- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 1, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (***) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) Ray Fletcher said a few smallmouth bass and fat catfish are hooked in fishable water. The rain apparently did not discolor his stretch of water. Down in the tidal stretches from the District down to Charles and Prince William counties, some grass is floating and dying, while some of it is still strong, hiding a few fish. However, three of us fished two days ago and found willing catfish, small rockfish, yellow perch and a fair bass — all on Mann’s Sting Ray grubs dabbed with Smelly Jelly and fished in open pockets of water around river points and wood shorelines. Crankbaits also did the job. Barely legal striped bass are taken with rattle baits from Mathias Point down to various river buoys that are surrounded by rocks.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (***) — The DNR’s Mary and Tim Groves ran the state’s electro-shock boat during a survey of the creek and concluded, “We found good numbers of largemouth bass. Largemouth reproduction was good this year, with many small fish showing up in most of the [surveyed] creeks.”

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (**) — Gilbert Run Park”s Wheatley Lake (Route 6 east of La Plata) delivers sunfish and a few small bass. At St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5 past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road) the DNR conducted two night surveys and came up with surprisingly fine bass, including 5- and 6-pounders. They also “shocked up” plenty of fat black crappies, along with chain pickerel.

LITTLE SENECA LAKE: 30 miles (**) — At Black Hill Regional Park (off Route 117 near Boyds, 301/972-9396) Catfish, some bass and sunfish are available. Nearby Seneca Creek Lake (Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, 301/924-2127) shows fair to good bass fishing, with catfish and sunnies also biting.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (*) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia offer fair bass catches on crawfish color jig’n’craws and crankbaits. Crappies can be caught if you can reach the water.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (***) — Rockfish are in the river and can be caught during the early with Rat-L-Trap lures around points, but you will need to troll or drift along with baits later in the day.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (***) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis reported, “Recent rains have raised the water levels to a point where anglers can easily launch their boats. Rising water energized the fish. Good catches of all species were reported. Some nice bass were caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits in the mouths of coves and off the main lake points. The crappie like small minnows under a bobber around brush piles and blowdowns.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (**) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Rain helped somewhat. Bass and crappies are hungry; so are the catfish.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (***) — DNR biologist John Mullican says the river received much needed rainfall this past weekend, as much as three to four inches in some areas. River levels have improved, and smallmouth bass caches have been good. You will have to deal with lots of vegetation, however. Use weedless lures.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (***) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says the smallmouth bass, walleyes, yellow perch and crappies are hungry even though the lake water is a bit shallower than usual.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (***) — Conowingo Dam water releases are on a regular schedule now resulting in better rockfish catches. The stripers will hit topwater lures, crankbaits and sassy Shads. Fairly decent catches of smallmouth and largemouth bass are made in the lower river.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (***) — On the Chesapeake, autumn has arrived. The few cool nights we have had have already affected the fishing — much of it for the better, if that’s even possible. The rockfish are beginning to bunch up now and can be found in fairly large concentrations here and there; they’re no longer scattered all over the bay. Believe it or not, although quite a few bluefish are still available, a good many are heading south, ready to depart. What a year this has been for blues. Next year will be as good or better. Meanwhile, striper trollers will score, but so will bottom jiggers and even chummers, although the chumming will come to a screeching halt when water temperatures drop below 55 degrees. Of course, cooler weather also signals the beginning arrivals of ocean-run stripers that come into the bay to fatten up for winter. A few have been taken south of Point Lookout, but it will happen in good numbers any day now.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (***) — In the Northern Neck, charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (www.captbillyscharters.com) finds bunches of rockfish and slowly departing bluefish. Farther down the bay, Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association said, “Speckled trout are being caught pretty much everywhere. The flats, inlets and rivers are all producing. The Elizabeth River and Rudee Inlet have been very good. Spot continue to bite in the James River. Puppy drum are caught inside the inlets and on the flats. Flounder were being caught along the channel edges at the mouth of the bay, but the wind has made flounder fishing difficult. Small striped bass and bluefish are everywhere. The recent cooling trend should signal a heating up of the striped bass bite.”

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles (***) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Upper river delivers some decent largemouth bass, especially if you can find stones or wood where you can crank a medium-depth lipped lure. Rockfish catches at the mouth have been holding up.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (***) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Mann’s Baby 1 Minus lures in chartreuse/red or chrome/blue will get bass around sunken brush and flooded tree roots. The value of 4-inch scented finesse worms can’t be overstated.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (***) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) Some buzzbait bass catches have been made around spatterdock patches on the main stem, but crankbaits and soft plastics also do well. Check for stripers with Rat-L-Traps around river points and sand bars in the Vienna stretch.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (***) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) What a difference the rain and cooler temperatures made. The bass, crappie and striper fishing has perked up considerably, with the bass hanging out in rocky waters around lake points where a crankbait does the job.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (***) Cooler weather has helped, and so has the rain. The upper river should be OK for smallmouths this weekend. Tidal portions below Fredericksburg will deliver some fair largemouth bass numbers in shoreline wood and creek mouths. Use crankbaits, rattle baits and scented finesse worms.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (*) — (Route 793 off Route 29) There will be some crappie, catfish and bass for weekend visitors.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (*) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) The water is still not up to par, but some bass and crappie action is possible.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (***) — (Route 46, Gasburg) A lake “turn-over” is slowly happening, which means the surface water is cooler and the bottom layers are getting the warmer water. Bass are responding to soft plastics and crankbaits or spinnerbaits.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (**) — (Route 58, Clarksville) The water levels are still down, but fish can be caught. Brush piles up and down the lake produce crappies and bass. Big catfish go after bottom-fished cut baits.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (**) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue cats are hooked, but the fishing for those brutes will get much better later this month and in December.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (**) — (Williamsburg area) Rockfish and catfish apparently like fresh cut-baits. The bass in the middle and upper river portions like Mann’s Baby 1 Minus lures and 4-inch ribworms or some type of finesse worm in junebug or watermelon colors.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (**) — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) Front Royal’s Dick Fox says, “Fished the river and the water temperature in the North Fork was 55, 57 in the South Fork. The fishing for smallmouths was good. I caught around 20, but most of them were under 12 inches. My best was 16 inches.” Fox likes grubs, jigs and soft worms. He says there’s lots of floating grass.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (***) — (Route 122 east of Roanoke) You’re urged to call 540/721-4867 to check whether any boat ramps are still closed because of low water. However, some decent bass are taken on topwater buzzbaits and hard jerkbaits wherever cover is seen. A few stripers are landed by trollers.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (***) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Smallmouth bass charge into loud surface poppers but also take Zoom Fluke baits. Rain and cooler weather has helped.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (***) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) The wind has been fierce, but it will calm down, and cooler water will bring some decent fishing. Tautogs bite in the inlet, and surf anglers are going to hook bluefish and perhaps some rockfish coming south from New England and other northern states on the coast. Offshore fishermen will be going after yellowfin tuna that hopefully also are heading south into the Maryland waters.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (***) — Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association said offshore action was slow over the past week because of wind, but he hopes the tunas will be ready to bite when it calms down. There has been some fishing going on inshore. King mackerel, false albacore and some Spanish mackerel continue to be caught along the Virginia Beach oceanfront. Expert saltwater angler Julie Ball added, “Captain Skip Feller aboard the Rudee Angler out of the Fishing Center has had good luck with trigger fish and seabass on near shore and deep-water wrecks lately. Chopper bluefish could show up any day around offshore wrecks and the Chesapeake Light Tower.” For more information, go to www.drjball.com. For charters, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.

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.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide