- The Washington Times - Friday, July 5, 2002

What an Independence Day weekend you'll have if you fish the salty waters from the Atlantic into the Chesapeake Bay.
It begins with coastal Virginia where bluewater boaters find tuna, bluefish, dolphins (the fish, not Flipper), some scattered marlins and plenty of sharks. Much the same is offered to Maryland's offshore fleet. Inside the Chesapeake Bay, the parade begins with the Bridge-Tunnel Islands and abutments down in the Hampton/Norfolk area where exotic-looking spadefish, cobias, red drum and flounder provide memorable outings. Farther up in the Chesapeake, around the Virginia and Maryland state lines, chum boats find good mixes of croakers, striped bass and bluefish. Occasionally, well-fed sea trout and flounder spice up the day.
Despite the heat, early-bird largemouth bass hunters do well in the tidal Potomac, especially with topwater lures. Try it also on smallmouth bass in the mountain rivers, but be sure to start fishing as the roosters begin to crow.
And what about Ron Hawks, of Camp Springs, Md., who last Monday fished for croakers with his son, Steve, and 10-year-old grandson Tommy, south of the Route 301 Potomac River Bridge, near Buoy 33. Hawks recounts, "Suddenly, Steve says he just saw two dolphins break the surface near the marker. I figured the heat got to him. Then Tommy yells 'There they are!' The third time they rolled on the surface, I saw them. Have dolphin ever been spotted in the river before? Evidently, they were feeding on the wall-to-wall white perch that are in the river."
Actually, on rare occasions they have been seen in the Chesapeake Bay, and since that part of the tidal Potomac isn't all that far from the Bay, why shouldn't a couple of Wrong-Way-Corrigans from warmer climes find their way into our waters. There's plenty of food for them here.
Then comes Virginian Tom Carpenter, who is justly proud of the 25-inch, 5 3/4-pound walleye he caught in Ni Reservoir in Spotsylvania County. He said, "I caught it trolling a Bomber lure that looks like a shad. The guy at the concession stand, James Bailey, said it was the biggest walleye he had seen caught at Ni." There you have it. Good show all around.
You can e-mail Gene Mueller at [email protected]

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