AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY
POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (…) — At Fletcher”s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; 202/244-0461), you will hook catfish, scattered bass and some remnant rockfish. Below town, river bass guide Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) has been finding topwater bass on Rico poppers before the sun bakes the water. Then he switches to soft plastics or shallow-running crankbaits around marsh edges in any of the tidal feeder creeks between the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Charles County. Main-stem grass beds can deliver, as can sunken wood and old boat docks. Catfish are hooked up and down the river with slabs of herring or menhaden as well as clam necks. Ken Lamb reports that south of the Route 301 bridge “the Potomac is loaded with croaker most everywhere.” Some folks still have a tough time catching enough for dinner because they do most of their fishing in the sunny day hours. Croakers bite better after sundown.
WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (…) — Quade’s store in Bushwood says people are hooking croakers on a variety of baits from shrimp to squid. Perch and spot are taken, but again this week they are kind of small.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — The weekend again will see a busy tournament launched from the Smallwood State Park ramps. Upper creek bass fishing along marsh banks has been fine. Use 4-inch scented plastic worms.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (…) — Gilbert Run Park”s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) delivers bluegills, some crappies and a bass now and then. All bass must be released. At St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5 past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road), the bass catches have been good. Use topwater poppers and buzzbaits when it’s early or overcast and short plastic worms any other time. Bluegills and crappies are plentiful.
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) show crappies, bluegills, catfish, bass and sometimes even a tiger muskie, as master angler Tom Pinckney proves. Check out Tom’s web site at www.toothycritters.com.
WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (…) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Johnboaters and some shore walkers find bass with plastic worms or jig ’n’ craw lures around sunken wood or jutting lake points. Sunfish are in good supply, but where are all the crappies?
PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (…) — Lexington Park’s Tackle Box reports that boaters hoping to hook some croakers are doing well in the mouth of the river 3-Legged Buoy, Green Holly, Seven Gables and Hawk’s Nest. The usual run of rockfish up the Patuxent in deep water around the oyster beds has not yet started, but some flounder catches are reported at the 3-Legged Buoy. White perch are striking small spinnerbaits in the creeks.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (…) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County), ranger Smokey Davis says small shad are schooled up in the main lake, the mouth and secondary points inside the bigger coves of the reservoir. The bass are found at various lake points and in deep lake blowdowns. Shad and crawfish-color crankbaits have been the hot lures, but spinnerbaits and Texas-rigged plastics also work. Channel catfish and crappies are biting. Fly-rodders are having no trouble hooking fat bluegills.
BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (…) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) There are good bass and crappie opportunities for early hour fishermen.
AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (…) — I don’t know whether local rains discolored the water, but I’ll wager the smallmouth bass and channel catfish are biting from near the Shenandoah junction clear down to Montgomery County.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Lake fishing guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says largemouth bass are mostly in postspawn mode and now relate to grasslines near shore and under docks and pontoon boats. Some can be found in deeper submerged grass beds in 10 to 15 feet of water. Big bluegills are cooperating nicely, hitting a piece of nightcrawler under a slip float.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — Garlic-scented green pumpkin/red flake Zero worms have done a number on largemouth bass inside the marina docks and adjacent blowdowns in Havre de Grace and when fished without slipsinkers on the Susquehanna Flats.
AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY