- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 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 a variety of species available. Catfish will bite for sure, but there’s also a chance of hooking bass, walleyes and various sunfish or perch. In the water below the District, bass guide Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) connects on bass in main-stem grass patches and most of the feeder creeks, where the “hot” bite comes along the edges of marsh banks near creek channel waters. Early morning topwater poppers followed by soft, scented plastic worms or “creature” baits when the sun cooks the water can do the job. I’ve been doing well with unweighted garlic-scented Zero worms cast to marsh banks and wood cover. The Zero, made by Strike King, sinks fairly fast even without a slip sinker and the bass do the rest when they catch the aroma. The lower river, once you get to the mouth of the Wicomico and continue down to Tall Timbers and on to Point Lookout, turns up a good mix of perch, small spot and average size croakers, plus scattered keeper rockfish and some flounder.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles () — The best croaker catches are made after sundown, but even daytime hours deliver the goods. Not many large croakers are taken, but the fish are biting if you locate one of the many pods of hardheads inside the river. Some perch and spot are taken as well.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles () — You will find bass from the Burn Point and Deep Point area of the creek up toward the back side of Marsh Island and on into the “no wake” zone up to Slavins ramp and beyond. Plastic worms, jig”n”craws and early hour topwater lures will work.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles () — Gilbert Run Park”s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) has sunfish and catch-and-release bass that are willing, but the better fishing comes at St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5 past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road), where bass, fat bluegills, crappies and even some pickerel will make an outing worthwhile. One bass hound said he caught largemouths on a 1/4-ounce topwater buzzbait, but short plastic worms and shallow crankbaits are good, too.

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) delivers fly-rod bluegills if that’s your game, but most of the anglers here are after bass, and they connect with small jerkbaits, plastic worms or 1/4-ounce crankbaits. Catfish are hungry. Use clam necks or nightcrawlers.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles () — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) After last week’s complaint about a lack of crappies, a Rockville reader called to say he hasn’t had any trouble catching crappies. “You have to find sunken brush in the backs of deep coves and you’ll score,” Fred Williams said.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles () — Some decent flounder and fat hardheads are hooked in the mouth of the river. Now add a chance for keeper rockfish and you will be wise to visit here. Rental boaters at Bunky’s on Solomons Island are scoring on croakers and spot, with croakers ranging up to and past Greenwell State Park. White perch are increasing in numbers in the feeder creeks.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles () — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) and up the lake to Bull Run you will have an easy time hooking feisty bluegills with fly-rod poppers. The bass like jerkbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms or jig”n”craws, but early hour topwaters also work around blowdowns, creek mouth points and the like.

