The kids are back in school, pools are closed for the season and each day forward we lose a couple more minutes of daylight.
Hot, muggy weather is behind us and the month of September stretches out like a golden opportunity for fishermen to enjoy a few more weeks on the water.
It takes a while for our local waters to heat up each spring, and it’ll take a little while yet for them to cool down. Find some time to make the most of fall fishing and get out there while you can.
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Anthony Hancock, manager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, said bass and bluegill remain in their typical summertime pattern.
Bass are biting best early and late in the day. Find them on the edges of the dense hydrilla beds and around any available wood cover, especially if you can locate any wood cover near a drop off. Topwaters work best early and late, while slow-moving soft plastic lures, especially finesse worms and weightless stickbaits, will work other times of the day. Bluegill and redear sunfish are still active along the edges of grass when fishing near the bottom.
A small weight or a few pieces of slipshot will keep your bait right where the fish are. Small pieces of nightcrawlers, crickets or mealworks will work.
Now that the holiday weekend is over, Gilbert Run Park is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the month of September. Boat rentals and concessions are only available on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Patuxent River — Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) said spot are everywhere, though not all are big enough to fillet. But a small one can work wonders when used as live bait to catch a rockfish.
Perch have been biting on moving tides, early in the morning, and late in the afternoon. The mainstay beetle spin is the ticket to catching perch in the river and creeks.
Potomac River — Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509) reports bass in grasses are on a fall crawfish feed.
Find active areas by watching for terns skimming grass beds and plucking crawfish from the surface. Plastic crawfish imitators and swim jigs will connect you with hungry bass. If you’re fishing hard cover, try crankbaits and finesse worms to get bass to bite.
Sub-legal stripers can be found along bulkheads and bridge pilings feeding on the turn of the tides. Topwater poppers will catch them.
Capt. Dennis Fleming of Fishamajig Guide Service (240-538-1260) reports the lower Potomac is still a powerhouse for Spanish mackerel and small blues.
Aqualand Marina (301-259-2222) reports bottom fishermen are catching blue catfish by the cooler-full. The white perch bite remains strong near Morgantown Bar. Lamb reports jiggers caught plenty of rockfish in Cornfield Harbor earlier this week. He recommends Hard Head Custom Baits’ spoons in pink and fluorescent green for the Spanish.
Lake Anna (Va.) — Carlos at High Point Marina (540-895-5249) said bass are moving from deeper water toward the backs of creeks now. He recommends fishing near structure with medium-running crankbaits, shaky worms, and Senkos.
In very shallow water, spinnerbaits have been producing bass. There’s been some great topwater action on Pop R’s, Chug Bugs and buzzbaits lately.
Chesapeake Bay — The cobia season closes officially on Sept. 30, but those fish probably won’t hang around that long. Now is the time to get in on the cobia action near the Target Ship.
According to Lamb, orange or red surgical eel lures are hot. As proof, he passed along a photo of a very nice specimen an angler caught pulling red tubes earlier this week. Lure casters are also having good success using big jigs in bright orange or pink.
Red drum are also making an appearance near the Target Ship. Hard Head Custom Baits’s Size 2 Hot Pink Glitter Glow Bomber Trolling Spoon has been doing the job for red drum hunters this week. If Spanish mackerel are your focus, try their spoons in pink or fluorescent green.
Plenty of stripers can be found above Rose Valley and above Stubbs Bridge. Multi-bait rigs with sassy shads and sea shads will become productive very soon.
Atlantic Ocean — Flounder fishing has been steady, with some keepers caught around the U.S. Route 50 Bridge and off the Oceanic Pier this past week. Also at the Route 50 Bridge, bluefish weighing up to 15 pounds are part of the mix.
Some afternoons and into the night the spot action has been non-stop at the Cape Henlopen Pier.
The 2019 Marlin Club Labor Day Tournament ended with plenty of white marlin releases in the Poor Man’s Canyon. Yellowfin tuna have everyone’s attention in the Baltimore Canyon.
Tip of the week
I haven’t had much time this week to tune into the news for up-to-date forecasts for Hurricane Dorian, but it never hurts to be prepared for a weather emergency if you’ve got your boat in a slip.
BoatUS has an informative, free guide at www.boatus.com/hurricanes/assets/pdf/2019-hurricane-prep-guide.pdf.