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Short list of fishing options for summer

OK, I got it. It's getting time for summer, the kids are out of school and there are family vacations all and there's just so much to do. So, what is the short-list of angling opportunities in our region? Here are just a few destinations to consider:

Small Public Lakes: Recently, I have been fishing a number of small public lakes and ponds in our central Maryland region that have just outstanding bass and bluegill fishing, and I didn't have to break the bank with entry or launch fees. Because these are fragile and available to the masses, I will have to refrain from the exact locations, due to the fragile state of the fishery in such small waters. However, I would encourage anglers to seek these "under the radar" places and give them a try, and they are especially good for taking kids and enjoying the day.

Cunningham Fall State Park: Just up the road in Frederick County, near Thurmont, this multi-use park has hiking, swimming, fishing and overnight camping. Electric motors are allowed here, but bank fishing can be excellent for bass and bruiser sized panfish as well. It is a great small lake venue for canoeing and kayaking, with chances for big fish.

Codorus State Park: Located just north of us near the town of Hanover, Pennsylvania, this is a large park with a multi-use concept to include just about everything you would want in family recreation. The 1275 acre Lake Marburg is a tough but impressive fishery that is currently boasting an emerging musky fishery from the glory days of the 1980s. Bass, crappie and white perch are also headliners. This is also one of the premier carp fisheries in the region with 15 to 20 pounders making up the bulk of the catch.

Lower Potomac River, Mattawoman Creek: The 6 mph zone of the Mattawoman, near the town of Indian Head, Maryland is not only a top-notch summer largemouth bass destination, but is also the epicenter for the emerging popular snakehead fishery. Just fish for bass with Senkos, frogs and chatterbaits and there is a good chance you might catch a snakehead, some of which have weighed in at 18 pounds. They are reported to be sensational table fare. This one is on my "list" of summer efforts. Great area for the kayaker, too.

Monocacy and Tributary Smallmouth Bass: Much of this would be wet wading, and on some private land, so be sure you have permission before you venture into these farm country streams and creeks that have varying populations of smallmouth bass that will take topwaters, crankbaits and fly-rod poppers. Bonus rock bass, sunfish and light tackle carp action is the other option on these waters.

Night Time Bass Fishing in Local Ponds: Make sure your meds are up to date, because darkside bassing can be explosive and heart pounding. Topwaters and frogs are the premier baits for this spooky but productive summer gig. Not for the squeamish, bats, insects, snakes and other critters are a night time tradition. Be brave.

These are just a few of the ideas to get your fishing blood ready for a summer long course of action. Good luck and have fun!

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