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BURKE LAKE: 29 miles – Hopefully, the slight drop in temperatures will increase the bass catches. Right now, there’s not much to write home about. A few bass are taken on early hour topwater lures, followed by hookups on small crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappies have been tight-lipped.

CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – The warm waters in western Maryland will have cooled a bit by the time you read this, which makes for increased chances of smallmouth bass chances in the Washington, Frederick and Montgomery counties portions. A small black popper cast toward the Virginia shorelines and brought back in splashy fashion can see bass being fooled. If that doesn’t work, never give up on plain Mepps spinners, or fringed tube lures in various colors. Sudden rainstorms can change conditions quickly.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – Skip tubes, worms or creature baits under floating docks and hold on. A fair number of bass are fooled every day by anglers using this method. By the way, deep-water coves are giving up fat yellow perch and bluegills on regular garden worms or tiny minnows.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – Don’t go promising fish dinners to the neighborhood before you come up this way. Things have been slow, especially for bass hunters trying to catch a decent specimen between Port Deposit and Havre de Grace. Catfish, however, are present in good numbers.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles – The Middle Grounds have been turning up plenty of croakers every day after sunset. The Tackle Box in Lexington Park reported one charter boat loading up on 207 croakers in an hour and a half. Meanwhile, the live-lining of spot at the Gas Docks in Calvert County continues to be amazing. “Huge schools of ‘rock’ will fight each other for an offered baitfish,” said Ken Lamb. A school of Spanish mackerel was seen last weekend off Point Lookout and the spotted sea trout have shown up once again in the back bays and cuts of the Honga River. Heading up the Bay, chummers and trollers connect on a striper along the edges of channel waters between the Gooses and Bay Bridge. In fact, the Bay Bridge pilings have been giving up numbers of rockfish to jig users. The upper parts around the Chester River’s Love Point have given up fair rockfish numbers.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – Dr. Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) said some of the boats in the lower Bay are hooking up to a dozen cobias per outing and many of those magnificent fighting fish weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. The biggest cobias of the year hit the scale last week after sight caster, Aubrey Williams, of Chesapeake, Va., took the lead in the state for the year with a 101-pound brute that went for a live bait. “Cobias are starting to transition into their late summer trend of grouping into large schools near the mouth of the Bay and along the ocean front,” said Ball. By the way, the flounder fishing is still going strong. “Dozens of doormats, with some weighing up to 11-pounds, are fulfilling limits for anglers,” she said. The flounder are striking at jigs and live baits presented along structure in the lower part of the Bay, according to the lady dentist and fishing phenom, Dr. Ball, who wants us to know that huge schools of red drum (channel bass) continue to roam off the ocean front and the lower Bay, especially near the Baltimore Channel. Schools of jack crevalle and tarpon were spotted roaming the same areas with the redfish this week. Along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the sheepshead attack crab, clam and fiddler crabs at the pilings and tubes of the wide span. Large croakers are in the same waters.

EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – The mouth is loaded with spot and boaters are finding them by the numbers, then using the little specimens as bait for stripers. The live-lining system produces a few good fish now and then. Croaker catches come and go in these waters, and upper river fishing has seen better days.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles – From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing you could tie into a bass, using Senko-style worms or small crankbaits, if the tides cooperate and you concentrate on sunken tree roots, flooded bushes or spatterdock edges. Not many bass boaters are seen on this river at this time.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Marshyhope Creek near Federalsburg has been super slow as far as bass catches are concerned. In fact, the river clear up to Seaford hasn’t been very productive. Lower water temperatures will help immensely. A few rockfish are caught just below Vienna in the early hours as insiders to this river cast Rat-L-Trap lures to river points where the rockfish hang out, looking for food. But forget after the sun rises.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – My lake contact said that the slightly cooler weather helped the early morning topwater bite for largemouth bass. A dock pattern continues to produce best results and tossing a medium or shallow diving crankbait way back under a dock and letting it rest will often surprise you with how well that produces strikes. Trollers looking for stripers are getting their best catches in the mornings when the sun is still low in the sky.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – After that torrent of storm-generated rain water that resulted in super-fast water and several people having to be rescued in the Fredericksburg area last week, things have returned to normal. The upper river will deliver some decent smallmouth bass to waders and flatbottom johnboat drifters. Cooler night temperatures during the second half of the week will definitely be a bonus. The tidal portions below Fredericksburg have been stingy about giving up good numbers of largemouth bass. To be sure, a plastic worm or craw bait will lure one out of its hiding spot inside a sunken tree or the mouth of a feeder creek, but the better fishing will come in late September.

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