- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 15, 2006

If the rain falls as heavily as local meteorologists say it will, it won’t be greeted with joy by our town’s upper river anglers, and it probably won’t help in the tidal waters either. In addition, after the rain stops, chances are good that the wind will blow for quite a while. That’s not anything we boaters look forward to.

While some upper Chesapeake Bay boaters are talking of finding rockfish action rather quickly, be reminded that most of these stripers often miss the minimum 18-inch mark that the state insists on. However, down in St. Mary’s County where the fishing can be fantastic, Ken Lamb of Lexington Park’s Tackle Box said, “I talked to several captains [this week], and they all caught a big rockfish or two. Some got as many as five. Any striper that measures over 40 inches can weigh a pound per inch.”

Lamb said many of the big stripers had sea lice in their gill plates, which is indicative of ocean rockfish. The Chesapeake’s homebody stripers do not have sea lice. By the way, these little hitch-hikers are nothing to worry about as far as dining on a striped bass is concerned.

The only down note this week from Lamb comes in the Patuxent River, where rockfish trollers simply aren’t scoring as well as they have been. But if it’s white perch you want, they’re plentiful in the river’s deep holes near jutting land points. Lamb said the perch can be caught on shad darts bounced off the bottom on an ordinary bottom rig. Simply tie shad darts on the bottom rigs into the places where you normally attach snelled hooks, then add a 3- or 4-four ounce sinker to get it down. Slow, easy lift-and-fall movements work best.

Rockfish are hooked from the Gas Docks north to Parker’s Creek. You can score by trolling small bucktails and umbrella rigs with 4-inch Sassy Shads along the ship channel’s edge. The DNR’s Keith Lockwood says you’ll also score in Eastern Bay and the mouth of Choptank River, where some fishermen are jigging lures for their stripers.

River bass possible — Potomac River guide Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) said that before the rains came he hooked a fair number of bass, most of them on Mann’s Sting Ray grubs dabbed with his ever-lovin’ Smelly Jelly fish attractant. Some of the better flavors to attract bass point to garlic. Search me. I didn’t know bass yearned for Italian cooking.

The guide also said small finesse worms worked well. As concerns the rigging of grubs and worms, “We rig the grubs on 1/4-ounce ball-head jigs with the hook exposed. The plastic worms I put on a 1/8-ounce slider head, the hook buried in the worm.”

The best places to look for quality largemouths have been rocky points or rock piles and rip-rap shorelines. Ledges in the deeper creeks are also producing.

Shenandoah and others not good — Our Front Royal, Va., contact, Dick Fox e-mailed the shortest fishing report ever for the Shenandoah River: “Water high and muddy. No fishing,” We suspect that when the rains are done, the same will also apply to the upper Potomac, Rappahannock, James and Susquehanna rivers.

Lake Anna shows crappies galore — Lake Anna crappie anglers score nicely around beaver huts and sunken brush piles. Best baits, of course, are live minnows fished under a bobber, but small plastic jigs and grubs in white or yellow will also see action — especially if they’ve been dipped into some fish attractant. Yes, some decent bass are taken on crankbaits and plastic worms or pig ‘n’ jig combos.

Kerr and Gaston offer action — In south central Virginia, Kerr Reservoir and Lake Gaston produce crappies, bass and some decent stripers. Kerr’s catfish and crappies are the stuff that fishing dreams are made of. This is a good time of year, especially for the “specks.”

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

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide