Eric Packard

Local angler Eric Packard with a 30-inch northern snakehead caught near the Little Blackwater River in Dorchester County. This fish earned him his third species citation so far this year.

‘Tis the season for the annual Spring Fishin’ Buddies Derby at Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville.

This year’s derby will be held from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 4. Anglers will compete in teams consisting of one adult 21 years or older and one child 6 to 15. Bank anglers and boat anglers will compete separately.

Trophies will be awarded in two age divisions. There will be trophies awarded for multiple categories. All teams will be eligible for numerous door prizes.

Registration must be completed online by May 1. The cost is $7 per team and includes lunch for all participants.

To register for the event, go to or use For more information, call the Gilbert Run park office at 301-932-1083 or 301-870-3388.

Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, manager at Gilbert Run Park, said with the beautiful weather last weekend there were quite a few people fishing from boats and along the bank.

Since most species in the lake are up shallow and willing to bite, the folks who spent some of their Easter weekend at the lake were not disappointed.

Crappie haven’t made much of an appearance yet, but bluegill and redear sunfish are biting well on small pieces of nightcrawler under a bobber and have been caught on small flies and popping bugs on flyrods.

Local angler Eric Packard broke out his flyrod on Monday afternoon and spent an hour or two at Calvert Cliffs State Park. While the pond had algae bloom growth making it difficult to find open water, Packard was able to catch three rainbow trout and some bluegill and bass. Casting beadhead nymphs was the ticket.

Patuxent River — Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) reports catfish have been caught off the public fishing pier at the Solomons boat ramp. Last Saturday morning, Lamb saw a cooler full of blue catfish that were caught there on the rising tide before 10 a.m. The afternoon crowd didn’t catch much and were waiting for the tide change to trigger the bite.

Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports grasses are sparse but other cover makes up for the lack of grasses.

Juvenile spatterdock pads, wood, marsh banks and boat docks all have plenty of bass. Plastic worms, creature baits, soft or hard jerkbaits and shallow-running crankbaits and chatterbaits all will entice bass to bite.

Big bluegill are now in the shallows as well as crappie. Small crappie tubes will catch both.

Fishamajig Guide Service (240-538-1260) reports steady action fishing for crappie in the Washington, D.C. sector of the river. Live minnows are a must.

There are many reports of blue catfish being caught from shore. Herring and shad continue to cooperate at Mason Springs.

Lamb reports that charter captains are catching a handful of stripers on their trips trolling for the big ones. Umbrella and tandem rigs with huge lures were successful over opening weekend. The fishing was better in the Potomac than in the Chesapeake Bay proper.

Lamb passes on that he’s heard rumors of croaker being caught near Bushwood, but nothing’s been confirmed yet. There was a croaker bite reported in the Rappahannock River last week. It shouldn’t be long now.

Juniata and Susquehanna rivers (Pa.) — Life Outdoors Unlimited guide Capt. Dave Kerrigan (301-252-5322) reports that many of the usual spots and places his clients have been catching bass were less than three extra feet of water thanks to all the rain. This week, however, the weather is perfect. All baits and methods are working.

In cleaner water with some current, try Big Mouth spinnerbaits and Rapala jerkbaits. In the dirtier water, go with darker colors of teaser tubes and dig back out the 1/4-ounce RAB jig heads to fight heavier current.

Lake Anna (Va.) — High Point Marina will begin its 25th season of Friday Night tournaments on May 31. The season runs until Aug. 23 with the top 50 teams competing in a final tournament on Sept. 28.

Entry fees are $20 per two-man (or woman) team and each tournament pays back 100% of all entry fees. For more information, contact High Point Marina at 540-895-5249.

McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service ( reports that crappie fishing remains excellent with hot zones including the top of the North Anna, the upper Pamunkey Branch and the upper portion of Terry’s Run. Slip bobbers and 2- to 4-inch minnows will catch them.

Lure fishing for stripers has been tricky lately. Large swimbaits and some suspending jerkbaits are your best bets fished right on the banks or in shallow water over humps and points. Good live bait fishing is occurring in the region above Harris Bridge.

Chesapeake Bay — White perch are now being caught from the bay shore. Several good catches were photographed this week at the Tackle Box, including a 12-inch white perch. The fellow who caught it was fishing from the shore in Spring Ridge and using bloodworms for bait.

Atlantic Ocean — Lighthouse View Bait and Tackle in Lewes, Del., reports a steady but not frantic bite from the pier from 18- to 22-inch blues.

It’s not anything like the blitzes the past few years, but late at night on a high tide is the best time to be fishing. A few citations have been caught this past week.

Trollers in the Thorofare Flats are picking up keeper flounder. Gulp! artificial bait in white or pink worked best. Short stripers are still being caught from the Route 90 Bridge.

Tip of the week

While the Potomac River has been ground zero for northern snakehead since their appearance in our area, another region is getting a lot of attention lately.

Southern Maryland anglers are finding out it’s worth the drive to the Eastern Shore if snakehead is the prime target. Packard suggests the state management area off Egypt Road near Cambridge. There’s a soft launch and dock.

“It’s a bumpy ride back and will be muddy after any rain, but worth it,” Packard said.