- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 29, 2006

Because of the immense amount of rain that fell over our region for nearly five days, the regular weekend fishing report will be put on hold until things settle down and the water clears and recedes.

Right now, a visit to the region’s mountain rivers would be folly. The same applies even to the upper tidal reaches of the Potomac, Patuxent, Rappahannock, James and Susquehanna rivers, where murky water and floating debris are less than inviting. With a little luck, the weekend will provide some worthwhile angling opportunities in the lowest parts of the tidal rivers, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. So let’s take what we can get.

From Lexington Park’s Tackle Box store, proprietor Ken Lamb says tasty Norfolk spot have arrived. “They’ve invaded Southern Maryland waters just in time for the 4th of July holiday week,” he said.

Lamb reported the lower Patuxent is loaded with spot and they’ve delighted both shoreline and boating fishermen. Included in the good news is that the spot are not nearly as particular as croakers to the time of day when they’ll nibble a piece of bloodworm, crab or artificial Fishbites.

“They’re prone to bite on any tide change, day or night,” the St. Mary’s County store owner said.

We still don’t know how muddy upper-river runoff water, which will mix with the already discolored water between Benedict and Solomons Island, will affect the spot (and other fish species).

Meanwhile, boat renters at Quade’s Store in Bushwood’s portion of the Wicomico River (a Potomac tributary) had good catches of spot, croakers and white perch Saturday, but the fishing went downhill on Sunday. Rest assured, the fish will jump on the baited hooks when this nutty weather heads toward the northeast, away from us.

With a measure of optimism, I’ll say you could hook spot, croaker, white perch and a few stripers in the lowest parts of the Patuxent and Potomac rivers this weekend. It will require a bit of luck, but it could happen.

Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay — Rockfish can be seen erupting on the water’s surface at Cedar Point early and late in the day. The same is true from Bouy 74 to Punch Island Creek and heading north all along the edge of Barren Island. Expect to see breaking fish on the edge of the ship channel from Point Lookout, Md., south to Smith Point, Va. The sizes of these fish will run from less than the mandatory 18 inches up to 24 inches.

As you head up the bay, the areas just east of Chesapeake Beach and Deale will see some rockfish action for trollers, with bluefish slowly increasing in numbers. Above the Bay Bridges (Route 50), expect murky water conditions but also some striped bass and a few bluefish around Hackett’s Bar and the general vicinity.

Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay — The cobia bite is very, very good, according to Ken Neill of the lower Chesapeake’s Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association.

“There are a lot of fish of all sizes in the bay, 100-pounders and double-digit catches,” Neill said.

These powerful fish are being caught while chumming in areas like Bluefish Rock, York Spit and the Inner Middle Grounds, but some are also taken around the buoys. In addition, Neill reported the flounder have been snatching up baits. Some of the bigger flatfish go after live spot at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Look also for large sheepshead at the bridge-tunnel.

Atlantic Ocean offers action — Fishing in the Atlantic east of the Virginia and Maryland shore has been super. Tuna catches are just about guaranteed, including bigeye tunas, yellowfins and 100-pound-plus bluefins that have shown up at the Fingers. Dolphinfish are more plentiful than they’ve been in years. Even numbers of blue marlin have been raised by the offshore boats. Virginia’s Tower Reef, by the way, has been the spot for spadefish and Spanish mackerel.


Fur trappers convention — July 7-9, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Charles County Fairgrounds off Route 301, south of La Plata, where the Maryland Fur Trappers will host the National Trappers Association Northeast Regional Convention. Trapping supplies, predator-calling gear, fur-handling equipment and other hunting goods will be available. Spaces are available for the Sportsman’s Flea Market, where you can buy and sell hunting gear, old traps, decoys, game calls and many other outdoor collectibles. There will be seminars for trapping foxes, raccoons, beavers, otters and muskrats, and the men’s and women’s World Champion Muskrat Skinners will appear on July 8. Auctions, raffles, food, games, camping and RV spaces. Admission: $5 per adult for the weekend. Children under 12 admitted free. Information: Richard Garrett, 410/673-2061.

• Bowhunter education course — Aug. 1 and 3 at the La Plata Firehouse and August 5, 15, 17 and 19 at the St. Charles Sportsman Club in Waldorf. Pre-register July 22. Sponsored by the Maryland Natural Resource Police, these Maryland Bowhunter Education courses address only bowhunting and are separate from any hunter safety classes you’ll need to obtain a first hunting license. The bowhunter courses last 10 hours and include classroom instruction on every topic related to bowhunting. There’ll also be demonstrations on tree stand safety and placement as well as a field-trailing exercise and situational shooting. Students 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult at all times and must attend all three classes and complete a written exam. The course cost is $5, due when pre-registering. For detailed registration information, e-mail [email protected]

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

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