- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 13, 2003

The call arrived too late to be included in last week's fishing report, but a record is worth talking about any day. Imagine what will happen to our tidal water yellow perch hunters when they learn that a Maryland state record perch was landed in Deep Creek Lake in snowy Garrett County that weighed well more than two pounds? They'll go bonkers.

Kevin Gladhill, who lives in Boonesboro in Washington County, broke a 20-year-old freshwater record when he hooked a 2-pound, 6¼-ounce yellow perch. Gladhill was jigging a weighted Rapala lure in 10 feet of water, looking for anything that might bite. He even tipped the lure's hooks with live bait maggots (a time-honored fishing trick no matter how yucky it sounds).

Bingo! A 15-inch-long female yellow perch struck. Its roe-filled belly stuck out like that of a little pig. It beat the old mark that also came from Deep Creek Lake by only a quarter of an ounce but was quite a bit longer, by 2½ inches.

Incidentally, the tidal water record yellow ned, as Marylanders call this colorful fish, stands at 2 pounds, 3 ounces and was established in 1979 almost 24 years ago.

Special thanks for trying to reach us to let us know about the record perch go to biologist Angel Bolinger of the Maryland DNR and Deep Creek Lake fishing guide Brent Nelson. Nelson and fellow guide Bret Winegardner belong to the Life Outdoors Unlimited guide group, and these two Garrett County lake specialists even have a Web page, fishdeepcreek.com. Check it out. It contains a wealth of information.

Meanwhile, I twice accompanied Reel Bass Adventures guide Andy Andrzejewski this week to hunt for bass, crappies and willing yellow perch. The perch presented no problem even though they haven't yet entered the extreme upper ends of various spawning creeks. We did, however, locate heavy females and surprisingly large "buck" perch in 9 to 12 feet of water in the Mattawoman Creek above Slavins ramp in Indian Head. We also found large-bellied roe perch in the Nanjemoy Creek's deep, upper portions, upstream of the Friendship Road Landing.

Some perch are hooked from the pier at the landing, but many of the catches depend on the tidal stage. High water has been unkind to perch anglers all this and last week, but ebb tides were good for hooking fish.

A few bass are falling for the same avocado Mann's Sting Ray grubs and firetiger Berkley Power Grubs that we use on the perch. Bass can be found in warmer waters, including the stretches above the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Andrzejewski says the bass will go after plastic grubs, spoons, Silver Buddies and dropshot-rigged finesse worms in water that must be 10 feet deep or more.

Don't forget that white/green or white/blue Sassy Shads fished on ½-ounce or 5/8-ounce jig hooks will see hits from stripers at the Morgantown Power Plant's two discharges in the Potomac River. Don't forget to pinch down the inside barb on your jig hooks. It's required by law during catch-and-release season.

If you like Virginia's tidal Chickahominy River, not far from Williamsburg, be advised that bass have been striking hard jerkbaits, grubs and small plastic worms. But the better catches are seen by those who use ⅛-ounce jig hooks and 2-inch-long chartreuse or firetiger Berkley Power grubs on the yellow perch and crappies. Both species have been very active in the upper portions of the river. Cut baits, by the way, will find blue catfish if you concentrate on deep water.

Children's trout fishing day The Rapidan chapter of Trout Unlimited invites youngsters 12 and under to Saturday's 23rd annual Kids Day on the lower Robinson River, near Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, Va., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Trout Unlimited chapter sponsors the event, with considerable assistance provided by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

If you take your sons and daughters, remember that adults can't fish that day. They can help but not actually cast lines or reel in a trout. It is wise to bring light rods and reels, maybe a small carton of garden worms, canned corn, cheese, or Berkley trout nuggets.

The special river section that will be open only to the young people will be closed to fishing the day before the event. It has been generously stocked by the VDGIF. To reach the trout water, take Route 522 at Sperryville or Route 29 at Madison to Route 231 and on to Route 670, where you turn west and follow signs to Syria. The Robinson River is located 10 miles west of Culpeper the way the crow flies. For information, call Greg Safford, 540/341-4170, or e-mail [email protected]

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