- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 14, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (….) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461), there will be fat catfish and occasional bass and walleyes in the main stem. The rest of the tidal river from the District to western Charles County will see 200 bass boats as the Wal-Mart FLW bass tournament gets under way this morning out of Smallwood State Park in Charles County. The event will be headquartered in Charles County through tomorrow but shifts to Anacostia Park on Saturday and Sunday with a reduced number of competitors. The final two weigh-ins will be held at D.C. Armory. Go to flwoutdoors.com for additional information. Meanwhile, the bass are biting in main-stem grass patches and along marsh banks and weed beds in the feeder creeks on both sides of the river. Early hour topwater catches are made, but soft plastics are the go-to baits most of the day. South of the Port Tobacco River, expect croakers, spot, perch and small rockfish, especially from St. Clements down toward St. George’s Island and on to Point Lookout.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (…) — Rental boaters at Quade’s store in Bushwood are doing well on the croakers. Some have measured up to 19 inches. The best baits have been bloodworms, squid, shrimp and even nightcrawlers. The perch and spot are also biting, but the spot are small.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — It’s a bad idea to launch a boat at Smallwood today and tomorrow because the tournament competitors will receive favored treatment and the people who paid for the launch ramps will be asked to wait. The bass are biting.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (…) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) gave me several fly-rod bass and nice bluegills. Anglers cannot keep bass here any day of the year. At St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road), however, the bass-keeping season opens Saturday. Read the sign at the park for restrictions. Crappies and fat bluegills are waiting.

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) will turn up some nice bass now that the spawning has ended. Crappies, sunfish and catfish are biting.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (…) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Starting Saturday anglers may keep bass. Crappies and sunfish are plentiful, as are catfish.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (…) — Lexington Park’s Tackle Box reports that boat renters at Bunky’s in Solomons are catching hardheads even in the daytime, although the dark or early hours are best. The St. Mary’s side along the dropoff from Green Holly to the mouth of Town Creek is best, the store’s Ken Lamb said. The 20-foot ledge from Sandy Point to Point Patience also has croaker, with the fish hiding in 90 feet of water under the bridge, near the Solomons pier. Hardheads are hooked at the Hawk’s Nest at the mouth of Cuckold Creek, Helen’s Bar, St Leonard’s Lump and Sheridan Point. White perch are in the creeks. They like small spinnerbaits or Mini-Traps.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (…) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis said “Reports of anglers catching 20 or more fish ranging from 13 to 17 inches are common.” Early hour buzzbaits, lipless crankbaits, Texas-rigged plastic worms or lizards and tube jigs produce. Crappies are in brush piles and beaver huts. Minnows or small, white jigs under a bobber are the best baits.

