OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (***) — From Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis says that the grass is up on main-lake points and the mouths of major coves and that late-spawning bass have moved in. Crappies like small minnows under a bobber. Look for blowdowns and beaver dams on the main lake. Popping bug fly-rodders score on bluegills that are just beginning to spawn.
BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (***) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Oddly, not all the bass have finished spawning, so prepare for vicious strikes if a plastic lizard or worms falls onto a spawning bed. Crappies are active in brush piles and the bluegills are wild about a fly-rod spider, black ant or popping bug.
AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MARYLAND
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (***) — DNR biologist John Mullican says the smallmouth bass fishing can be excellent right now. Various types of spinners, small crankbaits, tubes, jigs and grubs will find action from Knoxville down to Edwards Ferry in Montgomery County.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (***) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says tubes work well with smallmouth bass anywhere you see a rocky point or underwater pile of stones. The largemouth bass, however, like to see a tube or plastic worm skipped under a floating dock. Remember, Deep Creek Lake is home to some of the biggest bluegills anywhere, so don’t overlook them when you come to Garrett County.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (***) — Good striper fishing is reported on the Flats, but the largemouth bass chances are only so-so inside the river.
AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY
MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (***) — Striped bass of keeper size, a few left-over trophy specimens, and increasing numbers of bluefish are found by trollers in the upper and middle Bay, including the Gum Thickets, Bloody Point, Hacketts and general area, but for many boaters — especially those in the lower Maryland portions — the chumming for the rockfish and blues has started generally anywhere below Hooper’s Island Light, with top spots again pointing to the underwater humps at the Middlegrounds. Black drum fishing has also gone into overdrive. There are drum at the Stone Rock and Sharps Island Light, but not everybody is coming home with the roly-poly fish. The St. Mary’s County parts of the Bay have been alive with rockfish and blues.
VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (***) — Virginia Beach’s Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) said summer fishing is on target with the arrival of the cobias. Surprisingly, not all the black drum have departed. “The drum action has returned to a more normal pattern, which is still very good.” Black drum are still showing along the shoals near buoys 10, 13, and 16 where chowder clams and sea clams are the top baits. Huge red drum are on the nine foot shoal near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Blue crab has worked well all season. Blues and rockfish are hanging around the islands at the Bay Bridge-Tunnel. From the Northern Neck waters down to the Rappahannock River, expect good striper and bluefish bites while trolling and chumming. The croakers have taken shrimp or squid baits just outside the Great Wicomico River.
AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MARYLAND
CHOPTANK RIVER:120 miles (**) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) A few croakers are inside the mouth, along with small stripers and occasional snapper bluefish, but not much catching of anything is reported from the Cambridge fishing bridge. Upper river bass have not been abundant.
POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (***) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Fine bass chances now in flooded wood and along spatterdock edges. Use Baby 1-Minus lures, along with 4-inch Power Worms.
NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (**) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) On-and-off days for bass and although a lot of boaters stick to the Marshyhope Creek for their fishing, I prefer the upper river, near Seaford.
AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA
LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (***) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Fine crappie and bass opportunities now, although I talked to two good anglers who visited “Anna” this week and couldn’t buy a hit from a bass. All the same, some nice largemouths are taken on plastic worms, jerkbaits and early hour poppers. Crappie chances are good in beaver huts and sunken brush piles.