MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (…) — Christy Henderson (www.buzzsmarina.com) of St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County said, “This week we saw croakers galore, and many of the bigger ones were caught during the daytime. Charter fishing captain ‘Walleye’ Pete Dahlberg [cell: 703/395-9955] went out to the Middlegrounds at midday and said there were blues and rockfish breaking on top all over. A couple of 13-inch sea trout were caught at the mouth of our creek over the weekend, but flounder have been scarce. I heard that spadefish were caught near the Targets.” From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, Ken Lamb reports, “Bay fishermen are doing well anchoring at night on the Mud Leads and the Middlegrounds. The croakers in the bay are not [very] consistent. One night you’ll get 300-plus big fish, and the next night it’s slim pickings, but you’re not going to get skunked. Some decent-sized trout also have shown up mixed in with the croakers. Cobias have been swiping at hooked croakers being brought to the boat on the Mud Leads.” Andy Croley and his wife, Cathy, trolled from Buoy 77 to the Gas Docks and latched on to four legal rockfish keepers in no time. He also caught three blues, mostly on Sassy Shads behind an umbrella rig. The striper catches, meanwhile, are good north of the Patuxent mouth from Cove Point to Parker’s Creek and even farther up toward the Bay Bridge and beyond as 17- to 22-inch rockfish are plentiful.
VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (…) — Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (Ingram Bay Marina in Wicomico Church, www.captbillyscharters.com, 804/580-7292) said bluefish catches are on the rise, with one- to three-pound fish becoming more abundant in the chum slicks. Some anglers chum for a mix of blues and rockfish at the Northern Neck Reef and the adjacent channel edge down to Buoy 62, but the rockfish must be released. From the Virginia Beach area, Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association reports that the lower Chesapeake’s Bluefish Rock and York Spit Light are cobia hot spots, but red drum also are available. Flounder fishermen are finding some legal fish at Back River Reef, Bluefish Rock and the Cell. Spanish mackerel are showing up in better numbers. The mackerel hit small trolled spoons throughout the lower bay. Spadefish are being caught at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.
CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (…) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Croakers and white perch are hooked inside the river’s mouth and sometimes clear up to the Cambridge fishing bridge. No word about decent bass catches in the Denton area.
POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (…) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) The heat is taking its toll on the anglers, but the bass bite can be quite good early in the day if the tides are right. Baby 1-Minus lures and plastic worms are all you need.
NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on Marshyhope Creek) A bit of a slowdown has been noticed as far as bass catches are concerned. It could be the heat. However, early hour stripers are caught on Rat-L-Traps in the Vienna area.
AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA
LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) A few early hour rockfish are caught by Sassy Shad trollers, and bass-seeking boaters can score with topwater lures before the sun clears the tree line. Deep-water brush and stump fields have been good for topwater and plastic worm fishing. Crappie action has slowed for some reason.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) We had a decent bass outing upstream of Hicks Landing, but not much was happening below the Route 301 bridge. Plastic worms and Minus-1 crankbaits worked. The upper river above Fredericksburg has been fine for smallmouths.
LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (…) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Crappies, sunfish galore, and some decent-sized bass and catfish are waiting for you. Go early and leave early in this heat.
LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (…) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for the left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Some early and late hour bass action can be had. That and catfish. Crappies have been uncooperative.
LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake specialist Marty Magone said, “Early risers are scoring on topwater bass and stripers. Find a main lake point with some grass and start casting. When the sun gets high use plastics on docks.”
KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Bass fishing with jig ’n’ craws or worms in sunken brush, fallen trees and flooded willows has been fine. Stripers and catfish are also active.
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) The bass, crappies and huge catfish are in a feeding mode, but you need to be there when the sun has not yet baked the water.