- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 27, 2003

Snow, go away and never come back that's how tired I am of the white stuff. This comes from a fellow who was raised in southern Bavaria, where you'd see snow up to your armpits from November through March. When I was a child, I loved it. Now it's a pain in the you-know-what.
I have two reasons for hoping to never again see another snowflake. One is that it impairs our mobility as far as driving is concerned; the other is that in some of the deeper feeder creek bends and channels of the Potomac and Patuxent rivers, the yellow perch have begun to look at baits and lures, and if a heavy snow falls, the various launch ramps and water access areas will be too treacherous to risk bringing a boat to.
On Tuesday, La Plata-based fishing guide Andy Andrzejewski put his bass boat into the Nanjemoy Creek, and we were both surprised to see reasonably clear water during an incoming tide.
In one of the creek bends we met Charles County fishermen Ed Meadows and Pat Capps, both of whom had a legal limit of five yellow perch. "They didn't come easily," said Meadows, "but we hooked a limit eventually."
The two johnboaters, dressed like Eskimos, used live minnows on their fish. After we left the two perch fishermen, we ran upstream to a deep creek channel and, using lures such as the Mann's Sting Ray grub or Berkley Power Grub, we found a fair-sized school of yellow perch that didn't mind the artificials. (Yes, we dabbed some baitfish-flavored Smelly Jelly onto the plastic baits.)
Here's the important part: These fish are not yet doing their annual spawning run, but Andrzejewski and I believe it isn't far off. Several of our perch were filled with roe and the roe sacs appeared to be quite soft when we squeezed some of the females' bellies. Could be they're getting ready to let the roe go.
The water temperature stayed around 36 degrees all afternoon. It probably needs to rise quite a bit before the gold-hued fish will earnestly run into the various creeks' headwaters to spew out their roe, which then will be sprayed by the male perch's milt.
The beginnings of upstream movements by the perch are noticed also in the Wicomico River, but the fish are not yet in the popular Allen's Fresh area along Route 234, east of Route 301 in Charles County.
Check out the Wayson's Corner area (Route 4) of the Patuxent River, as we also recommended last week. The same goes for the lower Occoquan River in Prince William County, Va.
Drift gill nets allowed for two days The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced that the February Chesapeake Bay striped bass drift gill net fishery will reopen at 3 a.m. today and close at 6 p.m. tomorrow. The state's Fisheries Service has determined that the monthly quota for February will permit at least these two days of additional fish netting. The daily catch limit of 500 pounds is rescinded and is replaced with a daily catch limit of 200 pounds. Striped bass must be checked in no later than 9 p.m. on the day of the netting.
Our comment: What a crying shame! When will this awful gill net fishery stop for good?
Bass Pro Shop seminars and show The popular Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World in the Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, near Baltimore, is having its annual Spring Fishing Classic starting Saturday and running through March9. Of course, the main objective of the deal is to get you to come and browse among thousands of new fishing items that are on sale, then perhaps buy some fishing gear. However, from March7 to 9, the store will have fishing seminars, special display booths and demonstrations. There'll be bona fide fishing celebrities, such as world class fly angler Lefty Kreh, as well as fishing technique demonstrations in a 33,000-gallon aquarium that is stocked with bass, stripers and catfish.
One lucky visitor could win a $31,000 Nitro 901DC bass boat, another a fishing trip of a lifetime with a former BASS Masters Classic Champion like Ken Cook, Paul Elias, Guido Hibdon or Hank Parker. Someone else might win a trip to Nashville, where he'll fish with the likes of bass champs Woo Daves or Denny Brauer.
For more information, log on to www.basspro.com, or phone Alan Ellis, store promotion manager, 410/689-2500.


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