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BURKE LAKE: 31 MILES — A live minnow fished three or four feet under a cork can be a winning combination for crappie hunters. Of course, small plastic grubs or hair jigs also do the job in brush piles and shoreline dropoffs. The same spots offer bass that like crankbaits in crawfish colors. The wind has not been kind to anglers.

CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – Smallmouth bass and a few walleyes are possible from Washington County’s Dam No. 4 downriver to the Shepherdstoen area and below. Most of the smallmouth bass this time of year will look at a grub, a small pig’n’jig or tube jig if you manage to cast it into a deep hole at the down-flow side of large boulders in the middle of the river.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – Bring your warm woolies and life jackets. The wind has been blowing and the fishing has suffered, but there are walleyes, bass, yellow perch and pike to be caught when things quiet down.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – Most of the shoreline fishing successes have come a bit down, away from Conowingo Dam, in rock-filled waters that hold catfish and a few stripers, maybe even a bass or two. Some largemouths are fooled by Senko worms among marina dock pilings in Havre de Grace.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 25-65 miles — In spite of strong winds that have turned fun fishing into tough chores for the past four days, rockfish from the AtlanticOcean are in the Bay and the lower Potomac River. The Tackle Box in Lexington Park (St. Mary’s County) has seen customers show off large rockfish for about a week now. There are trollers who’ve been hooking fish ranging from 40 to 48 inches, some of which weighed well over 40 pounds. Trollers are working the Bay’s ships channel, but also find action in the lowest parts of the Potomac River’s deep holes, as far up as St. George’s Island. The proprietor Ken Lamb said, “The big stripers are not plentiful yet. Trollers using umbrella rigs and tandems are getting a handful per outing, and many days consist of lots of trolling time, but the numbers of fish should improve daily.” Much the same kind of action is reported by trollers using Sassy Shad-loaded umbrella rigs up and down the Bay, with most of the hooked fish measuring well over 18 inches, but only a few currently are attaining trophy status. The stripers are hooked from as far up as the Bay Bridges down to the Virginia state line.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – In the waters of the Northern Neck you will not have any problems finding rockfish, but the wind has been merciless. Down the Bay, Dr. Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) said, “Everyone is talking about the tremendous speckled trout run. Not only is the momentum picking up, but so is the size of the fish. It’s not uncommon to find specks averaging between 2 and 4-pounds in most lower Bay backwaters and tributaries right now.” Striped bass are more active as water temperatures drop more and more. Local anglers agree that the average size of the rockfish is growing. “Although many fish are stretching to around 28 to 30 inches, some stripers between 38 and 40 inches are also in the mix,” said Ball, who also pointed out that rockfish of all sizes are striking eels, 6-inch Storm lures and Wind Cheaters. Check out the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel’s pilings and the first and second islands of the crossing. Tautog action continues to sizzle, said Ball. “Anglers are finding limits of keeper fish from lower Bay wrecks and bridge structures using fiddler and blue crabs,” she added, and some of ‘togs push 10 pounds.

EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – Again this week and in spite of the wind, the mouth area has given up rockfish, some of them in the 26- to 28-inch range. Not much is happening above Martinak State Park as far as as bass catches are concerned.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles — Slow going, we’re told, as far as the bass are concerned, but live minnows or white hair jigs, kept from snagging the bottom by plastic bobbers, can deliver the goods in sunken brush and fallen trees from Snow Hill to Shad Landing and beyond.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Nothing doing here over the past several days, although you can find willing crappies in the public boat ramp area in Federalsburg. You’ll have plenty of wooden pilings to cast minnows or small plastic grubs to.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – Our lake insider reported, “Early next week the nuclear reactors are expected to be functional for the first time since [the earth quake] in August, and that means the down-lake current will be back and the hot side will be warming up. For now, most striper fishermen are working up-lake regions around the bridges. Topwater lures get action early and late in the day, but otherwise it’s a trolling pattern or drifting live bait. Many largemouth bass have moved deep and typical winter patterns apply. The crappie fishing remains good around bridge pilings and deep water docks.”

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – A local club tournament was won with a fine catch of largemouth bass below Port Royal — the place we’ve been told has been devoid of bass. All the same, Virginia biologists insist the better bass chances come above Port Royal and the nearby Hicks Landing. In the far upper river, it will be tough sledding for smallmouth bass hunters, but they’re hanging out in deep river pockets, below large rock formations, where a jig, grub or crankbait can see action.

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