Chub Fishing in Clarksville
The chub. Hard fighting, tough, and plentiful, they are a great fish to catch. They can survive in creeks and rivers too polluted and warm for trout, yet are sadly overlooked by anglers. They are a pleasurable quarry, and will can be fished in colder waters late into the year. Rather than drive to the Patapsco or another trout stream, one only needs to that a trail out in their backyard to find a section of the Middle Patuxent, which runs through Clarksville for an enjoyable day of fishing.
Above: Typical Chub country.
The Middle Patuxent is a "delayed harvest" trout stream stocked by the Maryland DNR, but very few trout survive past summer, due to heat. Chub, however, thrive in the Middle Patuxent, along with various species of panfish and smallmouth bass. The river snakes through Great Star Drive, and is found along many neighborhoods, and the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, which includes many of the forest trails common to Clarksville.
Above: Typical Clarksville Chub,
Creek Chub endure the suburban development in Clarksville, and are adventures and hardy enough to survive throughout nearby all of Clarksville's streams. In fact, Chub have been found in mere trickles in the ground, feeding off insects that drop into the water.
Chub eat a wide variety of things in the wild, and a variety of lures and baits work for them. Nightcrawlers, which can be easily bought or found by flipping over rocks, are a very effective bait for them. If you want to get away from the slime and mess of nightcrawlers, mealworms work well. Read our article on fishing with them. In the summer, crickets, which can be caught with a net, or bought at local pet stores, make a great bait. Grasshoppers, moths, crayfish, and small minnows can be caught and fished. They viciously strike at fast moving lures (spinners and small crankbaits) and will often carefully inspect jigs and other slow moving lures and baits presented to them, especially in the winter months. During the colder parts of the year, Chub often develop "lockjaw" to large and fast moving lures, and will only strike at well presented, dead drifted jigs and similar baits and lures.
Above: The Middle Patuxent runs throughout Clarksville, close to houses. The logjam in the center of the stream holds many good sized chub.
Chub collect in slow moving pools to escape the current, as well as rock piles and fallen logs. They will hide under structure, such as submerged tree roots, for security, and will wait for food to drift by. Jigs work very well being drifted to Chub, and are cheap to replace if you cast too close to structure.
There are many access places to Middle Patuxent in Clarksville, which is surprising picturesque, sporting small waterfalls and rapids, as well as moss covered giant trees, giving it a fall away feel. You can fish from the wooden bridge at Great Star Drive (parallel to the car bridge), or continue down the trail. There are many well beaten paths leading from paved trails in the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area to popular fishing holes. Some hard-core anglers prefer bushwalking to their jealously guarded secret spots. Be careful about this; in the summer, there may be thorns and some poison ivy bushes. The Clarksville portion of the Middle Patuxent is surprisingly popular to fishermen!
Whether you just want to practice for a trout fishing trip, or come to target the native Chub, Chub fishing in the Middle Patuxent is a pleasurable experience.
Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Bait Monkey
Imagine walking down the aisle of the fishing section of your local retail store. You started fishing , found you liked it, and decided to go buy yourself a new pack of fishing line. Suddenly, as you pass a shelf of crankbait, a little voice in your head that you never noticed before urges you buy to something. You put it off for the time, and go buy your fishing line, but that voice nags you repeatably to buy something. Finally, you can't put it off anymore, and come home with a wallet considerably lighter than before.
You have just met the bait monkey.
With the holiday season coming up, it's easy to go buy "a little something for next year's season" and come home with a massive pile of stuff. When you go buy a present for fishing friend, you decide to treat yourself to some gear, too. And even when you are in a store for groceries, your eyes wander to the fishing department...... and you know the rest.
Even when you shop online, there is no refuge. Advertisements and glowering reviews dance around. The bait monkey is merciless. At the slightest hint of need, he harasses until you are forced to slash your bank account.
Pretty soon, a cute little monkey becomes a two ton gorilla.
How do you deal with him?
First off, if you have a bad case of him, unsubscribe from online tackle shops, so you email inbox isn't a source of the bait monkey's screaming.
You can also go to your local fishing store with only the amount of money needed to buy your item. For example, bring $5 if you want a new bag of soft plastics, instead of your credit card.
Only go shopping for fishing gear on certain days, so you feel that your pile of "necessary" items are enough, and promptly leave the store.
Lastly, ask yourself "Do I really need it?" Why buy another pack of hooks if you have 50 packs of the same thing lying at home?
Foreign Fishing: Keiryu
Note: Along with environmentalist and instructional fishing material, blog entries will also feature fishing methods from around the world, and the culture that surrounds them.
When most people hear the term "match the hatch," they think of fly fishing. But in Japan, a method of fishing called Keiryu has evolved for fishing mountain streams, for trout, yaname, or amago, or char, iwana.
Keri uses fixed line, and "matches the hatch" by using bait caught from the stream.
Keiryu fishing also uses a fixed line system - there is no reel, and the fisherman only uses what can only be described as "a stick." In the past, commercial fishermen, who fished for trout in Japan's mountain streams as a livelihood used bamboo poles, but now, recreational fisherman use carbon fiber telescope fishing poles. These poles are long, and can reach many feet in length. Rods are made by many companies in Japan, and reach many hundreds of dollars.
Before fishing, the angler looks around the stream for bait, such as nymphs and other aquatic insects, which are then impaled on a hook and fished. Unlike western fly fishing, which uses artificial imitations of stream fish and insects, keiryu actually uses the real thing. Sometimes, live bait is brought to the stream, or salmon eggs are used. Unlike trout fishing in the U.S, where fly fishing is much more popular than bait fishing, in Japan, Keiryu fishing is perhaps "ten times" more popular than it's fly fishing version, tenkara, which will be covered in another article.
To minimize the number of fish that swallow the bait and become gut hooked, keiryu anglers set the hook quickly. Like western methods of fishing, keiryu anglers use strike indicators to detect a bite, and split shots to get their bait down to to the "strike zone," where the fish are feeding.
In the US. Keiryu rods aren't often sold, or are expensive. You can buy keiryu rods at some online shops, or purchase a high quality cane pole as a substitute to use for a time.
Hi. I am Ian, an extremely avid bass fisherman living in Howard County, MD. I like to bank fish and fish at local ponds and small creeks. I will explore budget friendly options for people to use in this blog. I hope I can teach you something.