- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2002

Some of our e-mailers and phone callers want to know whether the yellow perch run is still under way at Wicomico River's Allen's Fresh sector along Route 234 in Charles County, south of La Plata.

The perch are there; many have finished spawning. Bites sometimes are hard to come by, but some yellow perch are available, although they probably will be gone by the weekend. That's the bad news. The good news is that during high tides, it is possible to catch white perch soon to spawn. The whites follow the yellows. Use small bucktails, shad darts, spinners, Silver Buddy lures, grass shrimp, worms or minnows. White perch are superbly democratic creatures, and they taste wonderful.

White perch also are expected to arrive this weekend in the Fredericksburg, Va., portions of the Rappahannock River, as well as the upper Chester River around the Route 313 parts in Millington, Md.

Locally, the tidal river bass hounds on the Potomac and its tributaries are doing well. Andy Andrzejewski of the Reel Bass Adventures guide group says water temperatures range in the mid-40s in the morning and the mid-50s in the afternoon.

"I'm finding fish on wood cover located on the outside bends of creeks or along ledges in the bays and coves along the main river, which contains rock or wood," he said. Best baits for bass have been red 4-inch ringworms or tube baits, as well as ¼-ounce spinnerbaits in chartreuse. Some crankbait action is also available, but the better bass are being caught on the soft plastics.

Elsewhere, Virginia's Chickahominy River delivers mixed catches of catfish, yellow perch, white perch, crappies and bass. The "Chick," as locals call it, near Williamsburg can be a super fishery some days but also a top-flight stinker on others. In short, it's a typical tidal river.

However, at the adjacent Chickahominy Lake (above Walker's Dam where the yellow perch are), good to excellent catches of bass and pickerel are reported.

Yellow perch hunters, meanwhile, ought to check out the Mattaponi River from Walkerton, Va., up toward Bowling Green, near the AP Hill Military Reservation on Route 301. Scott's Store in Walkerton says a strong yellow perch run is heading upstream.

Buggs Island Lake (Kerr Reservoir) on the Virginia/North Carolina line shows good crappie catches in the creeks, where five to nine feet of water are present. Bass fishing is best in the main lake, with a Rapala Shad Rap being a good choice.

At the neighboring Lake Gaston, some fat bass are caught, but at the Tackle Box in Gaston, Bobby Colston talks more about the hickory shad action on the Roanoke River at Weldon. "It's red-hot," he says.

Southwestern Virginia's Smith Mountain Lake was home to a 34½ pound muskellunge, caught by Lynchburg's Steve Woodroof. The musky was four feet long. Water levels are down about four feet.

Closer to home, Lake Anna, west of Fredericksburg, Va., shows bass if you use suspending jerkbaits or some crankbaits, because this is the time of year when the roe-filled big female bass cruise fairly shallow water, anything between four and 10 feet.

Children's trout day on Robinson River Youngsters 12 and under are invited to participate in the 23rd annual Kids Day tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lower Robinson River near Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Va.

The special children's trout fishing day is sponsored by the Rapidan Chapter of Trout Unlimited, with assistance from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

For more information contact Don Lyles, 540/341-2876 or [email protected]; or Greg Safford, 540/341-4170 or [email protected]

Douglas Point lands meeting Interested in having a new boat launching ramp on the Potomac at Mallows Bay or maybe some new public hunting areas? If so, set aside Wednesday for a meeting and workshop to decide on the management of public lands that not long ago were threatened to become a sand-and-gravel mining operation in western Charles County, Md.

Scheduled to be known as the Lower Potomac River Coordinated Management Plan, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in cooperation with Charles County, will be host for the workshop on the management of certain federal and state-owned lands in the once-disputed area, including the former PEPCO tract and the Mallows Bay property.

The BLM and its partners are developing a land use plan and need your input to help identify what you'd like to see in the plan.

There are forces at work that want everything set aside for birdwatching or canoeing only. This is everybody's land, so if you're interested, attend at the Charles County Department of Social Services, 200 Kent Ave., La Plata, Wednesday, 7-9 p.m.

For directions, call the Department of Social Services, 301/932-3470. For workshop information, call the DNR's Mark Spencer, 410/260-8402, or the BLM's Howard Levine, 414/297-4463.

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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