- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2002

Ask local sport anglers how they feel about the weather they've experienced so far this spring and all of them will echo charter fishing captain Ferrell McLain, who operates in Virginia's Northern Neck area of the Chesapeake Bay.

"Will the wind ever quit blowing?" he asks. "Last Saturday began with winds up to 45 mph, and if that didn't keep you at the dock, the torrential rains and lightning that followed was sure to end your fishing. Whenever we drift for fish nowadays, it's more like we're trolling because of the wind."

But McLain is right when he says the fish are here; it's just that you need to get out during those rare hours when it's not "blowin' a gale," as they say on the Bay.

From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, our friend Ken Lamb says plenty of fish are available. For example, Lamb says, captain Bob Holden took his charter vessel "Laura" into the Kedges Straits, on the northern side of the Tangier Sound, last Sunday when the breezes slowed a bit and found a school of black drum. Holden and his party landed seven of the huge bottom feeders, including one that weighed 87 pounds, with the rest of the fish averaging around 60 pounds. These drumfish inhaled large chunks of peeler crab baits on weighted bottom rigs.

Take note that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has completed a special stocking of catfish in a number of urban and suburban waters to provide summer fishing opportunities for local residents. In the Washington area, catching-size channel catfish were put into Cook Lake, in the Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, as well as in Locust Shade Park in Prince William County. The rest of the catfish stockings took place in ponds and small lakes around Richmond.

Finally, don't forget that June1 through June9 is National Fishing & Boating Week. The national "Take a Kid Fishing" theme again will begin in the District at the Constitution Gardens lake where nearly 400 local children will get their first fishing experience. The American Sportfishing Association deserves all the credit for bringing these events into inner cities. For more information, check the Web at www.nationalfishingandboatingweek.org.

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