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (…) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Crappies, bass and catfish are willing. The bass definitely go for 4-inch scented Power Worms and the like.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (…) — Upper river smallmouth bass have been going for chartreuse/pepper flake tubes as well as white grubs and small crankbaits. Anglers good at jigging orange or bright red curly tailed grubs over a rocky bottom in deep holes might come up with a couple walleyes, especially in Washington County waters. There’s always a chance for a tiger muskie.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Some of this lake’s bass are still in a spawning mode, according to the Department of Natural Resources. Enough action, however, can be had skipping tubes and plastic worms under floating boat docks. Big bluegills are still on their beds in the coves. Need a guide? Call Brent Nelson, 240/460-8839.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — The water near the dam has been so low that the guys are out in the river jumping from rock to rock, casting white Sassy Shads or livelining a perch. Bass are scored on the Susquehanna Flats, with weedless-rigged worms, flukes, and tubes working best in the dense grasses. Some nice bass are taken around docks and seawalls in Havre de Grace.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (…) —Christy Henderson (www.buzzsmarina.com) of St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County, says chummers are hooking resident rockfish. Now and then a few small bluefish are mixed in, although one angler returned to the marina with two 13-pounders — bonafide “choppers.” Chummers work the ledge between buoys 72A and 72, as well as the Southwest Middlegrounds. Croakers and spot are showing up in good numbers from Point Lookout to Point No Point. “They’re also in the Mud Leeds and Holland Bar,” she said, adding that the mouth of St. Jerome’s Creek has delivered flounder up to 22 inches. From the Tackle Box, Ken Lamb reports, “Evening fishing trips for hardheads in the bay have begun. Charter boats are anchoring up from Buoy 72A to the Target Ship and are getting 250 to 300 fish per trip.” If anglers fish the upper and middle bay parts, they will be astonished with the many 17- to 20-inch-long rockfish that are out there. We trolled with friends near Poplar Island and received hits every couple of minutes. Other boaters agree as they troll from above the bay bridges down toward the Gooses.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (…) — Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (Ingram Bay Marina in Wicomico Church, www.captbillyscharters.com, call 804/580-7292) reminds anglers that the rockfish season is closed in Virginia waters starting tomorrow. But plenty of croakers and increasing numbers of bluefish are noted in his waters. From the Virginia Beach area, Julie Ball says the cobias have arrived at Bluefish Rock and the Rockpile. Flounder drifters work hard to find keepers, but some decent flatties are caught by drifting strip baits near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel; buoys 36A, 40, 42; the Cell; and within Lynnhaven Inlet. Stripers and remnant black drum are taken around the bridge-tunnel’s islands and abutments.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (…) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) The mouth of the river shows some fat croakers and white perch, with perch, catfish and crabs available from the Cambridge fishing bridge. Upper river bass fishing can be fair to good.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (…) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Good bass fishing is had by early birds who cast Mann’s Baby 1-Minus lures around underwater tree branches and spatterdock edges. Plastic worms also score.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (…) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) Much improved bass fishing in the Sharptown area and above. Catch a receding tide and find marsh bank and sunken brush bass action on soft plastics.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Stripers are seen rising to the surface during the early morning hours near the Splits. Topwater Zara Spooks work if they are retrieved erratically. Bass are found on lake points and rip-rap during the cool hours. Use 4-inch scented worms or lizards.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) The tidal sections below Port Royal, including Green Bay, turn up some fat bass. Soft plastics and spinnerbaits work. The upper river is giving up smallmouth bass. Use tube jigs, grubs and 1/4-ounce crankbaits.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (…) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Bass will take a hard look at “whacky-rigged” Zero plastic worms in the backs of coves early in the day. Fish those worms without added weight. Crappies go for 1/16-ounce white jigs under a bobber.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Marty Magone says “The summer patterns are in full force, but you need to find vegetation that hold the bass. Fish bridges and rip-rap or run upriver and locate the emerging weed lines above [the] 85 bridge. Bass like spinnerbaits ticked over grass in four to six feet of water.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Bass will slam a jerkbait in flooded brush, but when sun bakes the water switch to a plastic worm at lake points.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (…) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Stripers and blue catfish are the main story here, but the rockfish are off-limits starting tomorrow.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (…) — (Williamsburg area) Good bass chances are found along marsh banks as well as sunken wood. Use plastic worms and spinnerbaits.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — From the Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville stretches, river specialist Dick Fox reports, “I hit the river, but fishing was slow. Caught more largemouth than smallmouth bass.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (…) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) A recent bass tournament here saw three-day catches exceed 50 pounds, which is unusual for this lake.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (…) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Good smallmouth bass catches are reported by floaters, waders and shoreline casters.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (…) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) The DNR’s Keith Lockwood reports flounder, sea trout, bluefish, striped bass and blowfish are showing up with regularity now. Big rockfish are occasionally hooked by surf fishermen, but sharks are more numerous. Offshore boaters find sharks, including tasty makos, past the Jackspot and out to the canyon waters, where bluefin and yellowfin tunas are also hooked.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball says big bull redfish are hooked around Fisherman’s Island, close to the mouth of the bay. Norfolk spot showed up in Rudee Inlet, with fish up to 14-ounces hitting bloodworms and Fishbites. “Keeper flounder and Taylor blues are also still available within the inlet, [and] pier anglers along the ocean front are picking through a few small flounder, small croaker and bluefish. Anglers trolling off Cape Henry are now catching decent Spanish mackerel, along with bluefish,” she said. The Chesapeake Light Tower holds fine spadefish. Offshore areas deliver catches of yellowfin tuna and dolphin. Carolina waters are still yielding yellowfin tuna catches, gaffer dolphin and some blue marlin and sailfish.

{bullet}Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com.