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Latest Julie Ball Items
The upper, tidal Patuxent River between Hills Bridge and Jug Bay is giving up scads of pre-spawn yellow perch. On Monday, a group of us Southern Marylanders caught well over 80 roe perch and smaller "bucks," as the males are called.
As you read this, the air will tell what typical February weather should feel like, but the past six or seven days' spring-like temperatures have worked wonders on man and fish.
OK, so we're not having Arctic weather, but it will be cold again soon enough. When the mercury drops and the wind turns a 40-degree day into one that feels like it's 25, more than one of the Potomac's fishing insiders begins to take a hard look at the Occoquan River in Prince William and Fairfax counties.
Among American sport-fishing fanatics the striped bass (aka striper or rockfish) is second only to the largemouth bass in matters of popularity. That should come as no big surprise since an adult striper of 30 to 50 pounds can make a grown man's muscles feel like Jello and turn an expensive one-piece fishing rod into a two-piecer when you least expect it.
Not everyone in town and in the suburbs is going to stay indoors and devour turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day.
The time has come when many of our area's warm-weather fishermen begin to stash away their boats and tackle. However, hard-nosed anglers who prefer to seek their quarry in the Chesapeake Bay, the tidal rivers of Maryland and Virginia, as well as the not-too-distant Atlantic Ocean, are not giving up - not by a long shot.
What a glorious time of year to be a dyed-in-the-wool sport angler. It's November, with cool nights and fairly warm days, and in the case of the Potomac River, crappies are biting big-time in a number of its tidal portions.
Outstanding catches of striped bass and occasional hookups with spotted sea trout are possible over many areas of the Chesapeake Bay.
As local anglers face a variety of autumnal options, they can begin by choosing to fish in the mountains or the tidal Potomac and Rappahannock rivers in the Maryland and Virginia flatlands this week.