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PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (★★★) — Croakers can be caught in the river most everywhere you can find deep water, even in creeks that have deep holes. Ken Lamb, of Lexington Park’s Tackle Box store, says the Norfolk spot are everywhere. “Some decent sized spot are on the Chinese Muds in the mouth of the Patuxent and in Kingston Hollow, as well as the Hawk’s Nest,” he said. Local angler Andy Croley fished Goose Creek at the Naval Air Station before sundown and caught throwback bluefish on light tackle. “After sundown the larger 14- to 16-inch blues were running and I caught them on cut spot,” he said. Croley also got 10 spot and five rockfish on bloodworms. In the river clear up to Benedict you’ll find white perch almost anywhere.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (★★★) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis said, “There has been a good crankbait bite on for bass this past week. Crawfish or shad color crankbaits that run 6 to 8 feet down have produced consistently off mainlake points. Carl Martin, of Manassass, caught a beautiful 4-pound smallmouth bass in the Bullrun arm of the reservoir. Crappies continue to bite well and channel catfish love chicken livers and clam snouts. The reservoir is at full pool, slightly stained; water temperatures are in the mid 80s.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (★★) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Slow going for most species, but some well-fed bass and channel catfish are hooked.


UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (★★★) — I know I said it last week, but this time of year you need to pray that prolonged, strong rains stay away because they can stain and raise water levels in a hurry. Smallmouth bass are in the deeper pockets, hiding behind mid-stream boulders or shady shoreline drops. Grubs and tubes will draw hits.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (★★★) — I saw lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) at the Bass Pro Shop near Baltimore a few days ago. He said, “I’m still skipping tubes under boat docks and occasionally work a jerkbait or soft worm around weed edges and in the backs of coves.”

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (★★) — A few smallmouths have been taken in the Port Deposit stretch, with largemouth bass now and then jumping on a plastic worm or spinnerbait among the Havre de Grace marina pilings or out in the main stem.


MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (★★★) — Christy Henderson of Buzz’s Marina ( on St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County, reported, “The Spanish mackerel are starting to show up on the surface now between the Middle Grounds and the Mud Leads. We’re pretty excited about that. The bluefish are averaging 3- to 4-pounds each; they’re being caught between the Point No Point Lighthouse and Point Lookout. Flounder seem to be scattered, but we see an occasional good-sized one come across our docks. There are great catches of croakers at the Holland Bar in the Middle Grounds, but mostly at night. Live lining [spot] for stripers around the Point No Point Lighthouse and the spider buoy at Point Lookout has been producing good results.” Meanwhile, Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said, “Big bluefish are [found] from the Target Ship to Smith Point, Va., as well as lots of Spanish mackerel. The mackerel are up to 28 inches long; blues weigh up to four pounds, but tiny bluefish (4 to 7 inches) are chasing the little spot and croakers in all areas.” Elsewhere in the Bay, rockfish are taking live spot baits at the Gas Docks (around the corner of the Patuxent River mouths and up the Bay a little). Some of the recreational anglers complain that commercial hook-and-liners are removing far too many stripers. The commercials are allowed to keep 800 pounds of rockfish per week until the end pof November; recreational fishermen are allowed 2 stripers of 18 inches or more per day. Doesn’t seem right, does it? Up the Chesapeake, trollers and sight casters connect on mostly small stripers and blues from the Chesapeake Beach area and east of there up to the Bay Bridges and points in between. The blues and stripers also show up around Hackett’s and across the Bay to the Chester River mouth at Love Point.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (★★★) — Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin ( reminds us that the Virginia flounder season reopens tomorrow and that the Cell, located near Buoy 42 below the Cut Channel, continues to offer good chances for the flat fish. “Several citations flounder of 7 pounds or more have been landed there this season,” he said. Pipkin said that croakers are making a stronger showing with large specimens showing on the lumps between Buoy 62 and the RN2 marker below Tangier. Gray sea trout in the 12- to 14-inch class are showing up among the hardheads. If it’s jumbo spot you want, the mouth of the Rappahannock River, Butler’s Hole and the Spike are filled with the tasty scrappers. A good mix of spot and croakers are seen in Dividing Creek, the Great Wicomico and Blackberry Hang, located just below Smith Point. Spanish mackerel please spoon trollers from the Rappahannock’s Windmill Point to Smith Point. Meanwhile, from the lowest parts of the Chesapeake Bay Julie Ball ( reports that black drum continue to move around the islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Spadefish are more predictable now, but the run of the larger fish is over, she said. Croaker are everywhere from the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Some of these croakers can weigh up to 3 pounds.


CHOPTANK RIVER:120 miles (★★★) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Small bluefish, occasional 4-pounders, plus a handful of rockfish and plenty of dark-hour croakers are in the mouth. Upstream action in Cambridge at the fishing bridge points mostly to small spot, white perch and a croaker now and then..

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (★★) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Slow going for bass; very slow. Catfish and sunnies are taken by campers at Shad Landing park.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (★★) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) No real improvement over last week in the Sharpwtown area, but upstream waters near the Delaware line show a few bass along spatterdock edges.


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