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MARYLAND: 45-75 miles () — From St. Jerome’s Creek, Christy Henderson (www.buzzsmarina.com) said her husband, Mike, caught fat bluefish on the Southwest Middle Grounds and reported that whatever underground structure anglers find will hold fish. Charter captain Jeff Popp’s customers landed many croakers, stripers and bluefish, but he now has moved to the northern parts of the bay, where he lives. Bowie’s Norman Hendrickson said he had a great outing with charter captain Keith Allston (cell, 301/399-4504) aboard the Rodbender in Solomons. Hendrickson and friends live-lined spot for rockfish and had no trouble connecting. “We had fast and furious action,” he said. “I highly recommend his services.” From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, Ken Lamb reports, “Trollers are finding rockfish from 18 to 30 inches on the western side of the ships channel, from Buoy 77 to Parker’s Creek. Breaking rockfish are inside the Targets at sunset and sunrise. Bluefish have invaded the Middle Grounds from Buoy 72 to the Target Ship. The blues are snapper sized, but bigger blues are caught trolling in the same area.” Moving up the bay, rockfish trollers and chummers have been doing fairly well from Sharps Island’s general area up to Bloody Point and on toward the Chester River.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles () — Northern Neck boaters find bluefish, catch-and-release rockfish, big croakers and fat spot now from Smith Point down to the Rappahannock River. In the lowest parts of the bay, Julie Ball reports cobia chummers find action at Bluefish Rock, the Inner Middle Grounds and Latimer Shoal. Spadefish are hooked at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, where the Fourth Island produces steady action. Most of the black drum catches are coming from the four islands of the Bridge-Tunnel. Casters are picking up nice fish on bucktails and Storm Lures. The same area also turns up some sheepshead if anglers use crab or clam baits. “The flounder scene is finally looking up,” Ball said. “Those bouncing live bait over structure began harvesting consistent doormat catches up to 11½ pounds along the Bridge-Tunnel.”

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES () — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) The mouth of the river has been delivering croakers, white perch and increasing numbers of spot. Some rockfish are hooked by chummers here. Inside the river toward Cambridge, white perch, croakers and small rockfish are possible. The bass fishing around Denton is only fair.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) The heat hasn’t helped this river as low oxygen levels slow down the bass catches.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) A few bass are hooked in the feeder creeks and main stem, but good news came from down around Vienna, where blue/chrome Rat-L-Trap lures cast to marsh bank points early in the day resulted in rockfish, some of them keepers.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles () — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) The earliest hours of the morning, long before sunlight arrives, turn up some surprising topwater striper catches at the Splits and other lake areas. The bass have gone deep and jig’n’craws or plastic worms work around drop-offs adjacent to lake and creek points.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles () Tidal portions from Leedstown up to Hicks Landing haven’t shown much improved bass activity, although above Hicks anglers will do well with plastic worms and small spinnerbaits. Upper river above Fredericksburg delivers decent smallmouth bass fishing if anglers use tubes, grubs and small crankbaits in the rocky pools and eddys.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles () — (Route 793 off Route 29) Fair to good crappie and bass action if anglers concentrate on the “cool” hours. Fish early and late if possible.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles () — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Bass have jumped on early hour topwater poppers and buzzbaits around stickups and lake points. Catfish and crappies can be caught fairly quick.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles () — (Route 46, Gasburg) Marty Magone says, “With summer boat and jet ski traffic, it pays to get out early. Upriver grass is still producing nice bass and pickerel. Flukes and spinnerbaits work well. When the sun gets up, try points or docks near deeper water with plastics [jig worms have been hot]. Crappie fishermen are doing well around brush-laden docks.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles () — (Route 58, Clarksville) This lake’s blue catfish population is increasing tremendously. Some heavy-duty specimens are hooked on bottom baits. The bass fishing in brush-filled waters can be dynamite now and then.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles () — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Catch-and-release rockfish are taken below the Appomattox River, but it gets even better toward the mouth of the James. Catfish are hooked around Dutch Gap with sunset periods best.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles () — (Williamsburg area) The Walker’s Dam area is still closed. Bass and perch are plentiful along marsh banks.

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