- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

The fishing in the Washington area can be described as simply wonderful. Superlatives notwithstanding, some people are having a horrible time getting something to strike a lure or nibble a baited hook. One of our steady readers, a good bass fisherman who normally does well on the upper tidal portions of the Potomac, told us he's not having much success in the Wilson Bridge vicinity, to which we say, "Head south, young man, head south." On several occasions this week we've had Potomac River outings in the general area of the Mattawoman Creek to Quantico Creek that resulted in 20 or more bass even on Labor Day, when the boat traffic on the river resembled rush hour on New York Avenue.

In the saltier waters of the Potomac, some people are finding rockfish, white perch, flounder, sea trout and bluefish, while the middle Potomac's best saltwater species-oriented captain, Steve Riha of Colonial Beach, says, "I'm not taking any trips right now because the fishing is too unpredictable. When we had plenty of croakers, I could get my people lots of fish, but now I find a bunch of rockfish and perch one day and the next day they're gone. It takes too much time running and searching, but things will settle down soon. By fall, the rockfish will settle down more, and we'll have good fishing action."

Boaters in the Maryland or Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay are experiencing few problems. They find bluefish, sea trout, a few croakers, rockfish and Spanish mackerel when the wind is kind enough for people to drift, cast, chum or troll.

The same can't be said for the Atlantic Ocean between Delaware and Virginia. Some days the offshore catches include tunas, billfish, dolphinfish, wahoos and big sharks, and on others the anglers are happy if they can coax a bluefish into striking a trolled lure. The same is true of the surf and the shallow inlet waters where flounder, sea trout, snapper blues and croakers definitely live, but it doesn't mean they'll open their mouths. Catch reports run the gamut from lousy to excellent.

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