We are in a transition stage that is coming in fits and starts as fall has come forward and then retreated. The later part of this week will resemble summer just as we approached some nighttime temps in the ’40s. So, the fish may act like it’s the Fourth of July one day and like it’s Thanksgiving the next.
All I have are a series of anecdotes for the past two weeks.
They are: Night fishermen at the head of Helen’s creek off the Patuxent caught a couple of dozen big spots, plenty of perch, and some keeper rockfish on bloodworms last Friday.
Spanish mackerel and bull redfish were caught near buoy 72A on Saturday in the afternoon when the gale winds subsided.
Slot redfish was consistent all week in the Potomac’s Cornfield Harbor for lure casters from Harry James Creek to the tip of Point Lookout. Plenty of undersized puppy drum is there too.
Speckled trout were caught by savvy fishermen trolling bucktail tandems in the Patuxent from Sheridan Point to Half Pone Point. That stretch of water is about 12 miles long and I have heard tales of catches all week of rock and trout mixed throughout that area.
Hefty rockfish were reported caught at Benedict both north and south of the bridge and under the bridge by trollers bouncing bucktails on the bottom.
Crappie fishermen using jigs and swimming lures caught as many as twenty good-sized fish at St. Mary’s Lake. The bass and pickerel fishing there is excellent, too. Shore fishermen using live minnows fished under a bobber can get a good mess for dinner.
Rockfish on the points and creek mouths are playing hide and seek for lure casters. One day they are plentiful, and the next they are few and far between. The very high tides followed by very low tides have both fish and fishermen confused.
The trollers using tandems and small umbrella rigs of bucktails and small surgical eels are doing very well in both the Patuxent and Potomac. The fish are all over, from 15 feet to the very depths of the channel is 50 feet or more. Bigger fish seem to be deeper.
Shoreline fishermen casting swimming plugs, bucktails, and spoons are still doing well at dusk and dawn. Light trollers using bucktails in shallow water are scoring. This fishing will dwindle as the water cools and clears. Old school thinking is that shallow water fishing is done by Halloween, and the deep trollers take over with good catches.
Bottom fishermen in the Patuxent at Hawk’s Nest and in front of the Navy Pier report spot, perch, and hardhead. But, it is very inconsistent.
Trollers in the Potomac are doing very well catching stripers in the deeper water.
There are big catfish taking those lures too. The aggressive catfish are mostly active from St. George Island and north. The farther up the river, the more catfish.
The fishing is really excellent now and we have great weather in the forecast. Old man winter is coming; now is the time to go fishing.