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DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles - Look for good weekend bass, walleye and perch fishing. The deeper coves have done well for visitors. Since this lake is not easy to figure out, first-timers might want to hire a guide. There’s none better than Brent Nelson (

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles - The river below Conowingo Dam has been a discolored mess, but things are getting back to normal, with a chance for catch-and-release shad fishing in Octararo and Deer creeks, and perhaps a bass or two caught with soft plastics or crankbaits around dock pilings or shoreline blowdowns in and near Havre deGrace.


MARYLAND: 45-75 miles - Ken Lamb, of the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, puts it best when he says, “A great week of fishing; a goofy week for weather.” There are plenty of rockfish in the Bay and in the lower Potomac, and Lamb proved it to me by sending photo after photo of people who stopped by his tackle shop to show off their wonderful catches of trophy stripers. “Private and charter boat captains coming in all week,” said Lamb, “who said there were plenty of fish. Lamb reminds us that trollers up and down the Bay now use standard umbrella rigs and the popular tandem rigs (two lures rigged close to each other). Green and white combinations have been best, but purple and silver fleck also do well.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles - Weekend boaters will find black drum around the Cape Charles area, while flounder and croakers are more plentiful now. Some big flounder are hanging out on the eastern side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Look also for incursions by snapper bluefish that are chasing bait from the ocean into the Chesapeake. Tautogs continue to be found on lower Bay wrecks.


CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles - Above Denton, toward Greensboro, there’ll be a few largemouth bass caught, but this river simply isn’t the bass factory that the tidal Potomac River is. The Red Bridges area should hold some catch-and-release shad.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles - Snow Hill portions will give up chunky bass if you catch an ebb tide and cast Baby 1-Minus crankbaits into flooded tree roots and spatterdock edges in river side pockets where the tidal flow is not as pronounced. That’s where the spawning bass will be.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles - (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 , or use the Federalsburg ramp on Marshyhope Creek) The Marshyhope gives up a few bass, as does the main stem of the river clear up to the Seaford, Del., portions. Crankbaits, soft plastics and small spinnerbaits can do the job. Don’t be surprised if you don’t rustle up a good rockfish when you cast Rat-L-Trap lures in chrome-with-blue-back toward the Vienna area’s river points early in the day.


LAKE ANNA: 82 miles - Our lakeside contact says late April/early May is traditionally “big crappie” time here at this popular Virginia impoundment. This year seems to be no exception. Many citations are being brought into High Point Marina in the 16-inch (2-pound) range. Stripers are scattered throughout the lake, but most fishermen targeting them are working above the area where the two rivers merge. A major spawn is continuing for the largemouth bass, and that’s especially true in the mid-lake region. Weekends are getting busy. You’re far better off visiting here during the week.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles - Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk says the river is in fine shape, and you’ll find plenty of shad in the Fredericksburg sector. “I can’t remember when we’ve had more white shad in this river,” said Odenkirk. Meanwhile, the downstream Green Bay area of the river below Port Royal has given up some quality bass that liked jig’n’craws and Strike King’s Baby Craw.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles - Bass, crappies, catfish and sunfish are willing if you are. Many of the bass are firmly on their spawning beds in shallow coves and main-lake shorelines.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles - (Concession stand, 540-672-3997 ) A fine lake for crappie and catfish, not to mention occasional good-size largemouth bass. Here, too, the bass are spawning and can be drawn from their beds with broken-back Rebel lures and other shallow runners. But fish them slowly, erratically.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles - Marty Magone, who lives at the lake, says Poplar Creek and other similar feeders have small pockets along the shoreline where bass are spawning by the numbers. Throw a plastic worm or spinnerbait into the nest and see what happens. But, friends, be kind to the hooked bass; let them go. They need to finish their reproduction cycles.

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