- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today begins the weekly cold weather fishing report. Until March 2006, when the more detailed spring and summer reports return, we will highlight local and distant fishing spots where you’re likely to enjoy success. If readers wish to share a late fall or winter hot-spot or a fishing experience, send me an e-mail.

During these days of large ocean rockfish visiting the Chesapeake Bay, Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park (St. Mary’s County), reports: “Rockfish were checked in all this week by trollers and chummers. Marvin Banta landed a 46-inch, 31-pound rockfish on Monday near Buoy 70. Father and son team Jeremiah and George Hipple caught a pair of stripers measuring 43 and 37 inches on Saturday near Smith Island.”

And in The Washington Times yesterday, you saw a photo of the beautiful 551/4-pound rockfish reeled in by Gaithersburg’s David Whitt not far from home port aboard Solomons charter fishing captain Greg Buckner’s “Miss Susie.” The big striper slammed into a custom-made parachute lure, trimmed with a 9-inch sassy Shad body.

“The great mass of migrating rockfish from the Atlantic’s summertime haunts in Maine and Massachusetts are now making the turn at the mouth of the Bay and are heading straight for us,” Lamb said. “The fish caught this week are just the first of many waves of stripers that will continue to come into the bay.”

Meanwhile, various sizes of white perch are in the Patuxent in deep holes from the Solomons bridge to Point Patience, according to the folks at the Tackle Box. When the tide is right these fish feed on anything dropped in front of them and can be caught two at a time on pieces of bloodworm, squid, Fishbites and cut bait. Even plain shad darts jigged on the bottom will bring strikes.

From Buzz’s Marina (301/872-5887, buzzsmarina.com) on St. Jerome’s Creek, St. Mary’s County, Christy Henderson reports: “Trollers from Buoy 72 to the Middle Grounds picked up some big rockfish. The chummers had a pretty good day near the rock pile in front of the old hotel near Point No Point Lighthouse. Pods of breaking fish were everywhere. The trick is to throw a jig heavy enough to get below to the larger ones deeper in the school.”

Henderson also pointed out rockfish were hooked around Hooper’s Island Light and from Point No Point down to Point Lookout.

From the Northern Neck of Virginia, charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (captbillyscharters.com or 804/580-7292) reports: “Striped bass [fishing is] beginning to shift from chumming to trolling.”

Pipkin said boaters should watch for flocks of feeding gulls and gannets or schools of menhaden rippling the surface. Chances are rockfish are under them.

“Daily bird activity can be found along the channel edges from Smith Point down to Buoy 62 and south through the Cut Channel,” Pipkin said. “Chumming continues to produce big numbers of fish with some large samples mixed in. The best locations remain on the Northern Neck Reef and the Asphalt Pile Reef, both located outside of the Ingram Bay area.”

Freshwater bass deliver goods — Dick Fox of Front Royal, Va., said he’s finding some quality largemouth and smallmouth bass in the Shenandoah River. “The fishing is fine, and the autumn scenery is breathtaking,” he said.

The same thing is happening in the upper Rappahannock, Potomac and James rivers, where the smallmouth bass have jumped on a variety of lures, including inline spinners, small crankbaits, jigs, grubs and tubes.

Tidal river happenings — From his home base in La Plata, Potomac bass guide Andy Andrzejewski reports: “Water temperatures have warmed to the mid-50s, scattering some of the species we were beginning to find schooled in cold water areas. Bass have been finicky the past week with specific locations seeming to hold numbers of bass, while others only give up a few. Grass flats remain productive. White spinnerbaits or plastic worms as well as some topwater baits [can work well]. When you find a spot that shows bass, stay in the area and work it thoroughly with several baits. Downed trees, especially those not covered with loose grasses, can be productive also.”

The guide also points out, and I can verify it, that river and creek crappies had started to school but dispersed again when the warming rays of sun arrived. We find a few among marina docks and in fallen trees. They like white, gray or chartreuse curly tailed grubs fed onto 1/8-ounce jig heads.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com

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