July 21, 2000

Fishing report

The locations

Piney Run Park: Get there when the park opens at 6 a.m. and catch bass in the top water. The same goes for the evening hours. Between the two, fish soft plastics at the edge of the deep water. For kids, there's nothing like the action for bluegills and crappie. Fish minnows, worms and waxworms, advises Clyde's Sports Shop in Lansdowne.

Prettyboy Reservoir: We're deep into the summer pattern now, so set your alarm clock or skip out of work a little early, says guide Duke Nohe, who caught a 3-pound smallmouth bass Tuesday on a pig and jig. He also caught an 11 1/2 -inch crappie on a small pig and jig, banging it off the bottom. "We're fishing bars, points, humps and submerged edges," he says. "You've got to fish between 25 and 35 feet of water."

Loch Raven Reservoir: "The lake looks good," says Kevin McComas at the fishing center. "The water has come up about a foot this week." Like wide receiver Randy Moss, the bass have gone deep. Fish live bait on the structures in Hampton Cove. Perch are being caught everywhere on spinners. Crappie and yellow perch are spotty, but if you find a hot spot, "hide or you'll draw a crowd," he says.

Susquehanna: Catfishing and white perch fishing in the Northeast, Elk and Bohemia rivers has been good, says Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop in North East. Use clam snouts, shrimp and prepared baits for the catfish and bloodworms for the perch. Rockfish action has been spotty. Anglers are live-lining perch and shiners. Lures such as poppers, rebels and surgical tubes tipped with bloodworms are "doing the trick." Above the Conowingo Dam near Broad Creek, it's the same-old, same old, with bass taking rubber worms and spinners.

Gunpowder River: It's terrestrial time, says Nick Yowell at On the Fly in Monkton. Beetles, small ants (size 16-18) and in the evenings fireflies (size 14-16) are working. There's a trico hatch (size 22-24) about 7 a.m., with spinner fall at 10 a.m. Water temperature at Falls Road is 50 degrees. The water is a little cloudy in the lower river, but clear higher up.

Middle River: "The large bite is on," says Bill Horstman at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. "We've seen some really nice fish come in." He's talking the long-awaited arrival of rockfish, which should be here in good numbers through the third week in August. The fish are hanging on the lumps and humps, waiting for trolled or drifted eels. White perch, those not small enough to be eaten by the stripers, are hanging out in the same neighborhood. Bass fishing remains in the summer pattern, with top-water action in the mornings and evenings.

Patapsco River: Heavy rain made fishing tough this week, says Hank Holland at Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. But when anglers could dash out to the river between storms, they were finding some holdover trout, smallmouth bass and panfish. Cooler weather has meant decent fishing even during midday. Streamers and little poppers are the best bait. In the lower Patapsco, anglers say there's some white perch and catfish action on shrimp, worms and peelers.

Patuxent River: "Flounder fishing is awesome," says Jeff Pelly at The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Drift live minnows at the mouth of the river. Flounder fishing is good up to the Benedict bridge, with anglers fishing eels against the pilings. In the upper river, they're catching perch, catfish and occasional spot and rockfish, says Ed Johnson at C&EJ's in Lothian. Best baits are bloodworms and squid.

Chesapeake Bay: Captains up and down the bay are reporting excellent fishing. Flounder, sea trout, croaker and spot are being caught in large numbers from Chesapeake Beach to the Bay Bridge. The best time for croaker action is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the edge of the channel. Decent-sized Spanish mackerel are being caught at the mouth of the Potomac River. Rockfish in excess of 35 inches are being live-lined with small spot at the gas docks and hot-water discharge area.

Eastern Shore: Repeat after me, "Hey, kids, let's go fishing." Now, get in the car and take them to Johnson's Pond in Salisbury. They can do some panfishing, and you can go after the largemouth bass and chain pickerel. Another good choice is Higgins Millpond just off U.S. 50 east of Cambridge. Remember to take a camera to capture those big smiles. If it's your youngster's first catch, be sure to submit the photo and a copy of the application from the Department of Natural Resource's Web site to the agency's "My First Fish" program. In no time at all, you'll get a handsome certificate in the mail.

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