Gene Mueller’s Fishing Report

World record? Be careful what you fish for …

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Every saltwater fisherman from New England to New Jersey by now has heard that a potential world record striped bass (aka rockfish or striper) of 81.88 pounds was caught by Greg Myerson, of North Branford, Conn.

The monster rockfish was hooked while Myerson fished from a boat in Long Island Sound. But after the fish was properly weighed and witnessed, Myerson turned strangely silent about his accomplishment. Instead of promptly applying for the world record with the International Game Fish Association, he chose to go into hiding.

It begins to make sense when you consider what happened to Al McReynolds, of Atlantic City, N.J., who holds the world mark for the 78.5-pound striper he caught in 1982 in New Jersey’s ocean waters. McReynolds was accused of cheating and received hate mail. Why? Just as there is a lot of money to be made with a world-record largemouth bass, the same is true of a world-record striped bass.

Endorsement contracts and instant cash or equipment rewards from tackle and boat companies can amount to large sums. Unsubstantiated charges that he cheated and family arguments over more than $200,000 in endorsement money made McReynolds eventually wish that he never caught the record fish. All that could be behind him now with Myerson’s catch.

Back in our world, the Chesapeake Bay is seeing good catches of Spanish mackerel, especially in the Point No Point area, east/northeast of the mouth of St. Jerome’s Creek. However, the “Spanish,” as Carolina fishermen refer to them, are fast travelers; they can show up almost anywhere. Several photos of weekend Spanish mackerel catches can be seen at www.genemuellerfishing.com.

The Chesapeake also has been good for rockfish from above the Bay Bridges to the eastern side of the Bay at the False Channel and Choptank River mouth, as well as south to Hooper’s Island Light, Buoy 72 and western Bay spots from the Gas Docks in Calvert County to Smith Point in Virginia’s Northern Neck. Most of the hookups come when anglers use live spot as bait.

Bass anglers looking for action in the currently heated waters of the tidal Potomac River are doing surprisingly well. Plastic worms, craw baits, vibrating Chatterbaits and early morning topwater lures have attracted the largemouths around weed beds and sunken wood or rocks from the Dogue Creek area clear down to Wade’s Bay, including the feeder creeks along the way.

Deep-sea fishermen from Delaware to Virginia are enjoying hookups with white marlin in the deep offshore regions, especially Washington Canyon. Inshore boaters are connecting on sea bass and flounder.

D.C. AND VICINITY

(All listed distances begin in Washington)

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles – In the District around Fletcher’s Cove (202-244-0461), Ray Fletcher said that his part of the river did not nearly get the amounts of rain that Southern Maryland received. “The river is in pretty good shape and the fishing points mostly to catfish. They’re biting, but that’s pretty much it.” Meanwhile, the licensed bass guide, Andy Andrzejewski (301-932-1509), has been visiting quite a few of the main river grass edges and rock piles and he’s been scoring on largemouth bass, using chartreuse/white Chatterbaits, craw claw-style soft baits in green pumpkin colors, and now and then even Rat-L-Trap lures. Some of the feeder creeks, especially the weedy Aquia, Quantico and the large Belmont Bay area on the Virginia side, along with Maryland’s Chicamuxen and Pomonkey creeks, can be good producers of bass and occasional snakeheads. By the way, if you’re interested in competing in a snakehead tournament, visit www.genemuellerfishing.com for all the information and entry details. In the lower Potomac, Norfolk spot are everywhere, but some croakers, small bluefish and stripers are also caught anywhere south of the Route 301 bridge in Charles County.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles – There are croakers, spot and perch here that can be caught. Now and then a keeper rockfish makes a mistake and picks up a croaker angler’s bottom bait.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles – Surprisingly good fishing is reported by some of the creek regulars, including Goldie Glotfelty, who caught bass up to five pounds a few days ago. When I asked him how many he caught in a little more than a half day’s fishing, he said, “Thirty.” To top it off, Goldie uses a hand-made crankbait for many of his catches.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles – Gilbert Run Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) has been slow as far as bass catches are concerned, but plenty of sunfish are available, which is good news for the youngsters and their worm-and-bobber rigs. Even at St. Mary’s Lake (Route 5, south of Leonardtown to left turn on Camp Cosoma Road) the normally fruitful bass fishing has seen a decline. However, don’t give up on this lake. It has plenty of largemouths and sunfish, although the crappies appear to have gone on holiday.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles – Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge lakes in the Prince George’s/Montgomery/Howard counties show some discoloration in their respective upper ends, but early-bird anglers who know how to work a topwater buzzbait or popper around sunken brush or rock piles can score on bass. After the sun rises, switch to soft plastics and crankbaits wherever you can crank them back without picking up vegetation or debris.

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