- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

Cooler mid-week weather helped Chesapeake Bay boaters, as well as those who prefer the brackish and freshwater rivers of Maryland and Virginia. For example, trollers in the St. Mary's County parts of the Bay connected on Spanish mackerel, bluefish and stripers, with chummers and bottom fishermen doing well up the Bay clear to the Eastern Shore's Kent County. Fishermen actually enjoyed being on the same water that only days before reminded them of a steaming cauldron. The same applies to the bass hounds in the Patuxent, Potomac and Rappahannock rivers. How sweet it is to fish all day and not have to constantly wipe your brow with a towel.

This week's most unusual catch belonged to Adam Behney of Mount Pleasant, Md., as he hooked a 28.2-pound crevalle jack near the Target Ship during a Chesapeake Bay charter fishing trip. Crevalle jacks are far more common in Florida waters, but once in a while one of them travels clear to the Chesapeake where it instantly becomes the news of the day on local marina docks.

On the subject of bass fishing, please remember that more than 400 bass fishing pros and amateurs are on the Potomac again today participating in the Maryland Bassmaster Northern Open. This $320,950 competition has attracted some of the top names in competitive bass fishing in the U.S. The public is invited to watch the weigh-ins at Smallwood State Park daily at 2 p.m. Tomorrow, only the top 50 pros and top 50 amateurs will compete. The weigh-ins are free to see, but tomorrow you most likely will have to pay a few bucks to get into the park. Blame the state of Maryland for that, not the tournament-sanctioning Bass Anglers Sportsman Society.

Meanwhile, freshwater rivers and some lakes in the mountains of Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania are so low that the states are sending out caution notices for boat launchers. There will be instances when a heavy, trailered craft will not make it to deep water on boat ramps. Jonboats and other cartoppers should be fine.

In Virginia, for example, warnings have been issued for a dozen or more launch ramps on the Shenandoah River. Cautions apply to the Rappahannock's Kelly Ford, many parts of the James River above Richmond, the Point of Rocks ramp on the Potomac, Ely's Ford on the Rapidan and Fairfax County's Burke Lake.

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