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Hungry Occoquan Reservoir “cats” - Fountainhead Regional Park ranger Smokey Davis says, “The big news this week was the strong catfish bite. Channel ‘cats’ up to eight pounds were brought in. Clam snouts and chicken livers were the best baits. The bass are suspended and are tougher to catch. Early morning or late evening topwater lures work well, but finding fish in the middle of the day is a challenge. The crappie bite remains very good, and fly-rodders can clean up on bluegills. The reservoir remains at full pool, slightly stained, with surface temperatures in the mid-80s.”

Low Shenandoah shows bass - Front Royal’s Dick Fox says the Shenandoah River is low, but the fishing can be quite good. Smallmouth and largemouth bass can be found in the same areas with plenty of bluegills mixed in

“I use Senko style soft baits, topwater poppers and in-line spinners to catch my fish,” he says.

Lake Gaston bass schooling - Local Gaston resident Marty Magone says, “Main lake points between Stonehouse Creek and Eaton’s Ferry Bridge have been producing school-size bass during the past two weeks. Most anglers here are casting jigs into the 12 - to 20-foot drops in the early hours. Uplake, the flats still hold schools of shad in the grass, making for some exciting topwater action for bass and small stripers.”

Dead fish at Gilbert Run - James Drake, who writes for the Maryland Independent, tells us that Gilbert Run Park and its 60-acre Wheatley Lake in Charles County are having problems.

“There’s been a fish kill at the lake, mostly little shad but some bluegills also,” he says.

Drake suspects an algae bloom might have been the culprit. On the good side, he says he heard of a bass caught in the park’s Wheatley Lake that weighed nearly nine pounds.

Check out Inside Outside - Have a look at Gene Mueller’s new outdoors blog, Inside Outside, on The Washington Times’ Web site at

cLook for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: