities nearby in the Occoquan complex, particularly Belmont Bay.
Upper Potomac River Water temperatures are around 70 degrees and there is a bit of stain to the water. With that being said, fishing is great despite some windy conditions. The LOU guides report the morning bite slow, but that turns to awesome in the afternoons. The hatches of May Fly and Trico have been very prolific in the mornings so you know that fishing is going to improve. At Lander, concentrate on the submersed ledges or current breaks around standing ledges.
Tidal Potomac River Expect crowded conditions with two FLW tournaments launching at National Harbor in Prince George’s County
Did you hear about the 18-pound snakehead caught a few days ago? Yeah buddy, they don’t call them frankenfish without reason.
Andy Andrzejewski with the Reel Bass Adventures stable of guides (301-932-1509) said the bass bite has been very good if you’re on the right grass bed. He’s been finding the ones along the main river and at the mouths of creeks to be the better producers. Andrzejewski also said the topwater action has been getting stronger and they’re using a buzzbait to locate the aggressive bass.
If you’re just getting swirls, switch to a popper or hard jerk bait. Mann’s Baby 1-Minus has been one of the better baits followed up by a Baby Paca Craw. Berkley’s Power Hawg is another top creature bait.
The LOU guides have been taking good fish around the Washington Channel along the Fort McNair dropoff and more are in the Pentagon Lagoon. Penrod said the Rapala DT crankbaits have been well received, but Mizmo tubes and Big Mouth spinnerbaits are good alternatives.
Lower Potomac River Water temperature around Cobb Island have climbed into the 70s and Ken Lamb from the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said the trollers are still connecting on big rockfish throughout the lower river.
Bottom fishermen are now finding hardhead, white perch and catfish biting at the mouth of the Wicomico River and croaker are caught at night from the Bushwood Wharf.
Lamb also said perch and hardhead are in the St. Mary’s River up to the college and catfish seem to be everywhere. Franco Foraci has also discovered decent keeper rockfish around various rock jetties near Cobb Island by throwing silver Rat-L-Traps.
Patuxent River The river’s mouth is open to rockfishing up to Point Patience, so shore fishermen can fish now off the pier at the Solomons boat ramp. Try throwing surface plugs, bucktails and Sassy Shads.
Croaker and white perch are also available around the mouth and Lamb said some white perch are in the creeks hitting lures and bloodworm baits. High tides have been best and the crabbing has even picked up.
Deep Creek Lake LOU guides Brent Nelson and Bret Winegardner reported pretty good action for spawning fish in uplake coves. Crowds are non-existent and the fishing really is pretty decent. Water temperatures are now in the lower 60s.
Lake Anna Stripers are scattered throughout the lake and live bait fishermen seem to be having the best luck finding them. The largemouths are around the major creek mouths and just out into the main lake and many now recovered from the spawn. Try crankbaits and spinnerbaits first.
The crappie continue to be caught around deep water docks and bridge pilings.
Chesapeake Bay The rules have changed and you now may keep two stripers per angler per day over 18 inches long, but only one of your fish may be longer than 28 inches. There are still some of those really big fish around, but they’re well scattered and sometimes very picky about their meals, Lamb said.
The weekend boat traffic makes for more difficult fishing. Look first for fish close to the surface and Lamb recommended the waters from Buoy 77 to Cedar Point. The Eastern Shore waters are loaded with skates.
Atlantic Ocean Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City said the generally windy conditions have not helped the flounder fishing. Stripers continue to be found in the surf but not as many as previous weeks. If sharks and skates are what you seek, you’ll find plenty of those.
Night fishermen did pretty well on stripers around Indian River Inlet last week and lots of shad, some blues and tautog have been taken off the Oceanic Pier. It may be early in the season, but the first yellowfin was already brought back to the docks a few days ago.