- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 31, 2002

Catches of large striped bass are possible in the Chesapeake Bay this weekend if strong winds don't force the boats to remain in their home ports. Should the weather cooperate, you'll score. Just ask Dewey Matthews Jr., who trolled a red surgical tubing lure in 70 feet of water east of Breezy Point and hooked a 45-inch-long rockfish that weighed just under 30 pounds. Then there was Ed Lukenich who trolled up some fine keepers around the Gas Docks in Calvert County, then watched a striper take his umbrella rig. That rockfish weighed 32 pounds, measuring 43 inches. Similar success stories are heard all over the Chesapeake, including the Northern neck of Virginia where trollers have noticed a steady increase of larger striped bass. Now add more sea trout in some areas of the Bay and you have the makings for a beautiful autumn, if only the strong winds and rains stay away.

In the tidal Potomac and its feeder creeks, as well as the Patuxent, Rappahannock and James rivers, you'll be confronted by floating aquatic grasses that have died and now are heading downstream. Many more will follow as the water temperature slowly declines. However, largemouth bass, occasional stripers, some white perch and catfish can be caught.

All you fishermen who also like to hunt, be reminded that Maryland reopened the blackpowder muzzleloader deer hunting season for three days, starting today in Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties only. That means hunters in those counties can take two deer, one of which must be antlered.

Bow hunters also may continue to pursue their favorite activity, but today through Saturday they must wear a fluorescent orange cap or vest. Earlier, the orange garment requirement for archers had been dropped, but that was before the DNR reinstated a three-day blackpowder hunt in those counties that were closed down during the hunt for the sniper. The rest of the state's hunters can pursue whatever game species season their hunting regulations booklet currently says is open.

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