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By James DrakeHave you ever wondered why fishing isn’t an Olympic sport?
It would be perfect for some kind of fishing is, pretty much, a worldwide activity.
Casting competitions would surely fit into an Olympic match. We could have surfcasters throwing for distance or maybe accuracy contests with bass or fly fishing gear.
Or, we could show all of the contestants a picture of a little 8-inch bluegill, and then they each go before a team of judges and try to describe what a big fish they saw. Whoever tells the most convincing and best whopper takes home the gold. And, I’ve already got a guy in mind I know who would surely be a medal contender in that kind of competition.
The truth be told, the fishing around us has been very good in places this past week, and some tropical fish have even showed up in our local waters.
Let’s hope team USA does well in London. As for us, let’s go fishing.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds We can only hope the high temperatures stay closer to the 90-degree range and away from that century mark and then, at least, it’s tolerable outside. During the cloudy, overcast days, the fishing times are extended and topwaters will be tough to beat for the bass.
Try different size poppers. If a standard Pop-R isn’t working, then downsize to a smaller one or maybe switch over to a little Torpedo. Bluegill will always munch a little piece of worm under a bobber or have your kids catch some grasshoppers for you. Twenty-five cents per grasshopper sounds about right.
Mattawoman Creek Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited guides (301-937-0010) said think Facebook and “like” the area near Grinders and Long Bay where Case Stiks have been truly magic. Nearby, the Chicamuxen Bay and grass beds under the power lines have been a hot ticket.
Upper Potomac River According to Penrod, the smallmouth fishing remains quite good despite substantial scum, algae and the dying grass you’ll encounter. You might have to abandon fast moving lures now because they’ll quickly get clogged and go with slower baits you can manipulate into the better pockets.
The waters around Lander are the guides’ best choice because of present river levels. Either up or down from the launch has been good.
Tidal Potomac River Andy Andrzejewski of Reel Bass Adventure guide service (301-932-1509) told me the topwater bite continues to be very good well into the morning. Popping frogs have been most productive when you see visible bait fish activity around the grass.
After that, go to a wacky rigged stick worm with no added weight. Small jig worms still produce fair numbers along creek ledges and a jig and craw combo tossed to boat docks and isolated pilings has been finding some of the bigger bass.
The LOU guides are having good luck in the Pomonkey, Pohick Bay and Hallowing Cove. If you’re fishing up in town, Smoot Bay, the Kennedy Center dropoff and the Roosevelt Bridge foundations should get some of your attention.
Lower Potomac River Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park told me some very big croaker, the ones just getting that golden hue, are in the St. Mary’s River and in good numbers, plus you’ll find more down in Cornfield Harbor. Cornfield Harbor also has plenty of medium-sized spot and those guys are only getting bigger daily.
My buddy Frank Foraci has been finding perch everywhere in the waters around Cobb Island. Foraci also has been catching spot that are holding on the edge of the crab pots and some are true jumbos. Fishbites work well and will save you some serious money over bloodworms.
These waters are also full of puppy drum and Foraci said some flounder are around, too, but their general size has been pretty small.
Patuxent River Jumbo spot have been caught at Fishing Point and Hawk’s Nest and Lamb said the white perch action is the best he’s seen in years. Lots of smaller spot are around and these guys make perfect striped bass bait for the live-liners. Plenty of rockfish are taken around structure along the shoreline at the mouth by lure casters throwing topwaters, while little Beetle Spins are tough to beat on those white perch.
Deep Creek Lake LOU guide Brent Nelson reported “hectic” boat traffic during midday to dusk, so the recommendation is to fish the very early hours and/or do some night fishing for now. Rainbow trout can be caught from deep water by the dam on nightcrawlers and northern pike seem to be increasing in numbers. Work the docks and grass for smallmouths.
Lake Anna Carlos Wood at High Point Marina told me stripers are being taken in the main lake from The Splits down to the power plant. Some schools of stripers are hanging around the mouth of Sturgeons and Pigeons, but most are found deep in the 20- to 30-foot depths.
Trollers are now connecting on pretty good numbers dragging DD-22s or XPS deep divers. Life bait under floats will also find some decent fish.
The upper end of the lake seems to be best for the largemouths, but they’re usually found in pretty deep water. Bandit 400 and 700, Bagley DB3s and Strike Pros are all doing pretty well. Some crappie remain around the deeper bridge pilings.
Chesapeake Bay Mel Kaplan from the Rod ‘N’ Reel Dock in Chesapeake Beach told me earlier this week that their headboat is really getting into good numbers of perch and sometimes they’re fairly nice size. They also are finding a few spot here and there. Their charter captains are getting a respectable mix of bluefish and rock.
Lamb said they’re even seeing sea robins and whiting in the Middle Bay area now and tiny redfish continue to be caught in huge numbers. Croaker are found in all sizes and speckled trout were in the Honga River earlier in the week.
Lamb also said some trollers have hooked into red drum in the 40- to 50-pound range dragging big spoons in the Mud Leads. Bluefish are around there, too, in the 3- to 5-pound range. Surgical eels should work great on the toothy ones. Mixed schools of rockfish and blues have been breaking near the old lighthouse site at Cedar Point.
Atlantic Ocean Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City reported that the flounder action remains strong in the back bays except when the wind and rain make conditions tough.
Flounder and spot are both hitting off the Oceanic Pier. The Ocean City surf fishing picked up a bit this week with better kingfish catches and snapper blues, but you need to be there at the crack of dawn.
The near offshore wrecks continue to give up sea bass and flounder and the tuna catches have been steady out in the canyons. Up in Delaware Bay, folks are catching both croaker and flounder.