Fishing report


September 28, 2001|By Candus Thomson

The locations

Piney Run: Cooler temperatures have turned on the bite as fish "bulk up" for the winter, say Jim Gronaw and Loren Lustig at the park office. Live bait and artificial lures are bringing in the largemouth bass. Presenting a topwater lure in the early morning is proving irresistible. Channel cats and stripers are taking liver fished on the bottom. Anglers are reporting good striper action from the fishing pier and the nature center cove. The "Full Moon Frenzy" bass tournament will be 6 p.m. to midnight, Oct. 5. Call 410-795-6474 for information or to register.

Prettyboy Reservoir: The water level is down 15-18 feet as repairs continue on the pumping facilities, says guide Duke Nohe. The temperature is 71 degrees. The fish are in 17-25 feet. Hit the points, humps and ledges with pigs and jigs, spider jigs, crankbaits, live crayfish and large shiners. Be careful launching. Use the old gravel road.

Loch Raven Reservoir: The surface temperature is 72 degrees and dropping, says the Loch Raven Fishing Center. The water level is down about four feet as repairs continue. The white perch have finally scattered, but slow dragging a spinner hook with a nightcrawler sometimes gets their attention. Bass and pickerel are sitting in about 20 feet of water near the grass beds. Try fishing plastic worms.

Liberty Reservoir: Anglers "are catching all the smallmouth they want from the shoreline on live crayfish," says Doug Geis at Old Reisterstown Bait and Tackle. The white perch are biting nightcrawlers and chicken livers near the pumping station, and crappie are taking fathead minnows off the Nicodemus Bridge.

Susquehanna River: Small stripers with a few keepers are being caught on the Flats on Bass Assassins, topwater poppers and Tony Accetta Spoons, says Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop in North East. Catfish are in the deep holes below the Conowingo Dam. Coax them out with cut bait. Target boat docks with tubes and large rocks with spinnerbaits in the Northeast River. A few keeper rockfish have been caught at the mouth of the Sassafras River by anglers using cut bait. White perch are in the upper bay tributaries.

Gunpowder River: Last week it was streamers, this week it's hoppers, says Theaux LeGardeur of Backwater Angler in Monkton. The water level has dropped, making it easier to wade. Anglers fishing hopper patterns with split shot on the bottom are having success. Tricos, size 22, are coming off between 8 a.m. -- 11 a.m. In the upper section of the river, caddis, size 18, are coming off in the afternoon. Slate drakes ("they look like little fighter jets") are hatching between Big Falls and Monkton. State biologists are conducting their electrofishing survey this week and next Monday and Tuesday.

Middle River: "Things are happening," says Jerry Sersen at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. The Gunpowder and Back rivers are full of stripers and blues. Fish Rat-L-Traps, troll sassy shads and at dusk switch to top water lures. The water is "gin clear and 70," he says, "and when it drops another five degrees, things will start busting out." Thick grass from the Susquehanna down to the Dundee is slowing the bass fishing. Cool temperatures should help there as well.

Patapsco River: The river is "fishing well along its entire length and more big fish are being seen," says Hank Holland at The Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. The Daniels area has seen some really good fishing lately. Smallmouth bass aren't being overly picky, with the usual array of baits - woolly buggers, crystal buggers, poppers, muddler minnows and small Clousers - getting the job done. At the mouth of the river, there are good-sized blues under smaller breaking fish.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs: The bass are waking up when they hear the dinner bell. Offer them plastic worms, minnows, crayfish and crankbaits. Walleye action is slow, but catfish are around. Any of the following will work: liver, minnows, worms or cut bait.

Chesapeake Bay: People are chasing working birds all over the bay in the quest for productive pods of breaking fish. The bite has been good at the Cove Point LNG pier, says Capt. Jim Brincefield. Chumming and live lining spot brought in 24 keeper rockfish. Snapper blues were hanging in the chum slick. Jigging L'il Bunkers in the same location landed a citation Spanish mackerel.

Eastern Shore: The guides at Life Outdoors Unlimited say the Pocomoke River has perhaps the finest bass fishing on the Eastern Shore. Cast spinnerbaits to spatterdock. If you've got young ones who are angling for some angling, take them to Johnson Pond or Leonard Mill Pond in Salisbury to catch pan fish.

Ocean City: Keeper doormats are still being caught off the U.S. 50 bridge on shiners and squid, reports Sue Foster, owner of Oyster Bay Tackle. Flounder also are showing up near the U.S. 90 bridge and west channel, near Hooper's Crab House. There's a lot of bait in the bay right now, she says. Surf anglers are starting to catch red drum; soft crabs and spot will do the trick.

Potomac River: It's very low and choked with grass in many sections of the upper river, says guide Ken Penrod. Find the deeper water and you'll find smallmouth bass. Tubes are best, but floating worms cast to thick grass works, too. Other places to try are the water between Harrison Island and the Maryland shore and the ledges between Bald Eagle Island and the Maryland shore. Be aware that if you fish the DC area, you may be stopped and boarded by the Coast Guard.

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