Lake Fishing in the Kentlands

by admin on October 25, 2013

Who would have thought the Kentlands had a good fishing lake? Not I. Located in the middle of suburbia, behind the Kentlands Mansion, there’s a lake called Inspiration Lake. And it’s full of small-mouth bass. Park at the Kentlands Mansion in North Potomac, MD, and it’s a short walk. You can’t miss it.


About 1/4 of the lake is covered with lily ponds, which is a great habitat for the fish. My friend Greg and I first tried top-water “frogs” on the lily pads but that didn’t work out well. Greg had several follow-ups, but was not able to hook up.

Further up the lake, I saw a clearing with low-hanging branches decorated with lost lures. I took my favorite little rapala out of the tackle box, tied it to my braided line, and headed up to the clearing. I figured I would side-cast to avoid landing in the trees, but on the second cast I was in the trees, and lost my lure.

Never one to be discouraged easily, I stayed on, and tried a lead-head lure with a plastic worm. This time, on my second side-cast, I hooked into a decent-sized bass. I knew there was a reason why there were so many lures in the trees – it was a good spot. Calling Greg over for a photo op convinced him to throw a line out there.

Although, we both kept getting hooked up in the trees, losing a plastic worm is not as bad as losing a rapala, and still, in the two hours we fished there, we caught five good-sized bass between the two of us (catch & release). It was a cold, windy day or we’d still be there. Inspiration Lake is a great place to bring kids for an introduction to fishing. It’s easy to get to, easy to walk around, and there are plenty of fish.

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Fall Fishing in Maryland

by admin on October 10, 2013

Fall is a good time for river and lake fishing. Waters are low and the fish are hungry. Find the ponds and the lakes where the fish congregate – the water’s low and food is scarce. Flashy mid-water lures are excellent for attracting these hungry fish. Usually ultra-lite 4-lb test with spinners or rapalas are successful for getting strikes. Look for areas where there are not many weeds and cast to the edges. Let your lures sink for a few minutes before slowly retrieving it. Give the line moderate jerks as you reel in.

Greg at the mouth of the Monocacy and Potomac Rivers



70 lb. Atlantic Sailfish

by admin on April 1, 2012

My good friend, writer, native Miamian, and excellent fisherman Charles Greenfield sent me an email last week after a day of fishing off of Miami Beach:


Went fishing with my niece and her boyfriend this past Friday. Trolling on the Reward II party boat out of Miami Beach marina, past Government Cut and Fisher Island, and just past the range markers,  I got this spectacular and highly unusual strike – an approximately 70 pound Atlantic Sailfish. It nearly spooled my paltry Penn 4/0 Star drag reel with 40 pound mono.

Captain Chris had to back up the 110 foot wide-berthed boat like a small sportsfisherman so I could retrieve the line. Then I fought it with the help of my niece’s boyfriend Matt, and we released it at the stern after a good dozen, amazing leaps from this majestic spear and sail specimen. And I was only trying to catch a little Spanish mackerel for dinner!

(Please notice the red and white $2 Williamson 1/2 oz. lead-head lure that I use for Spanish mackerel in the sail’s mouth!)


70 lb. Sailfish off of Miami Beach


Spring Cleaning! Fishing Tackle Preparation

by admin on March 21, 2012

Spring has sprung and it’s time to clean out your tackle box, oil your reels, and wipe down the rods.

Here’s my checklist:

1. Check the quality of the line spooled on your reels.

In most cases we are talking monofilament, but some of you also use spider wire or even the old braided Dacron. Either way, it is advisable to check the line for abrasions or dry rot, especially if it has been on the reel for over two years.

The best way to spool a reel is to go out to a field where there is a lot of room (at least 300 yds), tie one end of the line to a fixed location, and spool the line from your rod and reel. It is a good idea to stretch the line once it’s unspooled, and when reeling it back on the spool run it through a clean cloth to remove any dirt or mildew.
If the line has been spooled for over two years, I’d go ahead and change it out to new anyway.

2. Remove the spool from the reel, and take a clean cloth with a little WD40, and wipe down all surfaces.

The face plate should be unscrewedm and fresh reel lube added after removing as much of the old grease as possible (this should be done every season). Check the handle and all the gears for wear and make sure the seal is still good, so that no moisture can penetrate. In most cases it is fairly easey o order reel parts through a reputable tackle shop, or the manufacturer.

3. Check your rods.

Pay special attention to the reel mount as this area and the guides are where the most wear takes place. Wipe down the entire rod with slightly soapy water and rinse with clean water. Any rust on the handle or guides should be removed using WD40 and a small wire brush, and sand paper. After the area has been thoroughly cleaned, wipe it down with a paper towel, making sure to remove all the WD40, as it is caustic to fishing line.

4. Clean out your tackle box.

The best deal is to set an area and empty the box; it’s like spring cleaning for your tackle. All the old lures from last year are still good for this uear, but hooks wear, and some get rusty. Instead of buying new lures sonsider just changing the hooks, especially for your most productive artificial (i.e. Mirolures). These guys are expensive and in a lot of cases, a new set of treble hooks is all they need. o not oil or put any petroleum products on the lures as this is a turn-off to the fish.

If you carry a flashlight and medical kit get new batteries, and review what’s in your medical kit, and add or change as necessary.

Clean the empty tackle box with soapy water and rinse with fresh water. Wipe it down and let it dry completely, and then restock. I like to keep my most productive lures up front where they are most readily available, but how you set up your box is up to you.

Good luck this season, and tight lines!


June 4 – Storm Castle Trail, Gallatin National Forest, Montana

June 4, 2010

The Hike: My friend Rod Jude, who I stayed with while visiting Big Sky, MT suggested that I take a day off from fishing and go on a hike with him on one of the innumerable trails in the Gallatin National Forest.  This guy gets up at 5 am every morning for a 5 mile […]

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June 2, 2010 – Firehole River, Yellowstone Park

June 2, 2010

Steve from Bozeman sent me an email today with a terrific report and pictures from the opening day of the Firehole River in Yellowstone Park.  It was great to hear from him. Look at those rainbows! Hi Vic, I met you at $3 Bridge on the Madison.  This is opening day, Saturday May 29,  in […]

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May 18, 2010 – Madison River, Montana

May 22, 2010

The morning started out cold with temps around 30 degrees but was to warm up to 65 later in the day. I had decided to fish the Madison because the Gallatin had turned cloudy due to warmer weather and snow run off. It was a perfect day for a trip up the road on Hwy […]

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Comments & Photos

May 16, 2010

Calling all Fishermen! I welcome all comments or photos about your own fishing experiences. Or, feel free to weigh in on mine. There’s a comment section at the end of each posting – click on the link to add the comment. Or, you can email me at If you’d like to send along photos, […]

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May 16 – Gallatin River, Montana

May 16, 2010

When I first ventured out on the river just down stream from where I’m staying it was snowing lightly. I thought to myself,  “Oh well another slow day,”  as the snow grew heavier. I opted for my fly rod and dry flies despite the weather conditions. After the first hour and changing fly patterns 3 […]

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May 14 – The Fly Shop – Big Sky, Montana

May 14, 2010

I was in the local fly shop here in Big Sky, MT a few days ago replacing the flies I had left in the many overhanging branches along the river. The owner came over and introduced herself; we began discussing various fly patterns and weather conditions on the Gallatin River. One of her employees and […]

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