October is the forgotten month of angling. Fishermen lay down their rods for the nearest shotgun or hunting rifle. Kids go back to school. Waterskiers evaporate and most of those sunshine sadists who spent the summer drowning worms, drinking beer and driving you out of your favorite fishing holes are now at the football stadium or glued to TV.
Patriots of angling, the crowds are gone - October is your month!
October offers such fine fishing that it is harder to choose what to fish for than to choose where to fish. Three good choices are sea trout, largmouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Sea trout are hitting well at Ocean City and should continue through the first half of the month. The best area is the inlet to Sinepuxent Bay.
Live spot, baby bluefish, squid and grub-type lures have been good baits.
Look for the peak feeding at night, when the high tide is coming in or going out but the currest is not running at its strongest. When the tide is runzes by there is no time to pause for a decision. When the current stops totally, the table looks pretty bare.
October should also provide good sea trout action in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Usually there is a flurry of heavy feeding, and catches, during the first two weeks just aathe fish start to school up before leaving the Bay at the end of the month. Best baits will be peeler crabs, cut spot and slowly trolled or jigged bucktails - yellow or white.
Delaware Bay sea trout will head out later. Look for peak action outside the Indian River Inlet in mid-November.
If smallmouth bass are your choice, look first to the Juniata River in central Pennysylvania. The most productive water is southwest of Lewlstown,although many fisherman weigh the riffles about 20 miles downstream from Lewistown. Surface slugs, balsa minnows, streamer flys and Mepps spinners ought to work.
The Juniata is tops in the East, but it's a two-day trip. You might settle for the smaller fish in the Potomac, form Harper's Ferry to Brunswick or from Carderock to Cabin John. Another reasobnable choice is the Rappahannock River upstream from Predericksburg, Va.
For largemouth bass, pick a lake, almost any lake. A particularly promising one is Lake Anna, southwest of Fredericksburg, which has been producing the most sizable fish in northern Virginia this year. Another is Lake Manassas, which has been producting hordes of 10-to-13 inch bass.
A good compromise between quantity and quality is to try the Eastern Shore rivers - the Pocomoke, Transquansquaking, Wicomlco and Chicamacomico. Productive lures will be plastic worms during the day and surface plugs in the morning and evening.