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BURKE LAKE: 29 miles — This impoundment usually handles rainstorms and the fishing should continue this weekend. Bass are beginning to show up on spawning beds and are prone to jumping on lures that anger them, such as crankbaits, and especially lizard and crawfish-like soft baits. Crappies like small live minnows under a bobber.


UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles — In the shortest sentence: Stay away from the river. Muddy, fast, high water isn’t safe for fishing from land or from a boat.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles — There’ll be a bit of discoloration, but the weekend fishing crowd will find smallmouth and largemouth bass, perch and some fine walleyes, even a northern pike now and then. A lot of walleyes, bass and pike will look at deep- or medium-diving crankbaits in shad or sunfish colors. Need a guide? There’s none better than Brent Nelson (

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles — The Susquehanna Flats will give up catch-and-release stripers to casters of Bass Kandy and other types of soft, colorful swim baits, but the inside of the river will receive a mass of murky water coming across the Conowingo Dam from the upper Susquehanna River. That is not conducive to good fishing, although Deer and Octararo creeks are home to shad. You may have to wait a few days.


MARYLAND: 45-75 miles — Opening day of the trophy striped bass season last Saturday was a bust as 40 m.p.h. winds pounded the Bay, forcing most boaters to cancel their fishing plans. However, the following day and all the days since then there have been banner fishing trips for many. Just read what Christy Henderson, of Buzz’s Marina on St. Jerome’s Creek, wrote in an e-mail: “I wish you could have been here Sunday to see the nice rockfish that came in. Most of them were caught on the western channel edge near buoys 72 and 72A. There was a lot of debris to deal with and many of the guys ran into submerged crab pots because of the high water covering the [marker] corks. The fish averaged between 38 and 44 inches. Nearly everyone limited out. But Ken Lamb of the popular Tackle Box store in St. Mary’s County’s Lexington Park said high pressure and bright skies made the fishing a little more difficult. “The fish were spooky and closed their mouth,” he said. All the same, as you read this there are stripers boated up and down the Chesapeake.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles — Croakers are available in various areas in the Bay, especially near Willoughby, says Dr. Julie Ball ( from her Virginia Beach headquarters. The flounder picture has not developed as brightly as was hoped, but some are taken on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay. Catch-and-release stripers are always a possibility and since some snapper bluefish have already been caught off the ocean pier in Virginia Beach, there is no reason why some of the snappers shouldn’t be coming into the Chesapeake. Get your heavy-duty rods and clam baits ready. The first black drum will inhale the baits this weekend if the wind allows quiet fishing, while drifting or anchoring in 20- to 30-foot depths not far from the Cape Charles area.


CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles — Not the best place in the state for bass fishing if you planned on heading up into the Denton area. Rainstorms have put a crimp into fishing plans. Toward the mouth of the river, the best you can hope for is to use it as a return point after having fished for stripers in the Chesapeake Bay.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) High tides and tight-mouthed bass this week, but the rain did not affect this river as badly as it has others..

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 , or use the Federalsburg ramp on Marshyhope Creek) The Marshyhope Creek may be your best bet if it’s bass and crappies you’re after. Main stem of the river has been a bust for fishermen this week.


LAKE ANNA: 82 miles — Our contact at the lake says, “The water is at full pool plus and heavily stained, especially near areas where smaller feeder creeks enter. Many largemouths are on their beds throughout the lake now but some post-spawn bass are available down near the dam if sight fishing isn’t your thing.” He also said that huge schools of crappies are in the shallows and small minnows dangled under a bobber will get bites, but small plastic grubs that are gently bounced back to the boat actually can outfish live bait. “That’s especially true if you dab a little Smelly Jelly on your offerings,” he said, and added that stripers are hitting live herring and shad off planer boards and some are fat specimens.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles — Virginia fisheries biologist John Odenkirk recommends you leave this river off your preferred places to go this weekend. “It is not fishable,” said Odenkirk, mentioning that high, muddy and swift water isn’t recommended if it’s shad or any other species you’re after. The downstream Port Royal sector is a muddy mess.

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