- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Excellent flounder catches keep anglers in the lowest parts of the Chesapeake Bay smiling. They’re hooked by bait drifters around the drops and deep holes surrounding Virginia’s Bay Bridge-Tunnel, as well as the Cape Henry Wreck and the Hampton Bar. As you move up in the Bay, croaker, bluefish and striper catches are fair, but a tasty, pan-size fish known as the Norfolk spot is keeping fishermen busy from below Smith Point in the Northern Neck of Virginia to Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore’s waters.

In the upper Chesapeake’s feeder rivers, the white perch are beginning to turn on. Small-boaters using light tackle and ⅛-ounce spinnerbaits can connect around the footings of duck blinds, docks, piers and edges of grass beds.

The Potomac River’s tidal water bass fishing continues on its merry way. Early-morning topwater chuggers and poppers draw bass from around spatterdock or hydrilla bed edges. As the hours progress, all you need do is switch over to some kind of plastic worm and slowly fish it among the branches of fallen, waterlogged trees or in the open pockets seen in the weed carpets from below Wilson Bridge to the western parts of Charles County.

The only downer in the past week was the slow offshore fishing east of Maryland’s Ocean City. To be sure, there were some bigeye tuna and a couple of billfish, but overall catch numbers were disappointing. Still, the outlook for the coming weekend is bright because of changing weather systems. The 30th annual Ocean City White Marlin Open will be Aug.4-8, and tournament officials are optimistic that catches will be good.

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