Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slow Fishing in Southern Maryland

I had a chance to get out to some abandoned gravel pits on the Little Patuxent River in southern Maryland - the same spot I fished about two weeks ago, before our series of torrential downpours/tornados swept through.  It's been a rough patch, for sure.  Everyone that I know is ready to get outside in one way or another, and well, tornados tend to put a damper on that sort of thing.

There's about a 50% chance that this is the last time for several months that I'll be able to fish this series of ponds.  Even though the rain continues to chill the water (more on that in a moment), the aquatic vegetation is quickly reaching toward the surface.  Only 12-18" vertical left to go before the place is effectively unfishable, except with worm and bobber (and that's pushing it).

I threw a slightly different variety of lures around than my last trip here, and I tried to go into deep water with a few small spoons and crappie jigs, only to come up with pounds of vegetation.  I ended up focusing on white/black/red topwater lures because they were drawing strikes....but no hits.

After about an hour, I finally caught my first fish, and then quickly caught several more, ending with about 6 very hefty bluegill and 4 small black crappie (I caught neither species during my last trip here!). Had I started catching either a little earlier in my lunchbreak, I would have returned to the truck for a stringer.  Oh well.

Conditions were tough again - just 48 hours after a huge storm, and 24 hours before the storm that just annihilated the Southeastern and Mid-atlantic states.  Wind was all over the place, from N to NE to SE and back to N, making topwater fishing a dicey prospect.  On top of that, the water was possibly even cooler than it was a few weeks ago, and the few big bass I did see (and oh boy, I did see a few!) were totally unmotivated and uninterested in any lure I had with me.  It was not for lack of effort.  I did see a 17-18" largemouth make a half-hearted gulp at a lone minnow near the shoreline.  That was it.

It was a frustrating few hours of fishing but ultimately successful, depending on your definition of success.  I will probably return once more in the next few weeks to see if it's fishable.  If not, there are two more abandoned pits within hiking distance that are promising.  One is shaded from the west and south, the other is shaded from the east, south, and west.  My theory is that the aquatic vegetation will take a little longer to totally take over the ponds.  Guess we'll find out.

It's shaping up to be a weird spring overall.  The weather, and thus the fishing, have been very erratic.  Anadromous fish like herring, perch, and shad have not been predictable in their movements upstream.  I've been happy to get back outdoors and give it a shot, but I have to admit, I'm curious to see if our air temperatures suddenly bound into the mid-90s in 3 weeks, as they did last May.  Almost every minute of fishing between June 1 and September 1 was an exercise in hot watered, lazy fished frustration.  Well, except for this particular minute.   I'm hoping for a few more like that this late spring and summer.


J and M Flies said...

Boy who are you telling brother? I have managed to get some largemouth and panfish but they were really sluggish. Hard fishing here in MD at the moment. Cant wait until the warm weather hits so we can pound them on the top water!


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you made a few Big Bluegill come your way. I love Bluegill fishing and would relish a chance to get after a few big ones. Hope all is well in your area after the big weather weekend.

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