- The Washington Times - Friday, June 21, 2002

After the heavy rains and thunderstorms of last weekend, the next several days should provide a welcome change. Meteorologists promise a mix of sun and clouds, but no nasty storms to force you indoors or risk life and limb in a boat.

The weekend outlook includes ocean-side catches of flounder and bluefish, as well as offshore sharks, tuna, dolphinfish and occasional billfish. In the Chesapeake Bay, meanwhile, expect continued good catches of large croakers, but the best fishing times point increasingly to the evening hours. Chummers and trollers hook rockfish and scattered sea trout or bluefish any time of day. Now, however, smart boaters will carry a couple of spinning rods, rigged with a short metal leader and a surface popper or rattle lure, such as the ones favored by bass anglers. Bluefish have been seen erupting on the water surface from as far north as the Hackett's Bar down to the end of the Bay near Cape Charles. Many of these bluefish are young and very tasty specimens fish in the 2- and 3-pound range.

In freshwater news, Virginia fisheries officials pass the word that two Department of Game and Inland Fisheries-owned lakes now have new concessionaires. Lake Brittle in Fauquier County and Lake Orange in Orange County promise boat rentals, bait and snack sales. Lake Orange's phone number is 540/672-3997, but Brittle's phone hasn't been connected yet. Both lakes are fine for bass, catfish, crappies and sunfish.

Finally, if you're a regular reader of The Washington Times, you have no doubt read Audrey Hudson's front page story about the Environmental Protection Agency saying the reason it's not complaining about toxic sludge being discharged into the Potomac River above Fletcher's Boat House is that such dumping can actually be beneficial to the fish. Why? Because it will force the fish to flee elsewhere and as a result the fishermen won't catch them, says the EPA, and, no, this isn't a joke. That's what they said and there you go: Your tax dollars at work.

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