- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2003

Enough already with the rain. With the exception of certain local brackish river areas and the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, mountain river and lake anglers again will have a washout this weekend.

All is not lost, however. For example, black drum anglers in the lower Chesapeake Bay, between Cape Charles and the Bay Bridge-Tunnel, have been doing very well even though during normal years the big bottom feeders would be heading up the bay toward Maryland’s Stone Rock and Sharps Island. Good fortunes visit rockfish trollers in the lower Maryland portions of the Chesapeake between the Patuxent River mouth and the Eastern Shore. In fact, the stripers are so cooperative, it isn’t unusual for a boatload of six charter fishermen to go out at 7 a.m. and be done by 9 a.m., everybody aboard happy with their catches.

In the tidal Potomac River — despite seemingly never-ending sprinkles, downpours, monsoons and showers — bass anglers are doing quite well. In fact, even during a rain, some smart bass boaters cast topwater buzzbaits between patches of marine grass and find largemouths rising to the occasion. If that doesn’t work, scented plastic worms do a wonderful job of attracting the bass along rip-rap, sunken wood, or marsh bank edges in feeder creeks from Prince George’s County down to western Charles County.

Croaker fans are scoring in the Potomac from the Route 301 bridge downstream all the way to Point Lookout. However, in the Potomac and Patuxent rivers, as well as other Chesapeake tributaries, remember that the best croaker catches have come in shallow water in the earliest hours of the morning and around sunset. They have not yet chosen to stay in the deep channels and dropoffs where they were this time last year.

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