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.

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Article on Perch Fishing In the Potomac River, May 5, 2016

WaPo Perch.jpg
The Washington Post Sunday magazine had this piece by Bill Heavey: “Fishing on the Potomac: Line, sinker and hooked”: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/fishing-on-the-potomac-line-sinker-and-hooked/2016/05/04/e5468aa0-fce2-11e5-886f-a037dba38301_story.html

It describes the spring perch frenzy that sounds a little like the spring shad frenzy. The whole piece is worth a re-read. These exceprts were especially interesting.

“The perch have yet to make it the two more miles up to Fletcher’s Boathouse in any numbers. Sure, a few were caught from shore on the mud flats just past the parking lot last week. Shallow water heats up faster, so that’s where the first ones are usually caught. But those fish — part of the annual ritual — were flukes, outliers. Perch don’t really like a mud bottom. Nobody ever gets into them good from shore.

The river’s right — 55 degrees, the water stained but not muddy, running high but not too high on this late-March day. And it’s late enough in the spring, which matters because the angle of sunlight matters.”

“Fletcher’s won’t be renting its gray-and-dark-red rowboats for another week. If those factors aren’t enough — and they are — there’s the fact of the cormorants. If there were fish here, hordes of the black birds would be circling, diving and skimming. Today, they’re packed shoulder to shoulder on rocks out in the river, like Supreme Court justices sitting irritably for their portraits…. We launch Gordon’s 17-foot boat at Gravelly Point [Arlington], idle five miles upriver to a hole I’m not allowed to name and drop our rigs in 40 feet of water. We’re fishing the small bucktail jigs that Dickie Tehaan, a fishing savant who grew up at Fletcher’s, ties by the dozen. He won’t sell them but gives them to friends.”

The article shows a photo of both conventional and casting rods being used. And the location may be a bit north of Fletcher’s Cove

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.

Skate.jpg

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.

Spot

Spot

Croaker

Croaker