- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
By James DrakeThe almanac tells us that summer will officially begin this year at 7:09 p.m. June 20.
Fishermen know better, for summer will actually be getting underway this Memorial Day weekend just as it does every other year.
Expect big crowds on the water, long lines at the ramp and congestion over the better fishing holes.
The best advice to serious fishermen is to get up real early and be on the water at dawn for a few hours, at least, of meaningful fishing time without dodging so many other watercraft and their wakes once the regular holiday hordes get on the water.
Be careful out there and truly consider thinking about life jackets. They’ll do you no good at all stored away in some rod locker on board.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds Water temperatures are on the rise, but good fishing can still be had all day long if you can find a place with a little peace and quiet this weekend.
Bass, crappie and now the bluegill are all very active. Fly-rodders take note that bluegill are on their beds now in many of our smaller waters and a little popper should keep you smiling all day.
At St. Mary’s Lake, Ken Lamb from the Tackle Box in Lexington Park reported excellent opportunities for bass, bluegill and pickerel.
At Gilbert Run in Dentsville, you don’t usually expect really big bass but there are always exceptions. Park manager Casey McClure told me earlier this week that she watched a bass boater launch a few days ago, and a 6-pounder jumped on one of his first casts as he was just getting organized.
Mattawoman Creek Ken Penrod with the Life Outdoors Unlimited guides told me he’s catching some bass up in the 6 mph zone, but his big time numbers are coming from between the state park and mouth.
“We just kicked butt and took names, so to speak, and that means that we caught a lot,” Penrod said.
Upper Potomac River The river rose from rains last week over six feet and the muddy, high conditions combined to offer lousy fishing. Depending upon these more recent thunderstorms, we might or might not have decent opportunities.
For the very latest in river conditions, call 703-996-2200, then press 1 and then press 3.
Tidal Potomac River Marsh banks, grass flats, trees, docks, rocks, bridge pilings and spatterdock pads are all holding bass, said Andy Andrzejewski with the Reel Bass Adventure guides (301-932-1503).
Andrzejewski also told me a variety of baits are working. He starts with a topwater and follows up with a shallow running crankbait, chatterbait or spinnerbait, plastic worm or creature baits and hard and soft jerk baits.
Snakeheads have been also very active in many of the same areas and bluegill are showing up in the standard spawning areas.
Penrod reported some impressive stringers of fish coming up in town around the Washington Channel for those FLW fishermen that were here last week and the south point of Smoot Bay, Hog Island and Piscataway Creek are all rich with bass.
Lower Potomac River Lamb reported that nice croaker have moved up the river and are being caught in places such as the Wicomico River, Breton Bay and the St. Mary’s River. White perch and catfish are also probable targets around Bushwood.
Patuxent River “Loading up with croaker,” Lamb said. Some fair catches have been made at the mouth of Cuckold’s Creek, the fishing pier at the Navy Recreation Center, The Three Legged Buoy, off the O’Club and around Hog Point.
Lake Anna Expect heavy crowds here this weekend, especially if you venture up the North Anna Branch in the vicinity of the Route 522 Harris Bridge. A huge new crabhouse and seafood restaurant is planning to open this weekend on the lake shore right there and the lake in this area is really very narrow.
Fishermen better be on the water at dawn and try for largemouths first around the main lake points near major creeks throwing spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Bluegill have moved onto their beds so it’s time to break out the fly rods.
Deep Creek Lake It will be most busy here this weekend and if you’re serious about fishing, get started very early. There has been good action for bass in many of the spawning coves and just off rocky points. Walleye, trout and pickerel are also active.
Chesapeake Bay If you’re a newcomer to the sport of fishing and just want to give it a sample, there is hardly a better way than to take a trip on a headboat.
The one at the Rod ‘N’ Reel Dock in Chesapeake Beach will be launching every day now beginning Saturday. They’ve already been perch fishing with pretty good results around the West River. Reservations aren’t accepted, so just get there early for a good spot along the rail.
Lamb reported on some pretty fair croaker action at Point Lookout, both off the pier and from the rocks along the causeway. Bloodworms, peeler and shrimp will all do the trick.
A few trollers are still finding the big rockfish, but that action is pretty much over. Smaller fish should be found breaking real soon.
Atlantic Ocean Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City reported stripers and some black drum caught in the surf and a run of bluefish and stripers into Indian River Inlet, Ocean City Inlet and by the U.S. 50 Bridge.
A few tautog and flounder are also being caught. Winds have not been kind to the offshore fleet.