- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 12, 2002

Imagine entering a bass tournament and by the end of the day having only one bass big enough to bring back to the scales. It happened last Sunday on Lake Anna, the nuclear power station lake west of Fredericksburg, Va., where one bass won the whole shebang.

To be fair, when the call went out by Anna Point Marina to hold the event, only five boats responded, which means 10 fishermen participated. The teams went out onto the waters to hunt for largemouth bass that apparently were more than a little elusive.

A team made up of Dick Fox and Mike Willett won the event, and here's how: Fox and Willett caught eight bass that were inside the state-enforced slot limit. In other words, if you hooked a bass from 12 to 15 inches, it had to be put back into the water. Eventually, Fox, using a shad color Senko worm, caught a 2-pound, 12-ouncer that measured just more than 15 inches. He would weigh it in at the conclusion of the event.

Fox, of Front Royal, did just that, and imagine how elated he was when he discovered it would be the only legal bass caught in the entire tournament.

During a phone conversation, the modest Fox didn't want to say much, but he allowed that this single fish won the prize for biggest bass of the day, most bass of the day and also qualified for the "lunker" award. Total cash payout: $360.

"Mike and I split the money," Fox said.

All this on a day when one boat with two occupants fished the tidal Potomac River around the Wilson Bridge and caught and released more than 50 bass, plus several dozen crappies and a handful of yellow perch. They also used a plastic bait a 3-inch Sting Ray grub dipped in a creamy fish attractant known as Smelly Jelly.

Upper Chesapeake is slow Angel Bolinger of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources suggests that people who are thinking of fishing the upper Chesapeake Bay might want to change their plans.

"There has been little fishing activity on the Susquehanna River," said the DNR biologist, but she added that nightcrawler bait might attract some yellow perch around the Port Deposit area.

White perch have been the hottest bite around the Bay Bridges near Annapolis. White perch belly strips or pieces of squid have been drawing strikes from perch, as well as youthful striped bass. Some keepers are found by boaters now and then, however. The water temperature at 8 feet down stands at 42.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while surface temperatures were barely over the freezing mark.

If you think things are a whole lot better in the lower Maryland parts of the Chesapeake, think again. The fishing has been slow there, too. However, we received a report from one troller in the lower Potomac, near Tall Timbers, who said he had no trouble finding keeper rockfish on umbrella rigs and Sassy Shad bodies.

Ocean fishing poor DNR reports say the stripers and bluefish have gone south for the winter. From Ocean City, reports from Little Gull to Great Gull indicated that few birds were seen and no stripers were caught. Bluefin tuna were spotted, and one was caught Friday at the Jackspot. These fish will follow bluefish south, but some tautog were picked up at the wrecks.

WSSC ramps to close The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission wants you to know that Sunday is the last day to launch a boat at the Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs. The ramps at Supplee and Greens Bridge are usable. After that date, anglers are permitted to fish from the picnic area at Triadelphia.

Flounder management news From Martin L. Gary, a fisheries biologist with the Maryland DNR, comes word about summer flounder management planning that says a summer flounder ad hoc group will meet Wednesday, 10 a.m. until noon, at the Ocean City Marlin Club to discuss the National Marine Fisheries Service's Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey data and possible recreational/charter fishing season parameters for 2003. That will be followed by a public meeting Jan.7 in Ocean City's Council Chambers at City Hall to formally discuss 2003 recreational flounder season options.

Maryland's flounder fishing proposal, as well as that of other Atlantic states, will be submitted to the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which meets from Jan.21 to 23 in Atlantic City, N.J. The final flounder fishing seasons will be announced after the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meets in Arlington from Feb.24 to 27.

Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report every Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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