- The Washington Times - Friday, February 8, 2002

So we had a couple of cold days with strong winds, and most of the fishing fanatics we hang around with suddenly remembered they had appointments with tax preparers and accountants, doctors, or wives who as all married guys know have a long list of "honey-do" projects the moment they see their man relaxing on a couch.
But then the temperature again climbed into the balmy 40s, and the fishing resumed.
My friend Richard Fox sent an e-mail that said, "Just got back from the Potomac River; fished the Mattawoman Creek. Caught two bass, 15 perch, one big crappie and one golden bass. Caught them on a drop-shot rig with the 3-inch Power Worms you gave me. It was just like the plump guy said in the newspaper. My buddy refused to fish them until about 4 p.m., then he couldn't take it anymore. See ya. Swamp Fox."
The "golden bass" Fox mentioned was a carp, of course. And the "plump guy in the newspaper" well, that's supposed to be me. I'll give him a stern talking to. Plump? He might as well just have said "fat."
Meanwhile, one of our fishing guide friends has been working the waters between the Wilson Bridge and the Fox Ferry Point rocks. One day this week, he could have caught a cold but little else. Then he returned at midweek and found bass, crappies and perch all on drop-shot rigs with small grubs or finesse worms or on a plain, bottom-hopped Mann's grub in avocado or shrimp/green flake colors. Yes, a fish-attracting cream was dabbed onto the lures.
Elsewhere, we hear that the crappies are biting in Virginia's tidal Aquia Creek. And how about local fisherman Shane Majeski, who last week hooked a 26-inch, 71/2-pound walleye in the Occoquan River? Shane caught that beautiful walleye on a Silver Buddy blade bait as he fished just above the I-95 bridge.
Then there are a couple of hardy souls who have found a few crappies and perch in the Western Branch, a tidal tributary to the Patuxent River upstream of the Jackson Landing boat ramp in the Patuxent River Park, off Croom Airport Road in Prince George's County. If I go there, I won't be fishing the Western Branch. I'll stick to the main river in that sector, which is blessed with underwater ledges, structure, holes and old pilings. If you can catch a fish in the Western Branch, here's betting you can in the Patuxent, too.
Some of the Virginians who prefer fishing in reservoirs have had a tough time with bass in Lake Anna (Route 208, near Spotsylvania Courthouse), but some fat stripers have been scored by boaters who work Sassy Shads or live shiners above the Splits, close to the Route 208 bridge, as well as other lake hangouts. The cold snap put a crimp into the fishing here, but the weekend should be OK.
Boat Show coming Area boaters can have a wonderful time at the annual Washington Boat Show that starts a five-day run Thursday at the Washington Convention Center.
More than 400 vessels of every type including luxury motor yachts, power boats, express cruisers, sailboats, fishing boats, catamarans and more will be on display and on sale at special show prices. There will be boats to match every lifestyle, whether you're looking to spend your time fishing, cruising, water skiing, sailing or just enjoying being on the water.
The nearly seven acres of display space will include the National Marine Manufacturers Association's "Discover Boating" center featuring "the Boating Guy," an independent expert who will provide solid, usable advice to first-time buyers. The show also will feature hundreds of display booths offering boating and marine accessories, services and equipment, the latest electronics, nautical clothing, gadgets, even boating vacations.
Show hours are noon to 9:30 p.m. next Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Tickets are $9 (children 6-12, $4; 5-and-under, free). Discount coupons for weekdays are available at Safeway stores. The Convention Center is located at Ninth Street and New York Avenue NW, one block from MCI Center. For additional information, call TJS Productions, 703/823-7960; e-mail [email protected] or visit www.washingtonboatshow.com.

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

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