- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tropical Storm Hanna might throw a monkey wrench into our fishing plans for the weekend, but that’s not absolutely certain. If it follows the current path, North Carolina will feel it first, with resulting rain and wind most likely also occurring in Virginia and Maryland. However, all this is only guesswork; it doesn’t have to turn out that way.

If stormy weather stays away, the Chesapeake Bay and its feeder rivers will deliver good to excellent fishing for bluefish, stripers and Spanish mackerel. In the lower parts of the Bay there’ll also be flounder, redfish and sheepshead, especially if you fish the underwater structure around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which is only a hop away from the Atlantic Ocean.

Locally, on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., a host of volunteers will gather at the Potomac River’s Leesylvania State Park in Woodbridge for the Fourth Annual C.A.S.T. for Kids event in Virginia. C.A.S.T. stands for Catch a Special Thrill and a C.A.S.T. For Kids Foundation was created to support these children’s events all over the U.S.

C.A.S.T. For Kids has many volunteers who want to help children who have special needs. Experienced boaters will take the youngsters and their parents out on large bass boats for a few hours of fishing and fun.

At the Leesylvania State Park event, 25 to 30 children from various Northern Virginia communities will be joining bass anglers, most of whom are members of Virginia Bass Federation Regions 1 and 9, the Potomac Bass Masters of Virginia, the Concerned Bass Anglers of Virginia, and New Horizon Bass Anglers.

If you would like to assist with the event, contact Ken Benson, the C.A.S.T. for Kids Virginia Coordinator, 703/730-8205 or ken.benson@dcr.virginia.gov.

Here is this week’s fishing outlook:

(Ratings key: ****=Excellent fishing; ***=Good; **=Fair; *=Poor.)

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (***) — Ray Fletcher of Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) said the water is low, but largemouth and smallmouth bass have been caught by rental boaters and rock hoppers. Catfish also are plentiful. Downstream, weed pockets, rock lines, shoreline dropoffs in Maryland and Virginia feeder creeks and also the bridge abutments of several feeder s have been good for bass as long as there’s a good falling tide. We’ve seen no particular lure working better than another, so start with wacky-rigged Senko or Zero worms, spinnerbaits, poppers and crankbaits. They’ll all work. Yes, big catfish are always available in deeper water if you tie a clam- or fish-baited hook to your bottom rig. Not far from the Route 301 Bridge in Charles County, I cast blue/chrome Red-Eye rattle baits to rocks surrounding various river buoys and caught rockfish and catfish two days ago. The lower parts of the river, from St. George’s Island to Point Lookout can deliver blues, stripers and even Spanish mackerel for trollers. Cornfield Harbor, near Point Lookout, has been good for flounder, with some of them big enough to keep.

WICOMICO RIVER:55 miles (**) — Haven’t heard anything real good as far as croakers are concerned, but I know that the white perch are along grass lines and shoreline wood. You can catch them with small spinners, spinnerbaits, peeler crab chunks or bloodworms.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (***) — Again, fish during outgoing tides and you’ll find willing bass along marsh edges from the start of the slow zone up to an past the Mattingly Ave. boat ramp that once was known as Slavin’s boat ramp. Small crankbaits and spinnerbaits do the job if enough oppoen water can be cast to, but wacky-rigged or straight Texas-rigged plastic worms will do the job when all else fails.

SOUTHERN MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (***) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) will deliver sunnies and some bass, but it’s the St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road) that has been delivering exceptional bass this year. Once again, we pass along that apparently some more leakage is occurring in the lake’s dam, which could mean another drawdown to permit repairs.

LITTLE SENECA LAKE: 30 miles (***) — Black Hill Regional Park (off Route 117 near Boyds, 301/972-9396) and the nearby Seneca Creek Lake (Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, 301/924-2127) will be fine if you arrive early enough to avoid fishing in the hot sun. Bass, sunfish and catfish are definitely in a biting mood.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (**) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97, or Route 650, in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Bass, crappie ad sunfish catfish catches perked up this week. Don’t know if the Tropical Storm Hanna will bring us rain, but if it does, the two reservoirs tend to muddy up in their upper portions.

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