- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2008

This week showed it’s still all about the Chesapeake’s stripers. “The fishing was really good this week,” said Christy Henderson of Buzz’s Marina on St. Jerome’s Creek. “Rockfish were scattered between the HS Buoy and Buoy 68. They are also concentrated at the mouth of the Potomac River. Some people are reporting catches in the double digits, with others catching only three to four stripers.”

Henderson said increasing numbers of gannets can be seen diving onto the water during rockfish feeding frenzies.

“If you come to do some trolling, don´t forget to also bring jigging rods,” she said.

Henderson knows you don’t need to troll during a wild feeding spree. Just don’t run through the feeding school of fish but drop spoons, bucktails and even plastic baitfish fakes and begin to slowly lift and drop them back down or cast and slowly retrieve the lures.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Keith Lockwood said fishermen in the middle Bay portions enjoy fine fishing for the large migrant stripers. He was right when he said many boats report catching limits of rockfish within an hour. It happened to a party I was with when charter fishing captain Jeff Popp found lots of action east of Point Lookout.

Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (captbillyscharters.com) said the striped bass in his part of the Chesapeake Bay put on the feed bag over the Thanksgiving Day weekend around Buoy 1 outside the Great Wicomico River.

“The bay water temperature has dropped to 46 degrees,” Pipkin said. “These conditions are very conducive to prime striper fishing.”

Pipkin said the number of ocean stripers in the Northern Neck waters are fewer than those found in years past. All the same, you should relax. More are on the way.

Small Fry world-record striper - The International Game Fish Association has a Small Fry division for children’s fishing records, and Jake Garren, 9, of Ironto, Va., is sure to get the world record for the 50-pound, 9-ounce rockfish he reeled in while fishing with his father, Bill, off Kiptopeke in the lower Chesapeake Bay on Saturday. Official IGFA representative Julie Ball said she assisted with the record application. The Garrens were floating eels when the bobber on the rod Jake was holding dipped under.

“Jake battled the fish cleanly to the net that his dad held ready,” Ball said. “The striper is now a pending IGFA Small Fry world record. It is a clean application, so I don’t see any problems with its approval.”

Freshwater news is good - The DNR said freshwater anglers found decent walleye fishing in Deep Creek Lake as well as the upper Potomac and the lower Susquehanna rivers this week. Chain pickerel and yellow perch also are taken in Deep Creek Lake.

Not to be outdone, Virginia’s Shenandoah River continues to turn up crappies for Dick Fox, our Front Royal, Va., contact, and the many brush piles and beaver huts found in Lake Anna, west of Fredericksburg, Va., continue to deliver crappies and a few fine bass. Early bird boaters occasionally locate schools of stripers at Anna. Reader Carl Brown sent an e-mail to say he fished at Anna with guide Jim Hemby (jimhemby.com) in the upper end of the lake. Hemby threw a cast net to get gizzard shad bait, and soon Carl and his brother Gary landed freshwater rockfish, including a 32-incher.

Tidal rivers are solid picks - Our Charles County fishing pals Andy Andrzejewski and Dale Knupp have little trouble finding yellow perch that are slowly beginning to school, along with a bass now and then, and a few fat crappies. The Potomac River’s Spoils Cove has its good days, as has Swan Creek, Gunston Cove, Mattawoman, Chicamuxen and Nanjemoy creeks. The boys are using Sting Ray grubs or slender dropshot shiners reeking of garlic or crawfish scent.

Stripers in Ocean City? - It could happen. Surf fishermen and boaters in the Ocean City area of the Atlantic might happen into a bunch of rockfish as they migrate south on their way into the Chesapeake Bay. Even some whopper bluefish are possible in the suds if you’re able to execute long casts with bait or lure on the line.

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. Visit Mueller’s Inside Outside blog at washingtontimes.com/sports.

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