The start of the fishing season has been slow due to chilly weather, but things are starting to pick up as the temperatures rise. According to recent reports, perch have been caught at Elms Beach, located between Cedar Point and Point Lookout. This public beach has proven to be a great spot to catch medium-sized perch using blood worm bits.
As the water continues to warm up, perch should become available in more areas. Catfish are also a hot commodity, with charter and private boats catching huge fish on the upper Potomac. These fish are easy to catch and eager to bite, with cut alewife or mud shad serving as the perfect bait. The fish range from a couple of pounds to as much as 25 or 30 pounds, with the bigger fish more common.
According to experts, it’s not uncommon to catch catfish as large as 50 or 60 pounds, with a monster close to 100 pounds not out of the question. Anglers are advised to bring big gear for these powerful fish.
Striped bass, on the other hand, are currently off-limits until May 1. However, there have been plenty of sightings and accidental hook and releases of big cow stripers on their spawning run. If it is a late spawn, there will be plenty of big fish for trollers in the bay and Potomac when the season officially starts.
In the lower bay and in Tangier Sound, black drum have already been caught. Freshwater fishing is also excellent, with St. Mary’s Lake and local public ponds being great spots for bass using crank baits. While many of the bass are small, there are a lot of them.
Crappie have also started to make an appearance in St. Mary’s Lake. Live minnows fished below a bobber and reeled in slowly have proven to be effective in attracting these fish. Additionally, crappie jigs are good to cast around submerged structures. Meanwhile, pickerel will hit spinner baits.
Despite the slow start to the fishing season, experts are optimistic that things will pick up as the weather continues to improve. Fishermen and women are advised to keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan their trips accordingly.
In the meantime, experts are recommending that anglers take advantage of the available fish species and make the most of their time on the water. The season is still young, and there are plenty of opportunities to catch a big one.