- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2003

Rain, rain, go away. The Washington area is about to float away if the rains don’t stop. As far as weekend fishing in the upper mountain rivers and streams of the middle Atlantic states are concerned, forget it.

Our friend Dick Fox, who lives within a stone’s throw of the Shenandoah River in Front Royal, Va., says, “It doesn’t look good. The water is the color of coffee with cream.” The same goes for the upper James, Rappahannock, Potomac and Susquehanna rivers.

Rain or not, the fishing outlook improves vastly in the salty waters of the Chesapeake Bay and most of its tributary rivers. Listen to Ken Lamb, who owns the Tackle Box store in St. Mary’s County’s Lexington Park. Lamb receives hundreds of reports weekly and also sees the catches when anglers come to his store to have a photo snapped of a fine catch. “Lousy weather makes for excellent rockfish populations,” he said. “In spite of Mother Nature, whoever went fishing this week caught rockfish. Trollers who came out of the mouth of the Patuxent River found stripers in excess of 34 inches in a matter of minutes most every day.”

It seems that large concentrations of rockfish willing to jump onto almost any trolled lure are located between Buoy 77 at Cedar Point up to Cove Point and the adjacent Gas Docks.

The same good news holds for croaker anglers. We went after them in a driving rain last weekend and had no trouble hooking a legal limit of 25 in the tidal Potomac around the Route 301 bridge in Charles County. Those catches continue right now, as you read this.

Tidal river bass hunters on the Potomac might want to stay out of the backs of the various feeder creeks because of muddy water. The same holds for many parts of the main stem of the river, particularly as you head toward Washington where discolored mountain river runoff can be noted faster than, say, in western Charles County, or on the Virginia side around Aquia Creek and other feeders.

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