- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (..) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461), Ray Fletcher said the river is in terrible shape. “It’s muddy and the water is cold. I think the river won’t be fishable again until Monday or Tuesday.” When it does become fishable in the Fletcher’s Cove stretch, there will be shad, rockfish, white perch, herring, bass and some large catfish biting. Down below the District, river guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) confine their activities to the Charles County and Prince William County creeks, where bass have been taking finesse worms, “creature” baits, crankbaits and Rat-L-Trap or Rattlin’ Frenzy lures. As the white perch finish spawning, they will come down the river and head into some of the creeks where small spinners, spinnerbaits and MiniTrap lures will take them. Catfish catches are good in the main stem, while the saltier parts of the river below St. Clements and so on will see early arrivals of croakers.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (.) — The water looks murky, and the wind has been blowing, but one fishing contact said an angler caught a couple of croakers when he cast his baits from Bushwood Wharf.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (..) — Anglers will have to work for bass, but it can be done in the grass beds and around sunken wood even in murky water. Slow-rolled spinnerbaits and soft-scented plastics can turn the trick.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (..) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) should be good for a couple of bass on grubs or small crankbaits. Bluegills will bite there and at St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5 past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road), where crappies and a few bass will be caught. Crappies will jump on a white shad dart jiggled about three feet or so under a bobber.

LITTLE SENECA LAKE: 30 miles (..) — Black Hill Regional Park (off Route 117, near Boyds, 301/972-9396) and nearby Seneca Creek Lake (Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, 301/924-2127) will prove tough, but some bass can be caught on scented soft plastics or rattling lures.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (..) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County). Haven’t heard anything from Triadelphia, but Rocky Gorge, while being discolored and a little high, will turn up bass on plastic worms that have been sprayed or smeared with fish attractants. Crappies will find a live minnow around brushy waters.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (..) — The upper river has muddy water and white perch if angers can get them to bite. Down around Chalk Point Power Plant’s outlet channel, catfish like cut baits.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (.) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis said, “Recent high winds and heavy rains have left the reservoir in bad shape. The bass, however, are eager to spawn, and as soon as things settle down the fishing will be excellent.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (..) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County). Crappies and sunfish will bite by the weekend even after the lousy weather. Burke clears quickly.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (.) — Department of Natural Resources biologist John Mullican says the upper river is in poor shape. The river will not be fishable this week.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Water temperatures are in the high 30s to low 40s. Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says it will warm up quickly. “Great walleye action with plenty of fish up to three pounds being reported,” he said. Main-lake points near deep water are holding both walleyes and perch. “Fish a Lucky Craft Pointer 78 in the Ghost Minnow color or a medium diving crankbait in chartreuse/brown back,” Nelson said. “Walleyes will also take a smartly fished Rat-L-Trap.” North Glade Cove is holding the bigger walleyes near points with adjacent deep water. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are staging on the main lake and secondary points leading into spawning coves. All bass must be released until June 16.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — Recent local rains have caused flooding conditions in the lower Susquehanna River and tributaries like Deer Creek, according to the DNR’s Keith Lockwood. But because the upper Susquehanna watershed did not receive more than three inches of rain, the flow coming down the Susquehanna should not be too bad and conditions should clear up in a few days, he said. The hickory shad run at Deer Creek and the Flats’ catch-and-release striper fishery should improve by then. The lower Susquehanna and Flats area water temperatures are in the mid-40s, he said. Water releases from the Conowingo Dam are above normal but not at flood stage.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (..) — Ken Lamb at Lexington Park’s Tackle Box reports the first croakers (hardheads) of the season were caught by local anglers Jackie and Julian Taylor. They latched onto the tasty fish from the Point Lookout State Park pier. The couple cast bloodworms and squid from the pier about 9 p.m. last week and connected on the croakers immediately. “They caught a total of nine fish from 12 to 15 inches before the wind and cold drove them from the pier about midnight,” Lamb said. Several other pier anglers also connected. Don’t forget, the trophy rockfish season begins Saturday, and anglers will get “bit,” as local wags say.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (…) — Julie Ball, the International Game Fish Association representative in Virginia Beach, reports that good numbers of big flounder are still available at the mouth of the Chesapeake. Catches were made from the curve near the third island, as well as the first island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, she said. Gray trout are available at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, which shows grays up to 21 inches, along with puppy drum, bluefish and young stripers. Speckled trout continue to hit in both Lynnhaven and Rudee inlets. Anglers trolling lures are attracting the most strikes with MirrOlures a top choice, Ball added.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (.) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) The upper river might deliver some white perch, herring or a few shad, but heavy rains have cooled and changed the water in the Greensboro to Red Bridges parts.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Bass fishing should be OK by the weekend. Shallow and medium-depth crankbaits work well around flooded tree roots, with scented plastics also doing well in the upper river.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (.) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on Marshyhope Creek) Chilly water and heavy rains have hurt the chances of hooking a bass or two.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (..) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) After the monsoon rains, the weekend will see renewed crappie, bass and striper catches.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (.) Upper river smallmouth catches are not happening right now with the Fredericksburg area and downstream parts of the river also on hold. If any decent clearing occurs, shad will be caught.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (.) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Heavy rains didn’t help. If water clears to the dingy stage, anglers might find a few bass and crappies.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (.) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Water temperatures are down, the water is up and discolored and the fishing hasn’t been good.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) “Things are settling into a familiar pattern now that the bass have entered the shallows,” lake insider Marty Magone said. “Pick a main lake cove with some vegetation, break out a Rat-L-Trap and crank it just over the weeds. Bass up to five pounds can be had along with numerous pickerel. Stripers are also becoming more active if you get out early.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (..) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Rain hurt this lake more than it did the neighboring Gaston. Crappie and bass catches have nose-dived, but some are taken.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (.) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish seekers will have to wait a while until the river settles down more.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (..) — (Williamsburg area) Heavy downpours didn’t hurt as much here so look for bass, crappies and some fat white perch in the upper and middle parts of the river.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas got their share of rain, but Front Royal’s Dick Fox said the river “rose about four feet above normal level and has crested. The bite had slowed but we were still catching some smallmouths. The river should be fine by the weekend.”

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (..) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) The bass catches should be a lot better but won’t be until warm weather materializes.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (.) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Smallmouth bass fishing will be on hold for the rest of the week.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (..) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Strong winds and heavy rains didn’t help the fishing, but surf anglers find some sand sharks, skates and scattered stripers. Offshore boats did not get out this week, but striper hunters in the back bays behind Ocean City will find a few rockfish.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — Saltwater specialist Julie Ball says keeper flounder are found at Wachapreague Inlet on the Eastern Shore. Boat drifters do well with plain or pink-skirted bottom rigs and strip bait (fresh fish or squid). Rudee Inlet is still providing decent gray trout catches. John at the Fishing Center reports fish three to five pounds mixed in with the puppy drum. For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/422-5700.

Gene Mueller

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