- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2003

Despite a driving rain and generally uncooperative fish, Andy Andrzejewski yesterday stuck to his guns and for the 27th consecutive year went fishing on New Year's Day.
Andrzejewski, whose boat motor was being fine-tuned at a local marine dealership, this time did his thing on terra firma, standing on a dock alongside the Mattawoman Creek, flipping plastic grubs into the creek around a bit of sunken brush and wood and eventually nailing a youthful largemouth bass.
"I don't know if I'll be able to do this again next year," said the professional bass guide. "My daughter is supposed to give birth to my newest grandchild today. If she does, I'll be up in Pennsylvania on New Year's Day 2004, celebrating the baby's first birthday and celebrating the birthday every New Year from then on."
Alas, a tradition might come to a close that annually has readers asking how the "Fishing Pole" fared on New Year's Day. They apparently enjoy the ex-Marine's resolve to fish on the very first day of every year no matter what the weather might be like.
In the past, the two of us have broken ice on boat launching ramps to slip a craft into what little open water could be seen, then ran across shards of sheet ice, opening a creek to fishing and, yes, catching.
One New Year's Day, on the Nanjemoy Creek in Charles County, it was so warm that we removed our jackets while we hooked one yellow perch after another. We also found bass and carp that jumped onto our Sting Ray grubs.
In 2001, we launched a boat in the Mattawoman Creek and, while wearing gloves, knit caps, and drinking scalding-hot coffee, found bass on artificial grubs around the Deep Point area of the creek. It was magnificent.
In 2002, we spent the first day of the year at Lake Anna, Va., and couldn't even catch a cold that's how bad the fishing was.
If Andrzejewski stops the New Year's outings, I'll miss them but my wife will be more than a little pleased. She insists that for a person to want to fish in ice, wind, rain, snow or what have you, a body has to be mad stark, raving mad.
Before the rains came A few days before the heavy rains visited the Washington area back in 2002 the father-son fishing team of Steve and Tommy Hawks was seen inside the Spoils Cove, just above the Potomac River's Wilson Bridge, that we so often write about.
Even though Hawks came into the fish-rich cove with his bass boat, he had the right idea as concerns the preservation of trolling motor batteries while a wind is blowing. Normally, bassboaters will slip one of the quiet, bow-mounted electric motors into the water and fish while gently moving along a desired area. But when the wind blows, that can be a real pain.
What did Hawks do to solve the wind problem? He tied his bass boat to one of the huge, square, concrete slabs that poke from the water inside the cove and told his 11-year-old, Tommy, to stand up on the concrete and dangle a bait into the shadows of the stone mass.
Bingo! Tommy landed a fine crappie almost immediately. In fact, the two did very well.
Meanwhile, we stayed in our boat and found bass and crappies in some of the wind-protected pockets of the cove, as did some Maryland shoreline anglers along the I-295 side of the Spoils, a shouting distance from Wilson Bridge.
The best boat names The January issue of Boating Magazine shows the winners of the best-named recreational boats. It's a yearly contest that draws many imaginative entries.
Enjoy the nautical connotations in the list of 2002 winners: Berth Control, Restless Sole, Current Address, Cuddy Shack and Worth the Wake.
And what did the winners receive? A lousy T-shirt and a hat. Big spenders, those magazine people.
Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report every Thursday only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]


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