Fishing Little Falls Branch in Maryland

Little Falls Branch, or creek, can be found just north of Washington, DC. You can park in the small lot at the intersection of Massachusetts Ave NW and Little Falls Parkway. Then hike eastward and you will find spots where the water gets a few feet deep and is still, and you may find panfish and small bass in these spots. (To date, I’ve not landed a bass and so I can’t be sure if they are smallies or largemouths. I am guessing the former.)

The fish can spook easily as the water is crystal clear. A fly rod chucking a rubber version of the San Juan worm works very well. Or you can cast a meal worm or earth worm on a small hook (size 8 or less) with a small bobber a couple feet above the bait. (The water is shallow, but you need distance between the bobber and bait or the fish will be hesitant to bite.)

Blue Catfish Caught in Nanjemoy Creek in October 2016

This is one of the blue catfish that I caught in Nanjemoy Creek. The catfish there sure love to hit on fresh chicken livers. (I did see one young lady score small catfish on big earth worms, but I have not tried them myself.)

This fish was 28 inches and close to 10 pounds. A nice one—but there are some beasts in the creek. Twice I have seen 30-pound test line snapped by sudden massive hits. (This is what happens if you do not leave you drag loose enough—or if the fish manages to jerk the line under a log or somesuch.)

Fishing Nanjemoy Creek at Friendship Farm Park on November 2, 2016

friendship-farm-park-nanjemoy-creek-11-2016The Nanjemoy Creek in Maryland is known to outsiders for its bass and catfish. Twice previously I’ve fished a different part of the creek, and the catfish were many and included a 12-pounder. I also twice had 30-pound leaders snapped by BIG catfish. (Lesson learned: loosen the drag so the fish can pull line out.)

This was the first time I fished Nanjemoy from Friendship Farm Park (4715 Friendship Landing Road, Nanjemoy, MD 20662). There is a nice pier to fish from, which is next to a boat launch. You do not need a fishing license to fish here. (The farm was private property transferred to the state’s custody, and Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources manages it.) There is ample parking, and when I visited on a weekday there was only one other angler, who was casting from the shore and catching perch and catfish with night crawlers.

The day I visited the temperature was about 60 degrees and rose to the low 70s. I was there from 9:30 to 12 during slack tide and then with the tide coming in.

I enjoyed my visit, but I was a little surprised that the only catfish biting chicken liver were small catfish. Real small—like a foot or so long. The other angler there caught a 24-inch blue catfish and an 18-incher around 8am. after that, she reeled in only pipsqueak catfish and white perch, which also hit the worms she was bottom-fishing.

For 2.5 hours, I had hit after hit—but they were tiny ones as you can see from this video. The rods dipped just a little and sporadically. (What you want to see is the rod bend forward and stay down, indicating the fish has taken the bait, run, and the hook has popped through its cheek.) The little catfish picked at the bait but were hard to hook on the big 8/0 circle hooks I was using.

Will I return to Friendship Farm Park again? Certainly. But I will come equipped with smaller hooks to use on at least one of the rods. These Mustad Size 4 treble hooks would do very well with chicken liver tied to them with Miracle Fishing Thread.

Striper and Skate Fishing In Royal Oak, Maryland, June 28 to July 4

We stayed at a house in the woods which had a dock leading into serene bit of water off the bay. It was below Deep Neck Road and where we fished fed into Irish Creek.

The effort to bottom fish striped bass using young soft-shell crab (supplied by our babysitter) was mostly futile—we got only one small one.

Small striped bass

Little white perch hung around the dock and could be taken on bobbered tiny hooks and worm or crab. The crazy catch was a few skate—they hit hard (once snapping a line) and were 24- to 30-inches across or so. I netted them to control their whippy tails, but regretted that the tails tore the net a bit and also led to the line being tangled. (But that beats getting lashed with the tail.) Getting the hook out was a challenge—I basically had to wait until they were stilled/oxygen-starved and pin the tail under the net and a heavy oar.


Croaker, Spot, and White Perch in the Chesapeake, July 9, 2014

Croaker Spot White Perch Bottom Rig

To catch these fish we bottom fished on the Chesapeake in water that was 18 to 30 feet.

Rigging had a 2 ounce sinker at the end (to help keep it at the bottom in the firm current.) About 12 inches above it, was a rig with a floater, a bead to hold it in place, and a hook (~Crappie-sized) on which we put bloodworm (very good) or fake bloodworm (good). About 16 inches up from the first hook was the same floater-bead-hook and bait rig. These rigs were bought pre-made.

We caught Croaker, Spot, and White Perch. All fish were between 5” and 13”. The best fishing was at 20 feet or so; out at 30 feet we caught a big Croaker or two, but little else.  As always, finding a place where we could sink the line quickly and feel the bottom then tense the line was critical to detecting nibbles.

We fished these rigs on monofilament (6-8 pounds) seeing as each fish caught was less than 1 pound in weight.