- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (…) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) go for white perch and shad, while some herring dippers will find action on the Virginia shore. Catfish and a few bass are biting, along with slowly growing numbers of rockfish. River guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) haven’t enjoyed the wind and sudden weather changes, but they’re finding bass. Most of them continue to come from emerging underwater grasses and sunken wood. Plastic worms and rattle baits are productive lures. White perch are found up and down the river, but not in the numbers likely found next month when they’re finished with up-river spawning chores.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (.) — No fishing stories from this river. It’s still too cold.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — The bass bite can be good if casting four-inch finesse worms across emerging grass beds. With a little warming, Rat-L-Traps and baby 1-Minus lures will be struck by the largemouths.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (..) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) sees anglers hook a bass now and then, while worm baits under a bobber will find sunfish. St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road) has turned up bass and crappies, but the wind has played hardball with anglers.

LITTLE SENECA LAKE: 30 miles (..) — Black Hill Regional Park (off Route 117, near Boyds, 301/972-9396) and the nearby Seneca Creek Lake (Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, 301/924-2127) should deliver bass and catfish action, but cold temperatures have slowed down humans and fish.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (..) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97, or Route 650, in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County). Enjoy Family Watershed Day on Triadelphia Reservoir, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 21, when children can try their hand at paddling a canoe or kayak, or learn the basics of fishing. These Earth Day activities for kids are free and will be held at the WSSC’s Supplee Lane Recreation Area, 16904 Supplee Lane (off Brooklyn Bridge Rd.), Laurel. A Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World professional will conduct the fishing workshop. Call 301/206-8100 for more information.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (..) — Upper river shows some fair numbers of white perch and even a few shad. Lower river has charter captains and private boaters preparing for the April 21 trophy rockfish opener. White perch are beginning to head for deeper water now.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (..) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis said, “Few fishermen were out this past week due to the weather, but those who braved the elements did very well on bass. Rock walls and deep blowdowns produced some nice fish for bass hounds who pitched soft plastics. Deep-running crankbaits in the mouths of coves and inside points also scored well. The bass were in the same general areas they were in last week. They simply moved to the nearest deep-water structures as the cold front came through. The reservoir is clear, with water temperatures hovering around 50 degrees.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (..) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County). The fishing has slowed somewhat, but that’s only because not enough people have been trying.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (..) — Cold front hurt chances for smallmouth bass. Water temperatures in the upper river have dropped down to 43 degrees. But small jigs hopped across center river rock beds will draw a look from the bass.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Fine chances for walleyes, pickerel and a few northern pike, perhaps a smallmouth or largemouth bass now and then. Walleyes will jump on rattle baits, colorful plastic grubs and jigs especially around lake points that hold up to 12 feet of water around the drop-off edges. Not many floating docks have been set up yet. It has been too cold and windy.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — The hickory shad are in Deer Creek and Octoraro Creek, with some fishermen reporting up to 50 shad an outing. The Susquehanna Flats, meanwhile, have been windblown and tough to fish, but some hardy souls are connecting on rockfish, including some exceptional whoppers.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (.) — Nothing doing, but the bay will be a beehive of activity when the trophy rockfish season begins April 21.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (..) — Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association says, “The flounder season has gotten off to a good start. They are being caught along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, especially at the curve south of the third island and inside the bay from Buoy 36A to the Concrete Ships area. Speckled trout and puppy drum continue to be caught inside the Rudee and Lynnhaven inlets and at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, which also holds nice-sized gray trout. Croaker are being caught in the James, Poquoson and York rivers. Tautog action is good on structures inside the bay.”

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (..) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge). Upper river from Greensboro to Red Bridges will have white perch and some herring. Bass aren’t jumping into the boat around Denton, but they can be caught.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing). Some perch in the upper waters and increasing bass activity in flooded timber below Snow Hill. Baby 1-Minus lures and short garlic-scented plastic worms can score.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (.) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek). Marshyhope Creek bass catches have been down as have most river portions, no doubt caused by strong winds and chilly weather.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Bass and crappie catches can be good. If on hand when the stripers begin to feed, score on them with jerk baits and Sassy Shad lures.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) Upper river smallmouth catches will decline if strong rains visit the area as predicted. Shad, herring and perch are going to be caught in the Fredericksburg stretch, while catfish and some decent bass are possible below Hicks Landing.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (..) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Crappie, bass and some channel catfish are taken. Rain will turn the lake’s water color. Bass lures that work can be medium depth crankbaits, finesse worms or tube jigs.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (..) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange). Cold weather hurt the chances for bass and now they’re talking about strong rain. That’s not good, but some bass and crappies will bite all the same.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg). Lake angler Marty Magone hooked a 13-pound striper taken on a topwater Chug Bug before the cold weather moved in. “The weather has slowed the bite but bass are still close to the points in the spawning bays. Stripers are roaming main lake points chasing the shad. The bite is usually short but big fish can be had if you get out early,” he said.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville). More rain won’t help in this lake. It will be murky and even higher. Crappies and bass have been fairly active in flooded brush.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (…) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream). Blue catfish again head the fishing menu on this top-flight catfish river. A few stripers and plenty of perch are coming upriver.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (…) — (Williamsburg area). White perch, crappies and herring are up at Walker’s Dam. Bass catches can be fairly good if using scented finesse worms around blowdowns and grass beds.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (…) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas turned off a bit with arrival of colder weather. Now, even rain is forecast and that won’t help.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (..) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke). Cold weather isn’t helping, but rockfish can be hooked. They don’t care how cold it gets.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (..) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville). Smallmouth bass can be caught, but people up this way are sweating forecasts of heavy rain.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (…) — (Route 50 to Ocean City). Rumors of flounder catches in the back bays at Ocean City are reaching us, but I wouldn’t heat up the skillet until after I hooked a few. The head boats find unusually nice tautogs on offshore wrecks. The DNR’s Keith Lockwood wonders whether there might be a run of Boston mackerel this year. It has been lousy over the past three or four years. Hopefully, things will turn out better later this month when they should be all over the offshore grounds.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — Ken Neill says flounder are biting inside the inlets of the Eastern Shore and tautogs as well as sea bass are taking baits on the coastal wrecks. Offshore boats continue to catch blueline tilefish along the 50 fathom curve. Boats heading offshore out of Oregon Inlet, N.C., are coming back with good catches of yellowfin tuna plus some wahoo and dolphin. For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/422-5700.

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

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