- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2003

It will be a good Independence Day weekend for sport anglers of all stripes, most of all for those who prefer the tidal waters from the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers to the Atlantic Ocean.

The tidal rivers currently give up a wonderful variety of fish, starting with tasty Norfolk spot in the lower parts of the Patuxent and the Potomac. Add to that good catches of croakers, white perch and ever-increasing numbers of flounder.

A stretch of water in the Chesapeake from Buoys 74 to 76 has been a hotspot for flounder. Stay in depths of up to 35 feet, says Lexington Park’s Tackle Box owner Ken Lamb. The flatfish like live minnows, even narrow cuts of squid and (after you’ve landed a keeper) flounder belly strips that sometimes work better than anything else that is available.

In the Point Lookout area of the lower Potomac, some cobia have been noted, and don’t be surprised if a red drum (redfish) takes a hook baited with crab. The only downside for fishermen will be lower quantities of bloodworms in your neighborhood bait shop. It happens every year around the Fourth of July.

Bass anglers who prefer the mid- to upper tidal reaches of the Potomac aren’t complaining. Largemouth bass are hooked on rattle baits, shallow crankbaits and short plastic worms from the Wilson Bridge area’s many sunken barges and underwater objects to Virginia’s Potomac Creek.

“The fishing is fine and the water is in good shape, but boaters should watch out for floating debris. There’s quite a bit of it on the river now,” says bass guide Andy Andrzejewski.

Meanwhile, fathers and mothers who want to spend time with their children Saturday might think about the Loudoun Izaak Walton League’s fishing derby for kids. It begins at 9 a.m. and doesn’t cost a cent. Among the prizes is a BMX trick bike, as well as $25 gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and other goodies. The event is open to anyone under 18, but adults must accompany the youngsters. Information: www.loudouniwla.net; Mike Phillips, 703/777-8678.

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