BURKE LAKE: 29 miles – The lake’s crappies will quickly be on your menu now that the water temperature is falling. Three cheers for that. Count on some decent bass to look at crankbaits, spinnerbaits and craw claw baits.
CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – The DNR biologists in western Maryland say the water is in fishable condition, although the flow is fairly strong. By the weekend, smallmouth bass fans will connect on the “brown fish” without any problems.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – In case you haven’t heard, not far from the lake there was a snowfall — the year’s first. That’s far western Maryland for you. It gets cold sooner than in the Washington area, but the fishing in the lake now is good for bass, yellow perch, fat walleyes and perhaps a northern pike if you drift along with large, live shiners. The bass are hanging around lake points and rocky drops, also creek mouths, where crankbaits, jerkbaits and soft plastics will do the job.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – Expect fairly decent bass chances in the Havre de Grace area’s marinas and shoreline structure, sunken brush and fallen trees outside the Tydings Marina, especially near the Apartment Cove, as the locals call it. Spinnerbaits, shallow crankbaits and scented plastics worms will draw strikes. Inside the river, toward Conowingo Dam, the water will slowly clear, but the catfish are biting either way.
MARYLAND: 45-75 miles – The DNR’s Keith Lockwood said middle Bay salinity is lower than normal and you’ll experience cloudy water conditions in some areas, but rockfish hunters will see action in the False Channel below the Choptank River mouth, as are just about all channel ledges and dropoffs. A mixed bag of stripers and bluefish is seen from Calvert and St. Mary’s counties across to the Eastern Shore, from Hooper’s Island Light south to the Middle Grounds. Continued catches of spotted sea trout are reported by anglers using surface poppers and jerkbaits in the shallows of the eastern side’s rivers, especially, but some are taken on the western shore. In St. Mary’s County, charter fishing captain Eddie Davis, who comes out of the lower Potomac’s Smith Creek (not far from Point Lookout), says he’s finding large schools of surfacing and submersed bluefish in the 2- to 5-pound range and these blues will strike just about anything you care to cast to them. “I’ve been getting them anywhere from the lower ends of the river on out into the Bay,” he said. Interested in a booking? Capt. Davis can be reached at 301/904-3897.
VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – If you fish the area from Smith Point down along the channel edges of the Northern Neck, clear to the mouth of the Rappahannock River, expect good striper and bluefish catches, but the croaker fishing has seen a lot of ups and downs. Virginia Beach’s Dr. Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) said rainy weather kept many anglers off the water in recent days. “Cobias are still a possibility, but not for long,” she said and added that red drum (channel bass) action can be good for lure slingers from Cape Henry to the Nautilus Shoals. Speckled trout fishing can be very good now for 16- to 23-inch specimens inside Lynnhaven Inlet, Little Creek, the Eastern Shore creeks and the Poquoson flats. Striped bass season is now open and there are plenty of schoolie fish looking at surface plugs around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, especially after sunset, but even daytime catches will be good. It began on Tuesday of this week and anglers in the Bay now can keep two stripers measuring between 18 and 28 inches per person, but should you catch one striper that measures more than 34 inches, you can keep it as part of your 2-fish-per-day limit. By the way, snapper blues also are roaming about near the Bridge-Tunnel islands and pilings, but flounder catches were spotty this week. Scattered keeper-size fish are still taking drifted baits along deeper channels, drop-offs, and structures, said Ball. The Baltimore Channel and the first island at the Bridge-Tunnel has turned up some of the flatfish.
CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – Stripers in the 18- to 22-inch class are taken in the river mouth, but recent winds and rains have not helped as far as boaters going out and reporting back. The next four days should be terrific for fishermen.
POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles — Mann’s Baby 1-Minus crankbaits cast to flooded tree roots or sunken brush in less than 5 feet of water will see strikes from largemouth bass. Just below Snow Hill there are hundreds of such super fishy-looking spots. They extend downriver to Shad Landing. Four-inch scented PowerWorms also do well in slow-moving pockets in coves and creek mouths.
NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – It was bound to happen. The DNR has found some Chinese snakeheads in the river and the department is not happy with that news. They’re alien imports that do not belong here. If you hook one, kill it, keep it, eat it, or dispose of it in a garbage bag. Do not release it back into the river whatever you do.
LAKE ANNA: 82 miles – The crappie bite is getting better every day, according to a near-lake resident who is a personal friend. “Small and medium size minnows certainly will work under a slip bobber, but so will little plastic grubs,” he said. “Work around deep-water structures, such as bridge pilings and docks. If you don’t get action in a few minutes, move to another place,” he recommends. Meanwhile, the bass fishing is also pretty decent in the upper areas of the lake and in the backs of major creeks. “The lake is at full pool, so there is plenty of shoreline cover to target. Stripers are breaking throughout the lake but generally, that fishing has not been up to par yet for what fall usually has to offer,” he added.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles – Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist John Odenkirk says that the coming weekend ought to bring near-perfect fishing conditions for upper river smallmouth bass anglers. Topwater poppers, as well as tubes and grubs fished in and around shallow-to-deep rock beds will produce strikes. The tidal portions below Fredericksburg are murky, but by the weekend things should improve vastly what with no rain predicted for four or more days.