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AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MARYLAND

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: ***From Knoxville to Brunswick and on to Montgomery County’s Dickerson and Edwards Ferry, the smallmouth bass fishing can be quite good if you iuse small jerkbaits or topwater poppers, also jigs and grubs and spinners. Meanwhile, the DNR passes along word that the North Branch of the Potomac in the Barnum and Piedmont Areas was stocked with more than 2,000 rainbow trout, some as heavy as 4 pounds.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: *** — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says smallmouth bass continue to hang out around and under the many floating docks of the lake and if you can skip a fringed tube in watermelon seed color under the docks, chances are you’ll hook a smallie. Fat bluegills and yellow perch hang out in the backs of coves, while largemouth bass and a few walleyes can be scored around lake points.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: ***Keith Lockwood, of the Maryland DNR, says there are very low flow conditions in the river and that a number of fishermen are getting out of their boats to wade in the shallower areas. Largemouth bass tend to be the main target, they also catch white perch, channel catfish and a few walleyes.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: ***The rockfish picture now confusing. Certain spots, such as the Gas Docks in Calvert County, are loaded with fish for anglers who live-line Norfolk spot for best results, but trollers in other parts of the Bay have to spend precious fuel to find one or two keepers. However, large schools of young stripers and blues can suddenly be seen erupting on the surface almost anywhere on the Bay. Have a popping rod ready for such occasions. Rockfish have been caught from as far north as Love Point and as far south as the Middle Grounds and the Target Ship and the waters in between. Chummers generally do better in Southern Maryland and lower Eastern Shore sectors. If you head to the Middle Grounds and general area during the evening, expect fat croakers to bite on bottom rigs.

VIRGINIA: **** — Charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (captbilly@captbillyscharters.com) says the mouth of the Rappahannock River continues to hold a mix of quality spot and croakers. From the mouth of the river up to the White Stone bridge has been the most productive area. Anglers fishing from the western shores are opting to save fuel and stay closer to home. During the evening hours, large croaker make their way into the shallow water of creeks, oyster reefs and other structures. Rockfish and bluefish are fouind from the Rappahannok’s Windmill Point up to Smith Point. Meanwhile, in the lowest parts of the Bay, Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association said the flounder fishing has really turned on, but the season will be closed from July 21 through July 30. “The largest fish are being caught at buoy 42, the Cape Henry Wreck and of course, at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel,” he said. Large croakers are caught at the Cell, the Buoy 42 area. Some nice spot are showing up in the catches of bottom fishermen. Spadefish can be found over the inshore wrecks, at the Bridge-Tunnel and the Cell. Spanish mackerel are being caught along the oceanfront and in the lower bay up to Windmill Point.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MARYLAND

CHOPTANK RIVER:*** — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Hardheads, spot, white perch, snapper blues and rockfish — all have been hooked in the mouth area of the river, with some decent catches coming also at the Route 50 Cambridge fishing bridge. A few bass are taken on soft plastics around Denton.

POCOMOKE RIVER: ** — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) The current hot weather is doing nothing to improve the bass fishing. Few decent catches are made.

NANTICOKE RIVER: *** — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) Bass can be hooked along marsh and spatterdock field edges. Use shallow crankbaits and soft plastic worms. Some early morning stripers are possible from Vienna downstream. Have a surface popper at the ready.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: ***(Route 208, Spotsylvania County) If you arrive around dawn and head up to the Splits and beyond, you could run into a feeding shcool of stripers. Topwater stick baits, Rat-L-Traps, hard jerkbaits or soft Sassy Shad lures will work when it happens. The largemouth bass like Carolina-rigged plastic worms in deep coves near structure or main lake points. Bring a loud topwater lure for early morning casting at rip-raps and rocky points.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: ***The upper river sees waders successfully going after smallmouth bass. The area below Remington to the Rapidan and below has been fine. In the Fredericksburg sector you’ll hook a blue catfish now and then, while the bass take a look at a soft worm or a shallow crankbait around blowdowns from Fredericksburg down toward Port Royal.

LAKE BRITTLE: *** — (Route 793, off Route 29) Bass catches have perked up a bit, with catfish, crappies and sunnies not far behind. A fine place to visit..

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