- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 10, 2004

What an odd week this has been for fishing. Our Potomac River specialist, guide Andy Andrzejewski of Reel Bass Adventures (301/932-1509), has had several days where he and his clients latched onto 50 bass an outing in the general Wilson Bridge area and nearby upstream waters. He’s using Mann’s Sting Ray grubs in avocado color, or 4-inch-long red plastic worms. Main river channel ledges near the shore can be productive.

However, Andy and I went perch hunting in the Patuxent River’s Mattaponi Creek on Tuesday and came up with goose eggs — nothing, nada. All this despite reports of “large” yellow perch biting in the Mattaponi. The tide was perfect, slowly receding, and the fish should have snatched up our grubs or shad darts, but they didn’t.

The same misfortune befell us in the Patuxent’s Glebe Marsh and Western Branch. Enough of these doggone perch. The state really must address the sudden lack of these fish, because more than one angler believes overfishing by netters during spawning times has something to do with it.

The DNR’s Keith Lockwood says there are yellow and white perch in the upper Choptank River, and a few yellow perch were hooked at Allen’s Fresh in the Wicomico. The same holds for the Mattawoman Creek. Both are in Charles County.

Virginia anglers see action — Local angler Brian Sweatland sent a message that Lake Orange (off Route 20, Orange County) crappies are willing if you are. “I fished submerged brush piles off the fishing pier with 1/16 ounce white tube jigs,” he wrote. “The crappies were biting in about 8 feet of water. They wanted the bait slowly jigged, with long, slow drops.”

By the way, the minimum size for crappies is 9 inches, and game police make sure you obey the new size law.

In the Rappahannock River around Fredericksburg, the beginnings of spawning white perch and even some early herring arrivals are noted. More perch are seen downstream, but they’ll move up quickly.

If you’re a Lake Anna (west of Fredericksburg) largemouth bass fishing fan, check the backs of the creeks as well as structure around the creek mouths near the main lake body and never overlook a chance to hook a striped bass or two. However unpredictable they are, they can suddenly show up anywhere on the lake, so keep one rod ready with a 4-inch white Sassy Shad or a silver/black or silver/blue jerkbait on the line. When you see seagulls diving and general topwater commotion, approach quietly and start casting your lure into the fray.

The Mattaponi River around the Walkerton area (off Route 360 to Route 634) is finally seeing yellow perch catches. Word has it that quite a few of them measure more than 12 inches long, which is above average. Walkerton is southeast of Bowling Green in King and Queen County.

In the Chickahominy River, near Williamsburg, the Walker’s Dam area of the river shows a few herring, with the rest of the “Chick” turning up crappies in up to 10 feet of water and bass beginning to cooperate on drops near slowly emerging spatterdock.

The tidal parts of the James River below Richmond continue to be home to blue catfish, but get ready for the white perch. From Osborne Landing into the downstream pockets and feeders on either side, there’ll be white perch — a part of a massive spawning population that will be in Maryland very shortly.

At Kerr Reservoir (Buggs Island Lake), blue catfish, channel catfish and crappies are on the weekend fishing menu. But also start looking for bass with rattle baits and spinnerbaits. Bass catches are getting better in the creeks and around brushy areas. At the neighboring Lake Gaston, medium to shallow crankbaits are responsible for a few decent bass, including some that weighed more than 6 pounds.

Carolina shad run — The Weldon and Roanoke Rapids area of North Carolina is seeing good shad numbers now, but these spots can resemble a zoo when the fishing gets hectic.

EVENTS

Fishing & Outdoor Show — Saturday, 10a.m. to 4p.m., Izaak Walton League, Waldorf, Md. Information: Don Gardiner, 301/645-3323; [email protected]

Trout Unlimited chapter fund-raiser — Saturday, 6p.m., dinner at 9, Tysons Westpark Hotel. Registration: nvatu.org.

St. Mary’s County boating course — March16, 18, 23, 25, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Guy Brothers Marine, Clements on Route 234. Coast Guard Auxiliary course, $20 for material. Test given March30. Information: Francis Guy, 301/475-9774.

Ducks Unlimited casino night — March19, 6:30p.m., Fairview Park Marriott, Falls Church. The DU State Convention Awards Banquet is March20, same place, 6p.m. Information on both events: Mike Hinton, 202/720-1764.

National Capital Angling Show — March20, 10a.m. to 5:30p.m., Landon School, Bethesda, sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Exhibits, vendors, fly tying clinics, rod and gear swap, auctions, raffles, license sales. $10, under 16 free. Information: www.ncc-tu.org or 202/966-5923.

Maryland Bowhunters Society banquet — March 20, Snyders Willow Grove Restaurant, near BWI. Directions: snyderswillowgrove.com; 410/789-1149. Contact: MBS, Larry Schwartz 443/994-1098.

Baltimore Antique Arms Show — March 20 to 21, 9 a.m., Maryland State Fairgrounds, Timonium. Information: baltimoreshow.com; 301/865-6804.

Flyfishing class — March 28, 1 p.m., Freestate Fly Fishers, Davidsonville (Md.) Family Recreation Center. Information: Bob Smith, 410/544-4411, Mike Price, 410/320-0080.

East Coast Decoy Collectors meet — April 2 to 3, Best Western, St. Michaels, Md. Buy-sell-swap meet, decoy identification and appraisals. Information: Jim Trimble, 703/768-7264; [email protected]

Striper shore fishing contest — April 3, Sandy Point State Park, near Annapolis. First place is guaranteed $500. Registration ends March 31. Entry form, information: longcasters.org.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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