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles () — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) One e-mailer tells us the bass have been crazy about a Senko worm fished without a slip sinker. He works the lake points as early as he can before the children show up and begin to squeal.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles () — Now is a great time to go wading from Knoxville down to Point of Rocks. Pick your spots carefully, though, lest you fall into a river hole. When I wade I wear a zip-up life vest that holds a small box of lures, and it can save my life if I slip into deep water. The smallmouth bass will cooperate if you throw tube grubs, 1/4-ounce crankbait in crawfish patterns or a simple Mepps Spinner No. 3.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles () — Large- and smallmouth bass are jumping on tubes or small jig’n’craws when pitched under floating boat docks. Some walleyes are hooked on colorful chartreuse or pink curly tailed grubs. For a fun outing, book guide Brent Nelson, 240/460-8839.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles () — Some good bass are taken on the Susquehanna Flats. Thick milfoil water weeds and soft jerkbaits, such as a white Zoom Fluke, will work. Inside the river up toward Port Deposit you will find some largemouths on plastic worms and spinnerbaits.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles () — Unusually good numbers of rockfish can be found in the Chesapeake, from way up in the north around Love Point in the Chester River down to Bloody Point and Eastern Bay, on toward Poplar Island and in 20- to 30-foot-deep waters on either side of the ships channel clear down to the Virginia state line. Croakers are showing up in the usual places, from Middlegrounds to Tangier Sound (where some flounder and small sea trout are hooked) as well as up toward Hooper’s Island Light and the Choptank River mouth.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles () — In the Northern Neck waters, expect plenty of throw-back rockfish and increasing numbers of bluefish. Chummers and trollers find plenty of action to keep them busy. Closer to shore around channel ditches and buoys there will be croakers and spot. From the end of the bay, Julie Ball reports, “Cobias in excess of 65 pounds delight chummers off the Rock Pile, Bluefish Rock, York Spit Light and the Latimer Shoals area. The bite is still scattered, but more fish are boated every day. Choose a location near a shoal or shallow pass and fish the bottom with cut bait or free-floating live bait. You may be lucky enough to snag a passing red drum among the fleet of cownose rays.” The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, by the way, offers small bluefish, croakers, sea trout, spadefish and a few flounder.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES () — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) The largemouth bass have turned on above Denton and Martinak State Park. Plastic worms and small buzzbaits can turn the trick around spatterdock and blowdowns. There are perch and croakers in varying numbers available from the mouth up toward Cambridge.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Hot weather and the Pocomoke do not mix well. Bass action has slowed considerably.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) No glowing reports of bass catches have come in, but one reader latched on to some decent crappies in the Federalsburg stretch of the Marshyhope Creek.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles () — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Surprising numbers of walleyes are taken in this lake, usually by bass anglers retrieving deep crankbaits. The bass fishing has been pretty good. Some crappies are available in flooded beaver huts.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles () Upper river smallmouth bass like not only tubes and grubs but also spinners and small jerkbaits. Below Fredericksburg, expect some bass to pick up a 4-inch-long plastic worm around blowdowns and spatterdock edges.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles () — (Route 793, off Route 29) The crappie fishing has been good. Bluegills are wild about fly-rod poppers. Bass prefer a 4-inch-long scented Power Worm.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles () — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Catfish are almost guaranteed, but the bass require a little work. Small spinnerbaits and shallow crankbaits early in the day are the ticket.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles () — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake specialist Marty Magone said, “Grass lines near the flats above Hawtree Creek are producing bass up to five pounds. Spinnerbaits and plastics are the lures of choice. Spinner and nightcrawler rigs can find walleyes up to seven pounds. Drift your baited rig over the submerged islands between Holly Grove and I-85.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles () — (Route 58, Clarksville) Some decent largemouth bass are taking plastic worms and soft jerkbaits around structures in fairly shallow water. Some stripers and large catfish are hooked.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles () — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) The action here is mostly with blue catfish, and that has to be done very early or late in the day. Daytime heat can be brutal.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles () — (Williamsburg area) Walker’s Dam area is closed. Do not go near the dam. The river, meanwhile, is good for white perch, crappies and bass.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville stretches deliver a few bass, fallfish, redbreasted sunfish and catfish, but the daytime heat makes fishing tough.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles () — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Nighttime boaters connect on a few rockfish at the “S” Curve. Bass catches have been quite good around boat docks and underwater humps.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles () — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) The small 1/4-ounce crankbait recommendation holds again this week but also use some soft plastic tubes and Zoom jerkbaits if you want smallmouth bass.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles () — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Offshore catches include a few tunas, bluefish, sharks and the beginnings of dolphin arrivals. We’re talking canyon waters here. Closer to shore you will see some smaller bluefish, with the surf stretches from Ocean City to Assateague Island turning up a variety of fish ranging from snapper blues to stripers, sharks and kingfish. Flounder catches are poor.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach () — Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball says North Carolina’s offshore boats find tuna and dolphin action. “[But] out of Virginia, crews are working harder for their bounties. Some days are better than others with some boats finding 30-pound yellowfins and small to medium bluefin tuna. Farther north, a few boats are having better luck locating yellowfin tuna in the 40 to 70 pound range, and some dolphin holding in 68- to 75-degree water near the Baltimore Canyon.” For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.

c 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.

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