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OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (***) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) 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 6-fish limit that weighed 19.7 pounds. They found post-spawn 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.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (***) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Superb bluegill fly-rod popping since the sunnies are hard on their bedding sites. Bass hookups can be good, but what happened to the crappies? One fishing friend tried for them with minnows and hooked fewer than five.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MARYLAND

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (***) — DNR biologist John Mullican says the upper river levels are coming down and the water temperatures are going up. However, fine chances of hooking smallmouth bass await you if you use fringed tubes, small crankbaits or even a small propellered topwater lure.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (***) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) and the DNR’s Keith Lockwood agree that skipping tubes under floating docks continues to be a great way to hook smallmouth bass. Largemouth bass and walleyes can be found around lake points, and both species will look at crankbaits and grubs.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (***) — The insides of the river deliver scattered bass around docks, pilings and rock formations, and plastics work well. The rockfish catches continue on the Susquehanna Flats. The grass is thick. Think of sliding soft plastic Zoom Flukes across the greenery.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (***) — Christy Henderson of Buzz’s Marina (www.buzzsmarina.com) on St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County says the new Point No Point reef holds schools of small rockfish and blues. “The croaker fishing has really picked up though, especially at night,” she adds. One of her customers, George Hashman, ran out to the Target Ship at night a couple of days ago and he loaded up on big croakers and one 35-inch red drum. She also passed along word that bluefish can be found all over the place, but most are small. In the Bay, trollers — occasionally even topwater lure casters — score on skinny, medium size rockfish from the mouth of the Potomac up to the Patuxent and on to the Gooses, Herring Bay, Poplar Island, Eastern Bay and areas above the Bay Bridge. There’s a chance you can find a black drum at Stone Rock and the Sharps Island Flats, but bites are sporadic. The DNR’s Keith Lockwood says croakers have moved into the middle Bay region now with “some amount of certainty, but a number of fishermen are reporting that the bulk of them are relatively small only measuring in the 7-inch to 9-inch size category.” From Lexington Park’s Tackle Box, Ken Lamb reported, “Charter captain Greg Buckner on the “Miss Susie” has begun night bottom fishing trips for croakers and has landed upwards of 150 big ones in one outing, fishing below buoy 72. Capt. Sonny Forest on the “Fin Finder” is getting croakers at night and Norfolk spot in the daytime.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (***) — In the upper parts of the Virginia portions of the Bay, schools of school stripers and bluefish roam about for trollers and sight-casters. Croakers are possible along all the dropoffs from the Rappahannock River north to Smith Point Light. Down the Bay, Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) reported good news in the form of large gray sea trout showing up at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. “Chris at Chris´ Bait and Tackle reports that grays ranging to around eight pounds are hitting grubs presented around the northern span of the Bridge-Tunnel,” she said. “Joseph E. Hudgins, Jr., of Chesapeake, scored with the new state-leading gray trout when he hooked a nice 9 1/2-pound specimen while working the Fourth Island area [and] charter captain Steve Wray reports that striped bass up to 32 pounds are still hitting live bait over the tubes and along the pilings of the Bridge-Tunnel CBBT, especially at the curve approaching the third island.”

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MARYLAND

CHOPTANK RIVER:120 miles (***) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Expect croakers, perch and some small rockfish and snapper blues to hang out in the mouth during high tides. I haven’t had one decent bass report from around Denton, but there has to be a little action along the spatterdock and sunken brush.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (***) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Excellent bass catches now and then, whenever the tides begin to decline. Soft plastics and shallow crankbaits are the best lures.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (**) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) Marshyhope Creek anglers found a little crappie and bass action this week, but this river really should be a lot better as far as bass are concerned..

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (***) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Early and late hours are almost a “must” if it’s bass you’re after, but don’t expect a steady procession of trophy bass. It’s not going to happen, but smaller specimens hang around brush, rocky points, rip-rap and such. Crappie fishing is good.

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