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Elsewhere in the Bay area, the croaker have not been nearly as reliable as those in Southern Maryland, but some have been hooked in the Choptank River mouth and off Matapeake Pier on Kent Island. One caller said he caught a few chunky hardheads on the deep side of the Thomas Point lighthouse, south of the Bay Bridge.

What about the rockfish? - Rockfish are breaking in the mouth of the Patuxent, Little Cove Point and above the Gas Docks, Lamb said, and anglers out on the Bay find stripers while trolling or simply casting or jigging lures. Check out the Targets, Point No Point, Point Lookout, the eastern side of the Bay’s channel and northward to the Gooses, Poplar Island, Eastern Bay, Gum Thickets and up toward the Chester River. Expect occasional strikes from bluefish that roam about in the same areas. Some black drum might bite at Stone Rock and the Sharps Island area, but don’t be surprised if they suffer from lockjaw.

Occoquan Reservoir bass are willing - Ranger Smokey Davis said, “The father-son team of Roger and Tyler Sparks of Woodbridge won last weekend’s Fountainhead Bass Club tournament with a six-fish limit that weighed 19.7 pounds. They found postspawn bass on Carolina-rigged soft plastics off points and in the mouths of deep coves. The biggest bass in the tournament weighed 5.1 pounds. The hot weather has improved the catfish bite, with chicken livers or cut bait being the bait of choice.”

Shenandoah smallmouths biting - Dick Fox reports that the fishing on the Shenandoah River, near his Front Royal home, has been fantastic.

“There are many small fish from last years spawn, but some quality fish are mixed in,” he said. “Senko-type baits and grubs are best. Topwater lures do well in low light.”

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