Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888
Volume xviii, Issue 15 ~ Apri 15 to April 21, 2010
Tommy Gardner and Glen Pierce reeled in one perch after another at No-Name Creek.
In angling idiom, pro are people who have acquired extensive fishing skill and experience over a number of years in a specific area. They are generally authorities on what can be caught in that body of water, when, how and with what bait or lure. Pro is not an appellation lightly bestowed.
No-Name Creek, also anglerese, is a pseudonym for any area that is enjoying hot action but cannot be identified lest it be mobbed and the bite ruined. To complete the obfuscation, there are some real creeks with that name scattered around Maryland.
So when I saw two local pros, Tommy Gardner and Glen Pierce, holding bent-over, light spin rods as I passed by a particular waterfront, I made it my business to investigate. Recognizing me as I approached, the fellows said, “Grab a rod, Dennis. We’ve been catching white perch like crazy!”
I watched as they landed a half-dozen fish in perhaps three or four minutes. I rushed through familial errands and sped back to join them. Lucky for me, the bite was still on when I arrived.
The perch these two skilled anglers had discovered were holding just off of an old piling 100 feet or so out from the sandy shoreline. The spawned-out but still-eager fish were massed up and hitting grass shrimp. Any cast into that one specific zone resulted in an immediate hookup.
I had not found any shrimp in my frantic preparations and intended to rely on some bloodworms. “Not going to happen,” Tommy warned me as I baited up. “They only want grass shrimp. But we’ve got plenty. Help yourself.”
It wasn‘t that I didn‘t believe him, but I had to see for myself. After 10 fishless minutes of using the worms while Tommy and Glen continued to hook up fish upon fish, I relented. Baiting up with one of their shrimp and throwing again toward the aforementioned piling, I got the promised result. Fish on!
Then I got another … and another. It went on that way for all three of us for almost two more hours of fantastic fishing. Finally, just about out of grass shrimp and with plenty of eating-sized whiteys in their bucket, Tommy and Glen took their leave. Thanking them for sharing their bite and their bait, I continued to catch fish with the remainder of the shrimp.
Switching back to my bloodworms, I found that the perch remained steadfast in their disdain for the invertebrates.
It had been an awesome afternoon, but now the great bite was over for me as well. The lesson obvious: It’s always good to know the local pros.
Both yellow and white perch spawns are over, but good numbers of whites are lingering in the upper tributaries and continuing to be caught in most of the usual hangouts — the Upper Choptank, the Tuckahoe and at Hillsboro, Red Bridges and Black Walnut.
Crappie are rumored to be quite active in fresh water, the bass are moving toward their shallow-water beds and bluegill are already on theirs. Pickerel are still hanging in the upper reaches of most tributaries and near submerged structure in the lakes and ponds.
Rockfish trophy season opens April 17, and it looks like there will be plenty of big fish. But don‘t wait too long. The early warm temperatures mean that many of the giants have already spawned out and are heading back to the ocean.
Maryland’s statewide spring turkey season opens Saturday, April 17, with a one-day Junior Turkey Hunt. The regular season opens Monday, April 19 and continues through May 24.
I commented disapprovingly in the February 4 issue on Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s decision to increase the maximum total length of gill nets allowed for commercial fishermen.
The objective of the length increase, I’ve since learned, is to allow watermen to carry more net on board in the event a replacement or different-sized mesh was needed. These situations previously necessitated a return to port and a significant loss of fishing time.
Increasing the allowable on-board gill net length was not intended to result in any increase in total catch or to allow more net in the water.
The commercial gill net season closed February 26 with approximately 887,000 pounds of rockfish taken.
Yours truly teaches Light-Tackle Fishing the Chesapeake for beginning to intermediate students on Saturday, May 15. Register for AHC-318 at 410-777-2325 or www.aacc.edu/coned.
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