- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 1, 2003

Some of the best shad and white perch fishing in years is possible in the uppermost tidal waters of the Potomac River, around Fletcher's Boat House off Canal Road. Ray Fletcher says hickory shad, some larger white shad, perch and stripers that will be legal to keep starting Saturday, make this a super place to visit. We heartily concur.
In the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia's trophy striper season begins today, while Maryland trollers continue to experience good and bad days while searching for bigger-than-usual rockfish during that state's trophy season. Typical sizes caught now range from the mandatory 28 inches to 32, with only occasional whoppers in the 40-inch-and-up range heard about. The upper Chesapeake, in fact, has been quite slow as far as keeper-size rockfish are concerned, with the middle portions providing good numbers as does the lower Maryland end, around the Virginia state line and beyond. The lower Potomac River has been turning up keeper rockfish from as far up as Swan Point and Colonial Beach down to Point Lookout. Trolled parachute bucktails, or umbrella rigs with Sassy Shads are the lures of choice.
Local bass anglers can score in the tidal Potomac, Patuxent and Rappahannock rivers whenever the water is moving, especially so when the tides are falling. The Potomac River guides say the best fishing is found above Mattawoman Creek, although bass catches are possible throughout the river system that provides ideal bass habitat. Plastic worms, spinnerbaits and lipless rattle lures do a fine job over new grass beds or in sunken shoreline wood.
The DNR's Angel Bolinger reports that Maryland ocean fishing is gradually improving as some flounder have started picking up squid- or minnow-baited hooks in Ocean City, especially the Thoroughfare portion of the backwaters in this resort city. Even better reports come from Virginia's Eastern Shore, starting with Chincoteague Island, then moving to Metompkin, Wachapreague and Oyster. All that's needed is a quiet day without wind, a good drift tide, and more than 6 feet of water.
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