- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 27, 2003

Schools of white perch have arrived in the vicinity of Fletcher's Boat House along the Potomac River, near Chain Bridge. "The perch are here, and more are coming upstream every day," said Ray Fletcher. "We've also seen some herring and there are plenty of catfish now. Our rental boats aren't ready to go yet, but they might be by the weekend."
Fletcher said some of the perch are hooked by shoreline anglers. Call 202/244-0461 with questions about boat availability or water conditions.
White perch also are taken in the upper Patuxent around Wayson's Corner and in the Choptank River at Red Bridges on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Farther down the tidal Potomac, bass fishing guide Andy Andrzejewski of the Reel Bass Adventures guide group (301/9321509) says since water temperatures have climbed into the 50s, some of the river's bass are taken in fairly shallow water, but cooler nights will drive them down again into deep holes. He uses Sting Ray grubs and Smelly Jelly fish attractant for most of his catches, although during warmer conditions he'll score with a Norman's Deep Baby N lure along shallow-to-deep creek and main-stem ledges.
Nearby Occoquan Reservoir is still a bit high and discolored, says park ranger Smokey Davis. "Water temperatures range from 52 in the backs of coves to 46 in the main channels," said Davis, who also reported that the first buddy tournament of the year last Sunday had 32 boats competing but with only half of the teams bringing in bass. The winning stringer weighed 15 pounds, 11 ounces for six bass. The biggest bass of the day weighed 5 pounds.
Despite slow going right now, this is the time of year when a lunker is possible. Just ask Joyce Fox, wife of local tournament angler, Dick Fox. The couple fished Lake Frederick, Frederick County, Va., a few days ago and Joyce, using a watermelon color Senko plastic bait on very light line, hooked what looked to be a 6-pound largemouth bass. She released the hefty female, perhaps to be caught again another day.
At Lake Anna west of Fredericksburg, the High Point Marina reports that two citation-sized walleyes were hooked this week. And you bass fanatics should remember that it's the long, jutting lake points now that are likely to turn up a heavy bass or two on plastic grubs, tubes, Sassy Shads, even some jerkbaits. The landlocked rockfish of Lake Anna can be found down around Dike No.3 and up toward Sturgeon Creek. By the way, now is the time to hunt for tasty crappies here.
A massive run of spawning white perch is under way in the Fredericksburg parts of the Rappahannock River. The Fall Line Orvis Shop in Fredericksburg says there's a chance for a shad or two just above the Route 1 bridge, as well as some smallmouth bass. Many more shad should arrive in the days to come, with shad season usually peaking when the dogwoods bloom.
Congratulations to Alexandria's Matt and Magdalen Springer for catching an 11-pound, 1-ounce largemouth bass and a second bass that weighed 103/4 pounds. Both trophies were hooked in southern Virginia's Briery Creek Lake. If you plan to visit the lake, be prepared for plenty of company on the water.
Buggs Island Lake, a k a Kerr Reservoir, on the Virginia/North Carolina border shows lots of high water, and only a few boat launch ramps are open. In flooded brush, however, spinnerbaits and jerkbaits can result in catches of well-fed bass.
At the adjacent Lake Gaston, bass anglers can score nicely, while below the two massive reservoirs, in the town of Weldon, N.C., the Roanoke River shad fishing has been excellent.
Interested in the Outer Banks of North Carolina? Surf fishermen can find action from Buxton's Cape Point down to South Beach, near Hatteras Inlet. Young redfish, known as puppy drum, some bluefish and sea mullets are available, while rockfish have been noted in the sound waters behind Oregon Inlet.
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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