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MARYLAND: 45-75 miles () — From St. Jerome’s Creek, Christy Henderson (www.buzzsmarina.com) told me, “Capt. Rafiq Munir and Dennis McCain hit the lucky red drum beat south of Buoy 72a in 60 feet of water after drifting for hours and picking up nearly three dozen nice croakers on shrimp, bloodworms and squid. All of a sudden two big red drum hit the lines, but they were too big. They exceeded the legal slot limit of 18 to 27 inches and had to be let go.” Henderson also mentioned a local angler came in with plenty of croakers, and he had a 28-inch-long cobia strike his peeler crab bait. The Southwest Middlegrounds are full of small bluefish and rockfish. From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, Ken Lamb said for rockfish, go north. The stripers are active on the western side of the bay from the nuclear plant up to Parker’s Creek. Blind trolling produces fish all day and lure casters do well at sunset and sunrise casting to breaking fish. The trolling can be good from Buoy 77 north to the Gas Docks. Trollers and chummers are catching plenty of snapper blues in the bay from Smith Point to Hooper’s Island Light. The fish are small but plentiful. Much the same happens above the power plant as trollers score with small bucktails and Sassy Shads from near Shadyside up to Hackett’s Light and across to the Eastern Shore.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles () — From the Northern Neck, charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (www.captbillyscharters.com) reports bluefish up to four pounds are feeding in chum lines between the Northern Neck Reef and Buoy 62. Trollers experience success east of Buoy 62 during the morning and evening hours. The Windmill Point bar up to Dividing Creek, Buoy 68 and the flats surrounding the “Hannibal” target ship off Smith Island and in the lower Potomac river from Buoy 7 to the mouth. Clark and Drone spoons work well. Bottom fishing can be good along the edges of the shipping lane from the lower Cut Channel up to the state line as croakers, a few flounder and trout bite well in the evenings. From down around the Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Julie Ball reports that flounder are taking baits in the lower bay area that shows varying structure. “The best areas are any rubble on the bottom, the island tubes of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, bridge pilings and wrecks. Most any live bait will work, but small spot are always the top choice for live-baiting doormats. Keep in mind that the season will close from July 23 to the 28.”

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles () — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Croakers, spot and perch are possible in the mouth and inside the river clear up to Cambridge. Bass fishing has been poor.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Slow going for bass. The heat has hurt your chances.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside of Federalsburg) Daytime temperatures in the high 90s have put a clamp on decent bass fishing.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles () — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Get to Campbell Edenton’s Sturgeon Creek Marina or go to the Anna Point Marina and launch your boat in the dark. Look for breaking rockfish just at first light and cast Zara Spooks or any brand jerkbait at the stripers. The bass will look at a popper or buzzbait around submerged weeds but be sure to switch to soft plastics as the sun heats and brightens the water.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles () It’s slow going this week for tidal water bass, but upriver smallmouth bass above Fredericksburg have jumped on 1/8-ounce jig hooks holding chartreuse tubes with small black specks. The tube color is known as a chartreuse pepper grub.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (..) — (Route 793, off Route 29) This week’s heat apparently shut the mouths of bass and crappies and kept many anglers home.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles () — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) There are good ratings for catfish, bluegills and crappies, but bass have played hard to get.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles () — (Route 46, Gasburg) Marty Magone reports, “The recent heat wave means you should get out early and locate some grass. Otherwise it’s pitching plastics to docks for your bass. Night catfishing is picking up with some 20-pound-plus specimens taken.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles () — (Route 58, Clarksville) Catfish can be caught by the dozens if you soak a herring or perch slab on the bottom. Bass fishing has slowed because of the heat.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles () — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) It”s mostly blue catfish on slabs of bottom baits from below Richmond down to the Appomattox.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles () — (Williamsburg area) Early hours might turn up a couple of bass along marsh banks. Use 4-inch finesse worms on light slip sinkers or use a slider rig.

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