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PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles – Perch are moving steadily into deeper layers of water around river points where they’ll pick up bloodworm or crab baits. Rockfish are all over the mouth and up into the river, occasionally as far up as the Benedict bridge.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 33 miles — Get a pail of 2-inch minnows, some bobbers, No. 1 snelled hooks, rig up properly, then cast the little baitfish around obstacles, sunken wood, waterlogged branches on any portion of the lake and chances are you’ll hook enough crappies for supper, or a bass. Jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and scented grubs or tubes also do the job on the largemouths.

BURKE LAKE: 31 MILES — It’s time for late-season bass and the annual autumn schooling of crappies that like small minnows or 1/16-ounce jigs or grubs in white or chartreuse. Crankbaits are productive if it’s bass you’re after.

CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – From Washington County dowstream to Montgomery County, the fishing will be fine this weekend. Smallmouth bass like tubes, grubs, little crankbaits and spinners of all types. Many of the fish will be hooked in mid-river rock beds. Upper river’s Dam No. 4, above Taylor’s Landing in Washington County, ought to give up some walleyes, maybe even a muskie. My friend Kevin Wilson will be up there this weekend and he said he’s determined to catch a muskellunge.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – Be sure you wear your warmest woolies and even think about bringing a pair of snowshoes. The weather up here can change on a dime and there was a lot of snow earlier this week. Either way, the walleyes, pike and bass are available to minnow drifters and lure casters. Big yellow perch are in the coves; they like minnows or worm baits.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – Most of the action is found just past the Conowingo Dam, among rocks and occasionally swift, then slow, water (it all depends on scheduled water releases through the dam), but bass, catfish and a roving striper here and there are possible. I haven’t heard one word about decent bass catches down around Havre de Grace and the outside portions where the river meets the Chesapeake Bay.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles – The Bay Bridges’ rock-laden abutments (east of Annapolis) are holding white perch in over 20 feet of water, but always fish your lures or baits close to the rocks. In the middle portions of the Bay, all the boaters are out chasing rockfish and the rockfish are often seen chasing bait. Surface eruptions occur from Eastern Bay to the Choptank River. A lot of success has been had through vertical jigging with metal lures such as the Swedish Pimple, Kastmaster and Hopkins metal squid. Soft-bodied jigging lures also produce. A few bluefish are still available and the same lures used on the stripers do well on the blues, although trolled Sassy Shads and bucktails normally are better on the blues. In lower Maryland bay waters, the Middle Grounds, Buoy 72 and areas close to the Virginia line offer lots of rockfish action, with expectations of large ocean stripers running high. Buzz’s Marina on St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County reported seeing one striper that was brought in and its gill rakers showed some sea lice — usually a sign of it being on ocean rockfish.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – In the waters of the Northern Neck, you’ll troll up a few slowly departing bluefish and enough rockfish to put a smile on your face. Speckled sea trout are the main fare as you head toward the lower ends of the Chesapeake. The fishing dentist, Dr. Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) says that sea trout are available in many lower Bay shallows, rivers or inlets. “Anglers are catching dozens of trout, with several citation-sized fish making the mark,” she said. The biggest trout have been coming from the Elizabeth River where “specks” have been caught in the 7-pound-plus range. Ball also pointed out that speckled trout, puppy drum and small stripers are delighting surf anglers of lower Bay shorelines. As the water chills down ever more, the rockfish bite will increase every day. Currently, some of the better fishermen connect on stripers throughout the lower Bay. “School-sized fish are hitting jigs and plugs in the light lines along the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel, the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel,” said Ball. Large tautogs are taken around the Bay Bridge-Tunnel, but the flounder fishing in the same waters has been spotty.

EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – Shallow waters continue to offer rockfish and some speckled sea trout, but most of the action has been in the mouth, not upriver. The lower Choptank last week turned up a 20-inch speckled trout, which is great anywhere in the Bay.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles — Poor weather early this week put a screeching halt to the fishing. I imagine you could find a bass now and then downstream of Snow Hill.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Forget the bass. The fishing has been awful in the upper river parts, but again this week, rockfish and some sea trout are found in and near the mouth.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

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