Posted on July 7, 2014 | Permalink
Sweetwater White Perch
Location: Liberty Reservoir
Many of us in Maryland know the cousin of the Striped Bass from fishing in the salty waters of the bay and its tributaries. However, this delicious little fish also does very well in freshwater lakes. Pat the Cat Baseler and myself had a great time catching them in Liberty Reservoir. Please note that the Baltimore reservoirs are specially regulated, so you may have to find a friend with a permit to enjoy this type of fishing. During the warm months the perch form large schools 15 to 20 feet down in various and sometimes not evident parts of the lake. We find and catch them by trolling self-made inline spinners with a #4 baitholder hook tipped with a piece of night crawler. When trolling any type of spinning bait, one should use high quality ball bearing swivels or you will end up with a tangled mess. The perch seem to be more numerous in Prettyboy Reservoir, however the average size is larger in Liberty with many 12 inch class available.
Posted on April 17, 2014 | Permalink
Delicious Orange Fillets
Location: Woodsboro Pond
It is the time of year that many tables in Maryland are graced with fresh trout. I caught several limits last week at Woodsboro pond using light line and power bait. We like the fillets simply broiled with season all. Two of the stocked trout were packed full of row. DNR, could you please comment on the edibility and viability of the trout caviar?
DNR Response by Biologist Susan Rivers: I had a friend who tried to eat trout roe or “caviar” in the past by preserving it first and then tried to eat it. Unfortunately, she used commercially purchased eggs that had been fertilized. At a certain point the eggs are impermeable and the preserving process didn’t work for her eggs, so they had become mushy and poorly flavored. The fresh eggs are a different matter. I looked this up online and there are several good sites that contain information. The key is to remove the ovary containing the eggs and to separate the membrane that surrounds the eggs. The membrane is clear, but full of veins. Tease this away from the eggs and rinse them well. After rinsing, the link below says to add 10 percent by weight of salt to the eggs and let them sit for a few hours. They are best consumed shortly after salting, but they can last 4-5 days according to the article. Based on what I’ve heard, eat them within the next 24 hours.
Be sure to preserve and eat eggs that are bright yellow. Those that have turned white have been attacked by fungus and should not be eaten.
Posted on January 16, 2014 | Permalink
Cold Water Blues
Location: Lower Potomac
Since hunting season is over for me, I decided to try the Blue Catfish fishery in the lower Potomac on a warm day in mid January. I am glad I did. The big boys were still on the bite in the cold water. I fished with my buddies Pat the Cat Baseler and Mark Smith. Mark caught the pool winner which was over 40 lbs. We caught 17 more between 5 and 30 lbs. The Blue Catfish really prefer fresh cut bait, which is pretty hard to come by this time of the year. Back in November I vacuum packed some bait and it worked well. We are looking forward to some more warm days this winter to try for a bigger one.
Posted on December 2, 2013 | Permalink
Location: Potomac River
Outdoor enthusiasts should take a bit of time in November before Goose and Deer season to try the phenomenal blue cat fishery on the tidal Potomac. We have fished for the big cats twice in November. The first week we fished an ebbing tide and filled two 100 quart coolers with 44 fish. Last Friday on a flood tide, it only took 30 fish to fill the coolers with 5 over 30 lbs. We use 7/0 circle hooks on 60 lb flouro shock leaders tied to 30 lb braid on baitrunner reels. It sure is fun to hear the line peal out before setting the break on them. It is important to fish a moving tide and use fresh cut bait. We used Bluegills but other fresh cut fish will work such as alewives, White Perch and shad.
A question for DNR: We catch an occasional Channel or White Catfish while pursuing the invasive blues. The channels are much thinner than the channel cats I catch on the upper Potomac. Do you think it is the environment differences they live in or are they being out competed by the invasive specie.
DNR Response: Channel Catfish in tidal waters often do face harsher conditions than those that are found in nontidal waters. The constant current, change in tide and competition with other predators makes for a harsh environment. I have had more than one catfish angler say that they do find Blue Catfish in areas where they used to find Channel Catfish but the effects of Blue Catfish on resident species is not fully understood at this time.