Grateful for Panfish
By Shawn Kimbro
No matter what path you take in the Old-Line State, these are high times for those of us who like to cast the long rod. Whether you’re hiking the Allegheny Mountains, exploring ripples in the still-water pools of the Potomac, or drifting along the tidal flats of the Eastern Shore, Maryland’s diverse geography provides for many options.
Lately I’m spending a lot more time fishing the non-tidal streams or floating the millponds in search of my favorite and most familiar species: crappie, sunfish, and perch. Affectionately called “panfish” since they’re small and delicious, these species share a special place in the hearts of anglers because they’re likely the first fish we caught. It might have been on a nearby riverside while dangling a redworm from a cane pole, or maybe it was casting a spinner with a closed-face spinning reel off Uncle John’s dock. In my case, it was standing in the mud beside a farm pond with a grasshopper fixed to a safety-pin tied to bailing twine. There’s no right or wrong way to fish. The path is for your steps alone, so use whatever technique brings you the most joy.
For me, that’s fly casting.