PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles – The upper river in the Hill’s Bridge area hasn’t seen much of anything as far as good fishing is concerned, but the lower Patuxent finally is turning on as it’s beginning to load up with croakers. The Lexington Park Tackle Box reports that catches are made at the mouth of Cuckold’s Creek, also the fishing pier at the Patuxent Naval Air Station’s Recreation Center. Now add the three-legged marker off the O'Club and the Hog Point area. Don’t be surprised if all those spots also have stripers roaming about. The feeder creeks show white perch in good numbers.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 33 miles – Bass are a sure bet if you work lake and cove points with crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. My favorites include Paca Craws, also Baby Rage Tails because the bass are fooled by the lifelike action of the lures when fished nice and slow. Crappies, catfish and bluegills round out the reservoir’s fishing.
BURKE LAKE: 31 MILES – Brush piles hold crappies and more than one bass. Use plastic worms or craws, but also try quarter-ounce crankbaits wherever possible. The shorelines of the lake turn up spawning bluegills that go crazy over a tiny size 10 popper or Black Ant if you’re into fly-fishing. The worm-and-bobber crowd also scores very nicely.
CENTRAL & WESTERN MD.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles – The upper river will give up smallmouth bass as long as heavy rains stay away. The fishing can be fine from Taylor’s Landing downstream to Lander and on toward Dickerson and Edwards Ferry. Small grubs, plastic worms, tubes, spinners and, occasionally, even a topwater popper can draw strikes. Walleyes are possible, but catches are infrequent.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles – Bass, walleyes, yellow perch, crappies and a few pike are on the fisherman’s menu this weekend. This lake, if fished thoroughly, can be very good, although newcomers often complain about a lack of action. I guess it takes some serious fishing to get to know where the most productive coves and lake points are.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles – The Flats show a number of catchand-release rockfish along with some fat catfish and a few bass. Inside the river, look for bass in the Havre de Grace marina and adjacent shorelines. Soft plastic worms in the 4-inch size, along with craw-style plastics will do the job.
MARYLAND: 25-65 miles – From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, our friend Ken Lamb reports that striped bass are beginning to enter a kind of summertime routine. The minimum size now, of course, is 18 inches, with two fish per day legal, but only one can measure over 28 inches. To be sure, some trollers are still finding big rockfish in the 30- to 33-inch size. These fish are generally found in the middle Bay parts of Maryland and quite often more toward the Virginia state line, but the northern parts also see some of the action. A sure sign that summer is on its way will be the appearance of Norfolk spot, which live-liners want to use as bait around the edges of the Gas Docks in Calvert County. The arrival of the little fish will occur shortly.
VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles – Northern Neck trollers score on 18- to 30-inch rockfish, dragging umbrella rigs that are loaded with chartreuse or white Sassy Shads. Croakers are found from the mouth of the Rappahannock River up to the Great Wicomico River. Down the Bay, Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) is concerned about northeasterly winds this weekend which would make fishing less than enjoyable. However, if things turn out better than predicted, a sure sign of summer has arrived in the lower Chesapeake. “Sightings of cobia were confirmed last weekend as anglers began to catch [these] fish, with some pushing to over 50-inches,” she said and added, “The prospect of red and black drum continues to draw anglers to the Eastern Shore side of the Bay. Those who have dodged the thunder storms to try their luck have found the drum action a little slower this week.” For those looking for black drum, buoys 13 and 16 near Cape Charles seems to promise the best chances. If you want a rockfish, check out the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel where even surface lures see action from the striped fighters. The only down note comes from the flounder fishermen who complain that they’ve seen better days. Sheepshead are making their early season debut around Kptopeke, where fish to 11.5-pounds were caught recently
CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles – The stripers are in the mouth and inside the river almost close to Cambridge. White perch are possible up to and past the Route 50 bridge in Cambridge. However, the bass fishing around Martinak State Park and beyond is nothing to get excited about.
POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles – Snow Hill to Shad Landing boaters find a few bass and a mix of white perch and bluegills. The largemouths like slowly fished 1/4-ounce chartreuse and white spinnerbaits, as well as shallow-to-deep crankbaits in firetiger or shad colors..
NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles – Maybe a bass and crappie now and then in the Marshyhope feeder creek near Federalsburg, but in all, this river has turned into a disappointment for many bass boaters who pay high Bay Bridge tolls to come to the Eastern Shore. What a shame.
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