Shore thing: Location is the key


March 24, 1996|By Lonny Weaver | Lonny Weaver,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Despite the brief return of winter this past week, local fishing conditions are improving daily. Last Saturday, after getting an on-the-spot minor rod repair at the Reisterstown Bait and Tackle fishing shop, I ran by Liberty Reservoir's popular Nicodemus Bridge, which connects Baltimore and Carroll counties. A number of anglers were lined along the bridge.

I parked my car and walked the Carroll County shoreline and came across a dozen or more hopeful anglers. A few hundred yards south of the bridge, Jim Myers, of Eldersburg, was casting for bass on a point of land jutting into the water. "Thursday, a fellow I work with caught a nice bass at this very spot," he said.

Water in the coves at Liberty and Piney Run will soon be nearing the mid-50-degree mark, which will trigger a bass rush for shoreline spawning sites. If you don't have access to a boat, this will be the best time of the year to battle a big, bragging-sized bronzeback.

More times than not, I fish Liberty from the shoreline during the early spring. By casting a large Mepps Spinner, a plastic worm or lizard, a spinnerbait or some medium-depth running crankbaits, I have managed to do quite well. Usually these are the largest bass of the year I battle here.

If you are willing to walk, you stand a better chance of getting to a largemouth or smallmouth that isn't fished over very often. I often walk a quarter-mile or more before settling into serious shoreline casting. Before he died, in the early 1970s, my great-uncle farmed 90 acres adjoining Prettyboy Reservoir. A 20-minute walk through a wooded part of the property put me at a cove that was red hot with bass action and I doubt if a dozen other anglers ever cast a line in it. I still hike in to the same cove once shared a tip that has saved me a lot of wasted casting. The angle a shoreline goes into the water means that almost always it will continue some distance that way. Kreh said that areas where the shoreline tapers little you will find a silt-filled bottom and the water will be shallow for a considerable distance. Don't waste your time fishing here because bass usually don't spawn over silt because it kills their eggs.

Fish are light sensitive, so on bright spring days at Liberty or Piney Run you will have better luck fishing shady areas. Also, an overcast or rainy spring day will usually give you better results than a cloudless day.

You can increase your shoreline casting distance by using 4-, 6- or 8-pound test line, rather than the heavier stuff.

Liberty is well known for its superb crappie opportunities. When you walk the shorelines, look for brush piles along the shore or close to it. Also, never pass a beaver lodge without casting for crappie.

These are crappie hot spots because of the tiny baitfish that seek shelter among the lodge's sticks and brush. The crappie cruise the edges of these and pick off the baitfish. Use a small Mepps or similar spinner or, better yet, a small, live minnow suspended below a bobber about two feet.

Lastly, call (301) 942-7205 to register for the March 30 Piney Run Park Early Bird Fishing tournament. The cost is $30 for shoreline fishing and $35 for boaters.

Pub Date: 3/24/96

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