Monday, April 30, 2012

Another Patuxent Sunset with a Side of Green Sunfish

Hadn't been back here in awhile.   Kind of gave up after my first two trips to this beaver swamp resulted in zero of the hoped-for snakeheads and zero of the fully expected largemouth bass, but about seventy buckets of green sunfish.       

 I worked a bit too late one evening and, almost assured of missing Hank's bedtime,  I decided I'd wet a line on the way home.  Therapy.  As I sat in some sort of post-apocalyptic traffic jam, I ended up passing by Fifty Dollar Lakes, the headwaters of the South River, and finally, Governor's Bridge Natural Area, at which point I was reminded of Erin Block's comment about another fishing spot from last year

"Go back if only to see another sunset." 

I turned north, which is both towards home and towards this old beaver swamp on the headwaters of the Little Patuxent River.   I recently dubbed it "Green Swamp" because it is surely God's hatchery for the Green Sunfish.  Not just for the earth, but for all of the planets.  If the green sunfish can survive poisoning by turpentine, arsenic, and PCB's, surely it can withstand the environment of Mars, where there are yet no people to pollute its dry, frozen streambeds, strewn with red dust.  

That's the top of a six foot culvert, and
those sticks are each about four feet long.

As soon as I arrived at the access point, a park ranger arrived.  We exchanged waves and smiles, and he hurried onto the road, down to the next access point, I suspect.  I must look like the law abiding type.   After our record-setting warm winter and near-drought conditions in much of eastern Maryland, I was expecting low water and few fish.  I hadn't counted on the beavers.  The swamp is more difficult to access than ever before, as the water surface pools up around the roots of upland shrubs and trees.  But the green sunfish are still there.  I started quickly with the largest greenie I have ever caught.

Nearly a foot long.  I was sure this one was a Snakehead.  Sigh. 

The best lures of the day proved to be unweighted soft plastics in orange/chartreuse combinations, although several other lures produced fish as well.   The two big winners in the former category were the YUM! Woollly Beaver Tail and the Berkley Power Nymph. 

It was nice to be out and catch fish.  I look forward to more fishing in the coming weeks, as the scheduling drain of two April family trips left me depleted and a bit overrun.  

I did catch the sunset, but I didn't feel like I could capture it on camera.  Was it worth the price of admission? Of course.

Crap photo courtesy of my LG Thrill! with Android Platform!


Pest Control Portland said...

Those are great looking fish!

BrookfieldAngler said...

I'll be back in June...snake heads are on the menu!

biobabbler said...

=) I love the combination of "crap photo" and two exclamation points. =)

It is AMAzing what beavers and their dams can do to change a landscape. I love it. Little furry hydrologists.

Kirk Mantay said...

Beavers are coming back strong here (to some peoples' dismay) because the Euro. market for their fur crashed a decade ago. They are starting to build back the wetlands that were all over our landscape 400 years ago!

And Nick - we'll definitely make it happen. My new kayak should arrive next week, and I'll either borrow another one, let you use my wife's or we can probably borrow the aluminum canoe from work and paddle together down at Mattawoman.

Kirk Mantay said...

And BB, the phone and its camera are OK, and certainly worlds better than any phone I've owned before.

But when it comes to challenging lighting and depth-of-field stuff, the phone camera just can't be counted on!

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