- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2006

As is our custom, when November arrives a switch is made to a weekly column-style format of the fishing report because boat rental places and certain county and state-operated lakes and facilities are beginning to shut down for the season. That is not to say the fishing stops. In some places it is in high gear. Our regular, longer weekend fishing report will reappear in March 2007. But every Thursday throughout the fall and winter, you will find some type of fishing action in The Washington Times.

We begin with the upper tidal Potomac River, where fishing guide Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) is doing quite well on largemouth bass even though the weather has not been kind.

“Heavy winds throughout the week restricted most of our fishing to creeks,” he said. “We found good bass along and over grass flats where willing bass responded to a slowly fished stick worm as well as white spinnerbaits, plastic worms and jig’n’craws. Wood cover also produced nice bass on small, deep-diving crankbaits and Berkley Bungee worms in blue fleck color. Along deeper creek ledges, we fished crankbaits, worms and grubs, with Mann’s Sting Ray grub being our best producer.”

The fishing pro also reminds us of the importance of learning how to fish deep ledges and sharp drops where the largemouths will begin to hang out in the continually cooling water.

Hurry and fish the park’s waters — From Fountainhead Park at Occoquan Reservoir, ranger Smokey Davis says, “The reservoir is full, slightly stained with water temperatures in the low to mid 50s. Cold nights have pushed [threadfin] shad into the coves, and the bass have followed.

“Spinnerbaits, shallow crankbaits and 3-inch smoke color plastic baits pitched into blowdowns have produced some really nice fish,” he said.

Smokey also mentioned that fat crappies are possible.

“A couple of citation crappies have been caught on medium-size minnows under a bobber in brush piles and beaver dams. The catfish bite is strong as well,” he added.

By the way, the park closes Nov. 12, so now is the time to get out for some good action. Fountainhead Park will reopen in mid-March 2007.

Chesapeake is alive with fish — From Lexington Park in St. Mary’s County, the proprietor of the Tackle Box, Ken Lamb, said, “Charter fishing captain Greg Buckner [Calvert Marina, Solomons] went trolling Monday and caught six big rockfish near Bouy 70. The largest was a 40-pound, 45-inch-long beauty. The others were between 30 and 36 inches. Some had sea lice.”

That means stripers are beginning to arrive from the Atlantic Ocean. Many more like it will begin to show up now.

From Christy Henderson ([email protected]) along St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County comes word that some anglers are still live-lining spot, even though many of the tasty little critters are definitely on their way south by now.

“One hot spot for live lining stripers was the Point No Point Lighthouse, but that area has been under a lot of pressure lately. It is still producing, however,” she said. “Drifting spot from Buoy 72A down to the target ship on the channel’s edge is producing stripers in the 30-inch range.”

Christy added that the Southwest Middlegrounds has chummers and liveliners catching fine-looking rockfish, with blues mixed into the rockfish schools. The same has happened around the 5-legged buoy in the mouth of the Potomac River.

Breaking rockfish have been delighting boaters all around Smith Point Lighthouse, just outside the Potomac’s mouth, on the Virginia side of the Chesapeake Bay. Henderson also said sea trout were stacked up in the Mud Leads but not all are keepers. Again this week, one of her customers caught a bunch of jumbo croakers in deep water around Buoy 72. He had trout, blues, spot and croakers, all from the same area, all of them nice-sized.

In the upper Bay, trollers and sight casters connect on ample numbers of rockfish from the Chester River mouth down to the Winter Gooses.

Freshwater rivers are fine — Front Royal’s Dick Fox, who fishes the Shenandoah River, said by the time you read this, the river will be in great shape, clear and in the 59-degree range.

“We fished for three hours and caught 11 smallmouth bass. We used tubes that we dragged along the bottom in deep water,” he said.

The upper Potomac, James and Rappahannock rivers will not be any different. Give it a shot.

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

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