- The Washington Times - Friday, July 12, 2002

Mind-boggling catches of croakers, bluefish, stripers and sea trout are possible if you would only give the evening/night fishing routine on the Chesapeake Bay a try.

An outing out of the lower Potomac River that extended over to the Eastern Shore side of the ship channel earlier this week proved as much. In a group of five fishermen who dropped baited hooks with and without added weight while our charter boat slowly drifted along, dozens of bluefish and croakers were hooked, plus "unintended" catches of keeper-size rockfish and gray sea trout. And all this in a wicked southeast wind that didn't abate even after sunset. Incidentally, similar fishing success stories are heard all over the Bay.

Among the tidal rivers, the Potomac continues to shine if it's largemouth bass and stripers you're concerned with. Between Washington and western Charles County, the main stem of the river and every creek that empties into it can turn up bass if you're willing to start very early in the day (or very late in the afternoon). Topwater poppers, buzzbaits and plastic worms are three types of lures that will serve you well along marsh banks, creek and river points, as well as in sunken wood and around boat docks. Striped bass that must measure at least 18 inches are possible in good numbers from the mouth of the Port Tobacco River down to the St. Clements area. Proper tides and times of day are an important ingredient for slow trollers, bottom crab bait bouncers, or lure casters who sometimes do well around river buoys with white or chartreuse Sassy Shad plastics.

Underwater grass surveyors are needed on the Susquehanna Flats. Are you interested in helping? The Susquehanna Flats, in the upper Chesapeake, contain the most amazing of the submersed vegetation (a veritable nursery for many fish species) in the Bay. It is possible to see seven different types of underwater grasses in one area.

Volunteers are needed to identify and survey these grass beds for the summer of 2002 so they can be included in an important report compiled by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Participants are asked to provide their own boat for the surveying, which will take place July27. Small powerboats, canoes and kayaks work best over the Flats' shallow grass beds. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation staff will provide all necessary equipment and training. Contact Jill Bieri at [email protected] or phone 757/890-0502.

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