Fishing, boating, swimming: They're all within reach Chesapeake and ponds make it easy in county


Anne Arundel County is blessed with an eastern border tha consists almost entirely of the Chesapeake Bay. This makes the fishing and boating and swimming prospects almost unlimited and within the reach of nearly every county resident.

But do you know that a lot of quality freshwater fishing also is available from one end of the county to the other? It's not exactly Canada's Land-O-Lakes region, which I enjoy each summer, nor will you find smallmouth bassing like that found in the upper Potomac.

Still, there is decent trout water to be found, lots of small farm ponds and public-owned bodies that offer quality freshwater fishing in these parts.

I am particularly fond of farm and community ponds. These are great places to enjoy fishing the way fishing was meant to be -- laid-back. They are also ideal for introducing youngsters to fishing and places that will surprise you with a fair share of citation-sized fish. Check out the freshwater fishing records over a period of years and one spot continually out-produces all the rest -- ponds.

Friendship Pond is a one-acre body of water located on Route 176 south of BWI Airport in the Friendship Recreational Area. In addition to a playground and picnic area, the pond holds a treasure of fishing prospects. Here you may hook up to a hefty largemouth bass, a fat white perch or a feisty bluegill or sunfish.

Lake Waterford is a respectable 11-acre spread that is a favorite spot for county residents. It is on Route 648, Waterford Road, which is near Severna Park. The Department of Natural Resources stocks this one with trout to complement the resident largemouth bass, sunfish and bluegills. Also, it is important to note that Lake Waterford is accessible to the disabled. It also sports restrooms, a picnic area and playground.

A third popular public pond is the Patuxent, covering three acres. Take Route 424 to Patuxent Road and you can't miss the spot. Fish for largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and bluegills.

Then there is Friendship Community Pond, which occupies one acre off of Route 778 in Friendship. The pond holds sunfish, bluegills and bass.

The county's trout stream is the Severn Run Watershed. This piece of freshwater runs some 10 miles and is stocked with rainbow trout. It is found upstream of the bridge on Route 3.

While you are discovering the fun of pond or freshwater angling locally, here are a few tips you may want to try:

A pro fisherman, in my experience, rarely makes an overhead cast. It's the least accurate of all. A low, flat underhand cast lets your eye pick up the lure trajectory early so you can ease it onto the target accurately and quietly. Practice at home by casting to garbage can lids.

Spinners are usually a bit of a puzzlement to fishermen because they resemble nothing on which bass feed, yet they are one of the top five bass catchers. Here are a few ways to fish them: Cast into shallow water and reel fast enough to make a V on the surface. Let the lure sink to the bottom and retrieve very slowly.

When fish follow your lure but won't take it, suspect the following: The lure is too gaudy, too large, moving too slowly, acting unnaturally, or the fish sees you.

When the water surface is flatter than a skillet, think top-water lures. Use spinner, chugger and twitching lures that send out shock waves. These waves register on the sonar sensory system of fish (especially bass) and bring them out of cover to attack the lure.

Most of us use plastic worms slowly to entice wary bass. Try just the opposite when fishing is dead. Put a ball-bearing swivel on to prevent line twist then retrieve a Texas-rigged plastic worm at a speed of four turns of the reel hand per second. This is something bass haven't seen before, and it can trigger strikes when nothing else works.

Angler's expo

The Anglers of the Miles River Yacht club in St. Michaels will present their third Anglers Sport & Fishing Expo this weekend.

Exhibitors from the Eastern Shore and bay area will be displaying and selling the latest in tackle, new and used boats and related services. Among the variety of display booths will be fishing guide services, hunting outfitter services, marina facilities and boat maintenance services, marine supplies, sports clothing and sportfishing service organizations.

The Miles River Yacht Club is on the banks of Long Haul Creek, just a few hundred yards off the Miles River.

125 years of policing

State, federal and local officials joined the Natural Resources Police in kicking off their 125th year Tuesday evening at St. John's College in Annapolis.

On hand to pay their respects to Maryland's oldest state law enforcement agency and one of the oldest conservation law enforcement organizations were Lt. Gov. Melvin Steinberg, Comptroller Louis Goldstein and DNR Secretary Dr. Torrey Brown.

Proclamations were received from President Clinton and Gov. Schaefer. The organization is commanded by Col. Franklin Wood.

The force began as the State Oyster Police in 1868 under the command of Hunter Davidson, who also captained the side-wheel steamer Leila, a Civil War tug previously used to chase blockade runners on the bay. The Leila and two sloops comprised the Oyster Police, who patrolled the 356,000 acres of natural oyster bars found in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.

New flounder rules

New flounder regulations have been dropped on Maryland anglers by the DNR concerned with strengthening the bay's flatfish population.

Recreational anglers will be allowed to catch and possess summer flounder June 15 through Oct. 30. The new minimum size will be 14 inches and the daily limit will be 10 per person.

Turkey seminar scheduled

The Central Maryland Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is sponsoring a wild turkey hunter clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Stoney Creek Fishing & Hunting Club on Fort Smallwood Road in Pasadena.

The cost is $5 per person, and the clinic covers everything you need to know about putting a gobbler in your freezer. Call Chuck Lewis at (410) 255-4341 for details.

Because of the storm, Lonny Weaver's column could not bpublished yesterday. It will resume on its usual day next Sunday.

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