- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2002

As we begin our weekly run of fishing reports and predictions on Thursdays instead of Fridays, fears about increasingly falling levels in freshwater lakes and rivers all over the Mid-Atlantic continue. In Virginia, long-time observers of the state's water supplies say they've never seen conditions so low. Because of that, says the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' Jack Randolph, fewer anglers are out trying and because of this lack of effort, catch reports have been light. Much the same is echoed by Maryland Department of Natural Resources officials.

As far as lack of effort or low success rates are concerned, the opposite is true in the salty waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributary rivers and creeks. The fishing is good in some cases, terrific.

The fun continues for tidal water bass anglers who are surprised and delighted with unexpected catches of juvenile redfish, better known a puppy drum. It happened again this week and last when several fellows in our little group hooked puppy drum on plastic worms or small crankbaits along the marsh banks in several Potomac River feeder creeks. In the Chesapeake Bay, meanwhile, continued good catches are made by trollers, bait drifters and surface lure casters who are after bluefish, rockfish and scattered Spanish mackerel. If you're looking for tasty croakers, be aware that most of these fish are now migrating into the deep waters of the southern Chesapeake.

If you're looking for some great fishing, visit the Point Lookout State Park Pier, or fish from a boat all around the point from Cornfield Harbor on the Potomac River side out into the Bay and up toward the fishing pier. Flounder, bluefish, stripers, spot and a few left-over croakers are available.

Finally, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission also reminds us that the fall portion of its Chesapeake Bay season for striped bass (rockfish) begins Oct.4 and will remain open through Dec.31. Two stripers per day can be kept as long as they meet the 18-inch minimum size requirement.

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