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CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – Up and down the western Maryland portions of the river, the water is clear, low, and warm. However, smallmouth bass are hanging out on the washed-out depressions along the shorelines and if you stay far enough back — so the fish can’t see you — and make extra long casts with spinners, grubs, tubes and small crankbaits or topwaters, you’ll get action. Wading can be especially fruitful.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – Early hours and smartly cast topwater poppers and soft jerkbaits, such as the Zoom Fluke, will be looked at by the largemouth bass that have been hanging around the edges of grass beds. After the sun climbs high, start skipping wacky-rigged Senkos, or Strike King’s Baby Rage Tail craw baits under boat docks.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – Near the base of Conowingo Dam, a few small stripers, catfish and washed-over bass from Conowingo Lake are hooked. The river from Port Deposit to Havre de Grace sees only small numbers of largemouth bass, but those that are caught (usually on soft plastics) are well-fed.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles – Charter captain Greg Buckner’s “Miss Susie” hosted the staff of the Tackle Box store in Lexington Park and just as soon as Buckner rounded the mouth of the Patuxent River, he spotted surface-erupting fish at Little Cove Point. “The fish had the water turned white and birds by the hundreds were diving into the moving feast,” said Tackle Box boss, Ken Lamb. More breaking fish appeared at Cove Point, and a long string of birds worked the entire area from Cove Point to the Gas Docks, Lamb recalled. On the northern end of the Gas Docks a dozen boats were anchored, using live spot and one fish after another was hooked. When Buckner stopped to set anchor he had stacks of stripers under the boat. “We had our first fish before the anchor line was tight,” said Lamb. “The rockfish were so plentiful and ravenous that several would follow a hooked fish up to the surface trying to get the visible piece of spot out of its mouth.” To make a long story short, sizes ran from 22 to 27 inches, weighing 3 to 5 pounds, and in 30 minutes the Miss Susie’s mate yelled that everybody had caught his limit of two keeper rockfish. The spotted sea trout that Lamb hooked with a friend last week slowed down in their regular locations in the Honga River, but flounder have shown up in Chrisfield and big red drum are on the prowl over the Mud Leads. Some Spanish mackerel were caught off the Targets below Cedar Point. Bluefish are inching northward. Reports have it that Smith Point (on the Virginia side of the Bay near the state line) has a bunch. By the way, the well-known fishing Lore family down in St. Mary’s County ‘s has launched a new head boat, the “Lucky Charm,” (301-872-5815) that will operate out of St. Jerome’s Creek. They have been connecting on fine catches of croakers on the Middle Grounds this week. Elsewhere, breaking school of rockfish are seen up and down the Bay, with one reader telling me that he ran into a huge school of surfacing stripers just outside the Eastern Bay a few days ago.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – The area closest to the Maryland state line produce breaking rockfish for topwater lure casters, while the Smith Point section turns up more bluefish every day. Croakers, spot and perch are in the Northern Neck feeder creeks and rivers from Smith Point down to the Rappahannock. Meanwhile, from down around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, Dr. Ken Neill said that the lower Bay’s cobias are beginning to relate to the buoys and along the pilings of the Bridge-Tunnel. One cobia that might have weighed 90 pounds was tagged and released. “Along with the cobias, schools of red drum and some jack crevalle are being encountered by sight fishermen,” said Dr. Neill who also pointed out that the flounder fishing is very good, especially at the CBBT. Large sheepshead continue to be caught at this crossing. Spanish mackerel are available along the oceanfront and throughout the lower bay. Fish can be seen airing out along the Baltimore channel. Some nice speckled trout are coming form the Mobjack Bay area.

EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – Scattered schools of rockfish and croakers are in the mouth, but complaints are heard by some boaters who come home skunked. Upper river shows little action.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles – From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing the fishing has been super slow these past several days. Cooler water is needed.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Marshyhope Creek near Federalsburg turns up a bass now and then, but the fishing is not very good right now.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – My lake reporter says if you’re fishing for largemouth bass during the day, go deep and try crankbaits that tap the bottom or big worms on a Carolina rig, which can be time-consuming. For a better shot at real success, cast topwater lures or shallow crankbaits at the crack of dawn to main lake targets such as docks, willow grass beds and lake points. Stripers are feeding most every morning and they’re caught by trollers or anglers who cast topwaters to breaking fish. Rose Valley has been a fair spot this past week but most of the stripers are found downlake from there. To support the striper report, add local lake guide Jim Hemby (540-967-3313) who says the striper fishing is hot. His clients are catching good numbers every morning, “And the bite is getting progressively better,” he said. Hemby said his stripers are found in the mid-lake regions and they’re feeding on 25 to 40 foot flats, gorging themselves on blue-back herring.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – The VDGIF’s John Odenkirk says the river above Fredericksburg is in fine shape for waders. “It’s clear, low and fishable,” he said, but pointed out that long casts to shady spots are required for success with the smallmouth bass. In the tidal stretches, a few largemouth bass and plenty of catfish are hooked. The heat has kept the bass from being very active.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles – With water temperatures approaching 90 degrees, you can imagine that the bass fishing is taking a hit. However, that may be due to fewer anglers trying for them. The sunfish and catfish on the other hand aren’t as picky about hot, cool, or warm water. They’re biting, but try to start your fishing day as early as possible.

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