- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2004

Last week the upper reaches of the Potomac River near Shepherdstown, W.Va., produced a Maryland state record muskellunge that weighed 281/4 pounds.

The muskie, caught Thursday by Hagerstown’s Matt Beall on a surface lure, was a true member of the species — not one of the many tiger muskies stocked in the river by the state some years ago that are northern pike/muskellunge hybrids. Beall’s record fish was of the pure strain.

A Virginia angler, David Welling of Fairfax Station, is the owner of the latest Maryland spadefish record. Welling caught an 83/4-pound specimen in the waters near Ocean City last week.

And how about Marylander Brett Jamison who won the annual Ocean City White Marlin Open last weekend? Jamison hooked an 84-pound white marlin and received $1.3million for the win.

Now back to the real world. In most of the Chesapeake Bay and many of the bay’s feeder rivers, the croaker fishing has dropped off considerably. The “hardheads” are on the move back down the Chesapeake, and there are days when bottom fishermen complain that they haven’t had a bite. However, during dawn and in the late evenings, some decent croaker action in the lower Potomac and Patuxent rivers is still available. Croakers are also not bashful about inhaling bottom baits in the Tangier Sound, and quite a few come into the rockfish chum slicks around the Virginia/Maryland state lines. But the upper parts of the bay have seen a drop.

Bass anglers who favor the tidal Potomac might as well get going. We’ve had several good outings this week. Bass have sucked in scented plastic worms, topwater poppers and even shallow-running crankbaits in the Aquia and Potomac creeks in Virginia, as well as the Mattawoman and Chicamuxen on the Maryland side.

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