- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2003

While everybody is awaiting news of yellow perch spawning runs, tidal Potomac River guide Andy Andrzejewski of Reel Bass Adventures says the water is still a little too cold to permit leisurely deep-water bass fishing.

"But it could be done around the Wilson Bridge and up in the Spoils Cove," he says, because the water in that sector is a little warmer than in the feeder creeks. "Besides, right now I'm catching fat roe perch on Mann's Sting Ray grubs that are dipped into Smelly Jelly."

He's talking about perch that still haven't made up their minds about heading into the upper reaches of the tributary creeks to let go of their eggs. That hasn't happened yet, but it surely must occur within a few days. The roe-filled females can't hold onto the eggs much longer. Some of the ones we find now are filled with very soft roe sacs, which raises concerns that they might let them go in deep water where they can't be fertilized and incubated. Meanwhile, the perch hunters along the Allen's Fresh shallows of the Wicomico River on Route 234 have not caught anything yet. That can change by the time you read this.

By the way, if you want catch-and-release rockfish, Andrzejewski says they're in the Morgantown Power Plant discharge where Sassy Shad lures in white or chartreuse will work. Bend back the hook's inside barb and the fish can be let go with minimum effort.

Bass fishing slow at Lake Anna Talk about slow going for bass at Virginia's Lake Anna. A winter bass fishing tournament was held there a little over a week ago that actually drew 22 boats with two anglers in each.

But the one thing that seems to frequently happen at Lake Anna has everybody talking. When a winter bass is hooked at this nuclear power station impoundment, west of Fredericksburg, it can be a whopper. So when only 10 bass were caught among the 44 participants, the poor fellow who hooked a 7-pound largemouth must have thought he had the contest in the bag. Not necessarily so. Another contestant returned from the icy lake with a 9-pound, 2-ouncer, a lunker fish if ever there was one.

So it goes at Anna, but at least 10 bass were hooked, which is 10 more than I caught last month. The best I could do was a yellow perch here and there, maybe a channel catfish, and of course some hefty blue catfish at the Santee Cooper lakes in South Carolina.

Hickory shad possible in Weldon Fans of the hickory shad can score in the Roanoke River in Weldon, N.C. You've seen the Weldon signs when heading south on I-85 to Kerr Reservoir or Lake Gaston. Shortly after crossing into North Carolina, you'll see the Weldon exit and the river.

Surf anglers can score Rockfish are possible if you're willing to drive down to North Carolina's Outer Banks. Surf anglers can score on stripers from Oregon Inlet's waters around the Bonner Bridge on down to Cape Point on Hatteras Island, even on South Beach below Buxton and down toward Hatteras Inlet. The water temperature has been between 54 and 56 degrees. Even a few puppy drum are hooked on the typical finger mullet baits, or slab baits cut from large, salted mullet fillets are the way to go on weighted fireball bottom rigs.

Applause for the CCA, please Readers have inquired about the state of the Virginia saltwater license cost increase and we're happy to report that thanks to the Coast Conservation Association's Virginia division and the tough lobbying that it did, the bill in the General Assembly that would have raised the license cost was defeated.

It goes to show that when fishermen stick together, they can get things done. It is one more reason why all tidal water anglers should belong to such groups as the CCA. The Florida CCA, you remember, was so effective it halted all gill netting in the state. Imagine that. Wouldn't it be great if the Maryland and Virginia CCAers had that kind of nerve and start organizing for the fight to do the same in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries?

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