During the current open season for trophy striped bass in the lower portions of the Potomac River and Maryland's part of the Chesapeake Bay, conflicting reports are heard from boaters who are out by the hundreds looking for big rockfish.
If you leave the house before the roosters crow and get on the water as quickly as possible, you'll do very well this weekend. Above-average temperatures in the air and the water will dictate where and how you catch your fish.
Much is happening in all the waters near and far from Washington. It begins with the clearing of the mountain rivers and the resumption of smallmouth bass and channel catfish catches from the upper Potomac to the Shenandoah and on to the Rappahannock rivers. But if heavy rains again arrive as they have all too often in recent weeks, all bets are off.
Some Chesapeake Bay boaters who haven't had an easy time finding rockfish while trolling are switching to chum ground-up menhaden baitfish and the catches can be quite good, especially in the waters below Hooper's Island Light and south of Cedar Point.
Be reminded that the Maryland season for 18-inch-and-up striped bass is open in the Chesapeake Bay and the tidal Potomac, Patuxent, Chester and Choptank rivers, and the fishing can be, oh, so good.
After two consecutive weeks of wind and rain that all but ruined the fishing for those who prefer to go after smallmouth bass and walleyes in the mountain rivers, the muddy waters have cleared and the fishing can resume. For example, the upper Potomac and Rappahannock rivers now are fishable and if we receive nothing more than a passing shower, let the casting begin.
Who could have guessed that additional rainstorms and wind would alter some parts of last week's fishing report, so for this week's outlook we'll stay on the side of caution.