- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2002

Although this is our weekly fishing report and many who fish also hunt, we think it prudent to begin with Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening's decision to prohibit the firing of guns in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties to hold down the number of phone calls to local police concerning the discharge of a firearm.

Yes, it's all because of the so-called sniper the very word ought to raise the hackles of any trained, decent Army or Marine sniper and the many phone reports from citizens every time a car exhaust backfires, never mind the firing of a gun. All of this will not set well with blackpowder rifle-using deer hunters. The muzzleloader deer hunting season begins today in Maryland but apparently not in the above-mentioned counties. Archers are not affected, but rifle- or shotgun-toting squirrel hunters and blackpowder deer fans won't be happy. By the way, for some odd reason, Glendening says he won't stop the shooting on approved firing ranges. Why? Do the shooters use silencers at those facilities?

Now to the fishing. The strong winds and heavy rains in the area will not enhance opportunities. In some cases, it will curtail them. For example, here's betting that the weekend along the Atlantic Ocean fronts will be a washout.

On the Potomac River, where marine grasses are dying and floating up and down the river with every changing tide, things won't be easy for the bass-boating crowd, but fish can be caught. Soft plastics and weedless topwater lures can see action in quiet creek pockets. However, when the hydrilla and milfoil beds in the river totally collapse because of a severe cold snap, many of the bass will quickly seek sanctuary among the sunken shoreline trees, duck blinds and around boat docks.

The Chesapeake Bay continues to hold great promise for trollers and casters after rockfish, bluefish and gray sea trout. The trout are found from as far north as Kent Island, Md., to as far south as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel near Cape Charles, Va.

Thanks to the Maryland DNR, freshwater trout have been stocked by the thousands to provide good fall fishing. Such places as western Maryland's Rocky Gap Lake, Blairs Valley Lake, Greenbrier Lake, Antietam Creek and Piney Reservoir received fish. So did the not too distant Patapsco River at Daniels and at Avalon.

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