Is catching a snakehead something you dream of? There’s a very good chance you can cross that item off your bucket list this summer.
While the tidal Potomac River is a great place to fish locally, a trip to the Eastern Shore is worth the gas.
Recreational angler Eric Packard sent me some photos of snakeheads he caught with fishing buddy Julian Tsai on Tuesday this week in the Little Blackwater River. All were caught casting top water frogs and white flukes into and over arrow plants and lily pads.
If the vegetation is too dense to get a lure through, try drifting a minnow under a bobber or popping cork right outside the grass cover. Hard Head Custom Baits makes a quality snakehead popper in pink or chartreuse that retails for $10 (www.hardheadcustombaits.com).
Southern Maryland lakes and ponds — Excellent fishing is happening for bass and bluegill, but not during the heat of the day from around noon to 4 p.m. Get out early enough or keep the lightning bugs company and you’ll be appropriately rewarded.
Fish topwaters during low-light conditions, but don’t be afraid to put on a big 10-inch worm when you change over to soft plastics.
Patuxent River — The striped bass bite has turned on this past week, with fish ranging from 10 to 22 inches taking all manner of lures.
Near Greenwell State Park in Hollywood, campers this week have been catching mostly croaker with an occasional rockfish or spot mixed in.
Bottom rigs with bloodworms is a foolproof way to catch these fish, along with the many white perch that prefer to hang out around the creek mouths. You can also try a small Beetle-Spin type lure tipped with a tiny piece of bloodworm, peeler crab or Fishbites.
Potomac River — While the boss is away at Camp Sycamore, Capt. Kenny Penrod III (240-478-9055) is providing the Life Outdoors Unlimited fishing report this week. This past week provided “some of the best largemouth fishing of the year on the tidal Potomac,” according to Penrod.
Penrod has been fishing the southern section of the river (Pamunkey to Potomac Creeks) and had two days where he exceeded 40 fish and many were over 3 pounds. He recommends fishing hydrilla edges and drains at lower tides and hard bank stopping points at higher tides.
The snakehead fishing has slowed now that the rapidly growing hydrilla has made the fish and their hideouts inaccessible. Most of his day trips average about three snakeheads.
Capt. Dennis Fleming with Fishamajig Guide Service (240-538-1260) reports that stripers are in the Charles County sector of the river. Light tackle anglers and trollers are connecting early and late in the day on prominent oyster bars.
Aqualand Marina (301-259-2222) reports a strong catfish and white perch bite from the rental boat fleet. Water clarity is better below the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge where quality perch abound on mid-river lumps.
Juniata and Susquehanna rivers (Pa.) — LOU guides report that the Susquehanna water levels near Harrisburg remain very fishable and summer patterns prevail. To get the most fun out of your day on the water, get a Zara spook or wake bait and throw it all day.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently stocked 2,400 muskies into the Susquehanna near Fort Hunter. In the past, the PFBC released mush smaller fingerling muskies but has adopted a new strategy to release yearlings that measure 12 to 14 inches in length which should great increase the survival rate of these fish. Expect them to grow 40 and 50 inches and weigh 40 to 50 pounds when fully grown.
Lake Anna (Va.) — Carlos at High Point Marina (540-895-5249) reports water temperatures are in the mid to high 80s.
Find bass on structure at 10- to 20-foot depths during the day. Early, late and in low-light you can expect them to strike topwater baits.
Crappie are a sure thing on every bridge on the lake, most likely in shady spots 15 to 35 feet deep. Minnows, grubs and ShadPoles are producing great catches.
Those looking for striper action should concentrate on the main lake, in the area three miles to either side of the Route 208 Bridge. Most anglers are using blueback herring or jumbo minnows rigged on downlines after they locate the schools of fish.
Chesapeake Bay — Anglers frequenting the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (301-863-8151) have reported spot fishing has been steadily picking up with nothing jumbo-sized yet in local waters. Size is still an issue with most of the croaker and rockfish being caught, too.
Spanish mackerel are moving in from down south along with cobia, which a few were caught near the Target Ships this week.
The Bay Bridge has been attracting jiggers in droves. Live-lining spot continues to be a good way to target larger stripers.
Atlantic Ocean — Surfcasters are catching snapper blues, kingfish, sharks and lots of big rays.
Monty Hawkins on the Morning Star (410-520-2076) reports the sea bass bite has been up and down. Some of Hawkins’ favorite spots are skunking him some days and putting out doubles and nice keepers the next.
Flounder catches everywhere of late have been consisting mostly of throwbacks, but persistence can pay off because the keepers are out there. White or pink Gulp! is the bait of choice.
Lighthouse View Bait & Tackle in Lewes, Del. (302-645-2722) reports an impressive spot bite the past few days.
Well offshore, the Baltimore Canyon has been hot with yellowfin and bigeye tuna being brought back to the docks. Capt. Brian Kadjeski and the crew of the Mackenzie Rae took first place in the Ocean City Marlin Club’s 37th annual Canyon Kickoff with a 52.4-pound mahi mahi caught at 30 fathoms in the Washington Canyon.
Tip of the week
Summer is the perfect time to take a kid fishing.
If you’ve got one at home, send them outside to gather a dozen or so grasshoppers. Then after dinner, head to your favorite pond and then dangle one under a bobber.
You’ll probably need a split-shot to keep it down. The bluegill won’t be able to resist.