- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 25, 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 fishing is great. American and hickory shad are biting; herring are running and even the big blue catfish are in our section of the river. The water is in great shape.” Meanwhile, river guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) are averaging at least 25 bass an outing, using soft plastics and Baby 1-Minus lures around grass beds, boat docks, and shoreline rocks up and down the river. Congratulations to reader Darrell Hunt, who was casting a red Zoom lizard into main stem waters when a 7.2-pound largemouth bass took the bait a few days ago. “After I got her to the shore I snapped a picture and weighed and released her,” he wrote. He included some photos of his hand holding a fat bass. Downstream, the main river produced rockfish off St. George Island and Stuart’s Pier. Croakers will show up within a day or two.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (..) — Quade’s Store workers in Bushwood told Ken Lamb that some catches of croakers were made over the weekend. Scuttlebutt has it that a boater landed 15 croakers on shrimp baits at Buoy 7.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — The bass have turned on and a variety of lures, from 4-inch finesse worms to white/chartreuse spinnerbaits and shallow crankbaits, will see action around grass beds and shoreline wood.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (…) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) shows a few bass and plenty of sunfish, maybe a crappie now and then. Pickerel and crappies, along with a few fat bass, are active at St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road).

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) show sunfish, bass and catfish. The chances of success are very good.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (…) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97, or Route 650, in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist Mary Groves and her team electro-shocked in Rocky Gorge to get a brood collection of walleyes. “It was a little difficult,” she said. “We either were too early or too late, but we did turn up an impressive number of striped bass while we were looking for walleye.” Groves also collected smallmouth brood up in Triadelphia reservoir and largemouth bass were staging up in flooded brush.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (..) — The Tackle Box’s Ken Lamb says croakers are moving in fast. “The mouth of the river found croakers biting on bloodworms, squid, and shrimp. Some early croakers in the 17 inch range were caught off the TPS Pier on the Naval Air Station on Saturday night. This indicates that the fish are coming out of the bay and are heading up the Patuxent.” Catfish are taking cut baits at the Chalk Point Power Plant’s outflow. Rockfish are in the lower parts.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (…) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis said the water is still not up to snuff with floating debris also seen. But bass can be caught. He said, “White spinnerbaits are the lures of choice and some nice fish are being taken from the inside points of major coves and along the rocky bluffs. The water temperature is in the low 60’s and as the lake continues to clear, the bass fishing will improve. A few crappie and catfish were caught over the past weekend and the bluegill bite is on.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (…) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Crappies, sunfish and bass are just about a sure thing. Get going and cash in on the good fishing.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (..) — Things are getting back to normal with a few smallmouth bass, walleyes and a chance for a tiger muskellunge is a possibility from Washington County’s Taylors Landing down to Point of Rocks and Dickerson in Montgomery County.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says bass can be caught around lake points and in the backs of coves. The DNR’s Ken Wampler said, “After last week’s dumping of snow fishermen are back on the water. This past weekend the Deep Creek Volunteer Fire Department had [its] spring walleye tournament. 56 boats were registered and a total of 178 legal-size walleyes were checked in.”

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — The DNR’s Keith Lockwood sent along a report from angler Wayne Blottenberger: “I just got in from Deer Creek above Stafford Bridge and the fishing is red-hot. The shad and herring started up late last night and are in the creek in large numbers. The pink marabou streamer and JB’s red and yellow marabou was the ticket.”

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (…) — Ken Lamb at Lexington Park’s Tackle Box said, “The trophy rockfish season had modest beginnings. Most everyone caught fish in the slot [but] the big fish over 41 inches were very scarce. Action overall was very good. The fish are scattered all up and down the bay from Parker’s Creek to Smith Point.” Meanwhile, Christy Henderson at Buzz’s Marina (www.buzzsmarina.com) on St. Jerome’s Creek said, “What an opening day! Early hour trollers were back in by 8 o’clock with their limits. They were complaining a little about having to throw back the slot limit fish, but they got their stripers and were happy.” The netters are finding flounder in their mesh, along with croakers and a few bluefish. In the upper bay, rockfish of various sizes are hooked, including the mouth of the Choptank, Bloody Point and around Sandy Point State Park.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (…) — Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fisherman’s Association reported that the first black drum have been caught in the general Cape Charles area. Big red drum soon will follow. Croaker are being caught up in the rivers and tautog action is good at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (Ingram Bay Marina in Wicomico Church, www.captbillyscharters.com, call 804/580-7292) said the rockfish are found all over the Northern Neck waters and that croaker fishing is picking up in both the lower Potomac and Rappahannock rivers.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (…) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Upper river above Denton shows bass, herring and some shad. White perch also have been hooked.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (…) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Bass are looking for nesting sites or are already on them. Plenty of largemouths are in the coves and around sunken brush in shallow waters. Cast a short, scented plastic worm and see what happens.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) Bass catches perked up a bit. Marshyhope Creek bass are on their beds.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Bass are bedding and short, scented plastics in the backs of coves can be deadly. Crappie fishing is fine around beaver huts and sunken brush.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) Anglers can expect to find some decent smallmouths above Fredericksburg. In town, the tidal river parts deliver catfish, some perch and shad.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (…) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Crappie bite will be good. Bass like a shallow crankbait such as a Baby 1 Minus or a garlic-scented plastic worm.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (..) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Catfish catches are good, but the bass and crappies will also bite.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake insider Marty Magone is finding good numbers of chunky largemouths on worms, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Crappies are biting in sunken brush and around bridge abutments in the backs of creeks.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Good crappie and bass chances in lower and upper lake and creek waters now. Some decent striper catches are made up around Nutbush Creek.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (…) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Shad and herring are up toward Richmond’s fall line, with bass sitting on beds in the backs of tidal water pockets from near Dutch Gap down to Walker’s and Chippokes creeks.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (…) — (Williamsburg area) Around Walker’s Dam anglers will find perch, herring, some shad and occasional bass. Lower and middle creek parts show plenty of largemouths.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville stretches show some smallmouth action for river fan Dick Fox, who lives in Front Royal. However, the Shenandoah River Keeper, Jeff Kelble floated the North Fork below Woodstock and found dead or listless fish in every defined eddie.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (..) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Bass are looking around to pick spawning sites. Catches have been meager.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (…) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) If there are no serious downpours this weekend, the fishing for smallmouth bass will be fine.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (..) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Flounder chances are fair to good in the Route 90 bridge area of Ocean City’s backwaters. The Route 50 area near the Ocean City Inlet delivers strikes from rockfish. Don’t be surprised if you hook a rockfish or bluefish in the surf. Offshore boats return with tautogs, small sharks and sea bass.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — Saltwater specialist Julie Ball reports that schools of snapper bluefish have taken over in the Rudee Inlet area. Bluefish up to 5 pounds are caught by surf casters casting lures from the rocks and working the jetties and bridge pilings. Speckled trout and gray trout are also available, but the trick is getting the offering below the blues. She also said keeper flounder are found at Wachapreague Inlet on the Eastern Shore. For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/422-5700.

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