AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY
POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (…) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) anglers will find unusually good numbers of largemouth bass on soft plastics in the rocks on the Virginia side, along with well-fed channel catfish. Down in town and toward Prince George’s and Charles counties, every milfoil bed in the main stem and in feeder creeks can provide a potential bass bonanza for anglers skilled with plastic worms and “crashing” the baits through the greenery. They do it by using heavier-than-normal pegged slip sinkers. Grass frogs and topwater poppers do well early in the day. Don’t forget that sunken wood and dock pilings also attract bass. In the more saline parts of the river, croakers, bluefish and some rockfish are possible anywhere south of Swan Point, but especially so heading down toward Point Lookout. At last report, the St. Mary’s River on the east side of St. George’s Island offered large white perch for spinnerbait and Tiny Trap users.
WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (…) — Quade’s Store in Bushwood (301/769-3903) says the croaker bite is still happening, but here’s fair warning: The best croakers come after sunset if the tide is moving. Yes, white perch and spot are available, too.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — Milfoil beds hold most of the bass and if there before the sun bakes the water, catch them on topwater poppers, slow-rolled spinnerbaits and scented soft plastics.
SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (..) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) produces sunfish and a few catch-and-release bass. At St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road) the good bass fishing continues. Try 3-inch Rapala jerkbaits and Baby 1-Minuses around the dam’s rip-rap, but any sunken wood should be approached with 4-inch plastic worms.
LITTLE SENECA LAKE: 30 miles (…) — Black Hill Regional Park (off Route 117, near Boyds, 301/972-9396) and nearby Seneca Creek Lake (Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, 301/924-2127) turn up bluegills, crappies, catfish and bass — in that order. Unless more heavy rains visit, the lakes will be nice to fish in.
WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (…) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97, or Route 650, in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Early hour bass fishing can be productive. Use crankbaits where weeds aren’t prevalent, but switch to plastic worms when the sun hits the water.
PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (…) — White perch are still as active as ever if casting and retrieving Beetlespins and such in main river rocks and around duck blinds, as well as creek points and sunken wood. The lower river is god for deep-water croakers, many spot and the always present chance for rockfish and blues, maybe even a flounder or two.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (…) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis reports, “Bass continue to be taken early and late on topwater lures, but when the sun gets over the tree tops it’s time to hit the main-lake points with Carolina-rigged plastics. A few small crappie have been taken off the pier on minnows and bluegills are plentiful for the fly-rodders. The water is low. Rain is needed to flush things out and energize the fish.”
BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (..) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Bass catches have slowed, say contacts from the lake, but sunfish and catfish are easy targets.
AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (…) — Walleyes are biting even in this heat if fishing to the sunset hours just about anywhere in Washington County. Use 4- and 5-inch-long Husky Jerk lures and other jerkbaits in less than six feet of water. The smallmouth bass will strike smaller crankbaits or plastic tubes, but as you head downstream toward Frederick and Montgomery counties, expect thick weed carpets in the river, which can make the fishing tough.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) reports, “Fishing has been fair, sometimes tough, but we continue to have a good smallmouth bass topwater bite when light is low. Big pickerel are caught on drifted shiners. Largemouths are playing hard to get.”
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (..) — A few bass are taken in shoreline wood below Havre de Grace and in grass beds on the Susquehanna Flats, but most of the catches seem to come to the more skilled bass hounds.
AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY