"Have you ever noticed that you don't really catch a bluefish," I gasped as my rod bent under the pressure of a 3-pounder, "but rather that they catch you?"
Tom Campbell, however, was too busy attempting to tame his own finned wildcat to answer back under the heat of last Sunday's sun while we fished aboard Capt. Eddie Davis' Edith Rose. In fact, Capt. Eddie was the only one on board who didn't have his hands full of bucking rod and that was because he was too busy helping us unhook the gunmetal blue savages so that we could get a lure back into action.
I had talked to Davis earlier in the week and he assured me that "the fishing down here in this lower Bay area is really popping. We can hardly keep the breaking blues out of the boat, while in the meantime, the bottom fishing is going crazy."
That was enough for me to make the two-hour drive from Westminster to Davis' dock near Ridge, in southern Maryland. In addition to Campbell, we had Bill and Joanne Kamsier, Joel Buschek, Ed Herbrechtsmeier and Gary Thorne on board. Like most groups who get a taste of Eddie Davis' charter business, this one is a regular.
"Oh, we fish with Eddie at least once a month beginning in April andcontinuing right through early winter," Ed told me.
This is a very serious fishing group. Kamsier, for example, had just returned from Alaska where he had caught a 70-pound fluke, which didn't particularly impress Capt. Eddie, who noted, "shoot, I catch flounder bigger than that all the time around here!"
The morning began slow as we worked a chum line for blues with limited success in an area that had been producing all week. After an hour with only the occasional fish to show for the effort, Davis moved us to within sight of the Target Ship and we rigged for bottom fishing.
Moments later our double hook rigs were being hit by nice keeper trout (a couple in the 2- to 3-pound class), hardheads and big flounder. I was using the heaviest outfit of the bunch a general purpose, seven-foot, medium-heavy action graphite Berkley spinning rod teamed with a Daiwa G2600 reel loaded with 15-pound test mono.
About 2 in the afternoon, Capt. Stevie Davis, who also had a party inthe same area radioed that blues were breaking not far from his location. The Edith Rose wasted no time getting there.
We fished that big school of breaking blues on and off for nearly two hours by casting a combination of flashy spoons and Rattle Traps right in the middle of them and then hanging on for dear life.
Bassing remains excellent at Liberty -- use motor oil plastic grubs on jigs in 25 to 30 feet of water. Also, the bridges at routes 32 and 26 are producing superb catches of yellow perch and crappie. At Piney Run, jumbo yellow perch are being caught on the deep water side of the grass beds on drifted minnows or nightcrawlers. Use plastic lizards (pumpkin seed is hot) for largemouth bass in deep water.
Several large catfish have been taken this week near the boat ramps on shiners, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. In the upper Potomac, the early morning and evening action on smallmouth bass remains excellent.