- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 24, 2003

On the outside chance that someone would fish on Christmas Day, you could hook a few crappies and small bass inside Spoils Cove, as well as the main river shoreline above Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Grubs, Silver Buddies and live minnows are three attractive possibilities for hooking a fish with that new Christmas rod and reel.

Crappies also have been taken in the Belle Haven Cove dropoffs, as well as the Occoquan River around the I-95 overpass abutments and railroad bridge pilings. Bass and crappies are possible in the upper Aquia Creek, a stone’s throw from Aquia Harbor homes. Check out the brush piles and down trees with a small bobber and a white 1/16-ounce shad dart some 3 or 4 feet below the float. Yes, live minnows will work for sure.

Where are the rockfish? — Who would disagree with our storekeeper friend, Ken Lamb, who owns the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, when he says that the fall season for rockfish turned out to be disappointing for most trollers?

“There were scattered days of good fishing and some lunkers were caught, but the main body of fish remained in the Bay Bridge-Tunnel area [in Virginia] and refused to come up the Chesapeake,” he says.

Lamb figures this year’s hurricane and record-breaking rainfall during the season might have kept the big fish in water that offered higher salinity levels.

Meanwhile, in the Potomac River, where the season continues through Wednesday, there’s an outside chance of finding a bite around the Morgantown power plant’s warm-water discharges or along the Route 301 bridge pilings. The operative word is “chance.” There are no guarantees.

Lamb believes the big rockfish will still come our way, perhaps by New Year’s Day. In that case, it would be good only for catch-and-release fishermen.

Please don’t go — Here’s wishing that Sen. John Breaux, Louisiana Democrat, would reconsider his decision to retire after his current term ends in 2005.

We agree fully with the boating advocacy group BOAT/US when it said Breaux has been boating’s best friend. Indeed he was. Breaux was co-author of the landmark Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (also known as the Wallop-Breaux bill) that channels more than $500million a year in federal fuel and fishing tackle taxes into state boating and fishing programs.

In 1984, the senator, who is an avid boater and angler, was instrumental in convincing his colleagues that federal fuel taxes paid by boaters and the equipment taxes paid by anglers should be placed into a trust fund to be returned to the states to fund programs that benefit the people who paid these taxes.

Current Senate Bill 1804 would reauthorize the Wallop-Breaux Trust Fund for another six years. Let your senators know that you support this bill.

Paralyzed vets fishing championship — The Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) has announced that the PVA Grand National Championship will be held Jan.9-11 on Lake Havasu, Ariz., with 35 of the best anglers with disabilities from around the country competing.

All tournament qualifiers will compete for two days, then the field will be narrowed with a limited number of contenders fishing on the final day. The 2002 PVA Grand National champion, Jimmy Lankford, will defend his title. The winner will earn a spot in the 2004 BASS Federation national championship and also take home a Ranger bass boat and trailer, along with a 150 hp Mercury outboard and a MinnKota Trolling Motor.

To learn more about the PVA National Bass Tour, go to pvabasstour.com.


Saltwater fishing lecture series — Starts Jan. 5, 2004, and on subsequent Mondays, Jan. 12 and 26; Feb. 2, 9, and 23, March 1 and 8; all run 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Maplewood-Alta Vista Rec Center, 5209 Alta Vista Rd., Bethesda. Cost: $85 for Montgomery County residents ($95 for non-residents). Learn from seasoned professionals. Call the Montgomery County Dept. of Recreation, 240/777-6870 or go to mcrd.net.

Trout Unlimited chapter meets — Jan. 8, 7:30 p.m., at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street SE, Vienna. The public is invited to this meeting of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Trout Unlimited that includes a knots and leaders workshop with instructor Tom Brtalik, a Pennsylvania fly fishing guide. Check the NVTU Web site, nvatu.org for details.

Maryland Bowhunters meet — Jan. 18, noon to 2 p.m., at the MacroTech store in Glen Burnie, Md. MacroTech will be open from 10 a.m. until noon for shooting on its indoor range or for shopping. The MBS will discuss plans for the coming year. Information: 800/434-0811.

Virginia-Carolina Bass & Boat Show — Feb. 6-8, at Golden Leaf Warehouse in South Hill, Va. Come see the Hawg Trough, a tank filled with trophy bass. Sit in on various bass fishing seminars by experts who will place the fishing accent on nearby Kerr Reservoir and Lake Gaston. Information for vendors or visitors: www.bassandboatshow.com or phone 866/219-4544.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected].

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