- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (…) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) you will find white perch, some shad, even a rockfish, walleye and fat channel catfish now and then. The tidal water bass guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) say they’re finding plenty of bass action in the river’s feeder creeks and on the main stem wherever emerging water weeds are found but also in sunken wood and on shoreline gravel bars. Red finesse worms, gold or red crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps do the job. White perch are found by Marshall Hall anglers using bloodworms or artificial FishBites. Blue catfish take bottom-fished pieces of gizzard shad fillets from just below Wilson Bridge down to the Greenway Flats dropoffs. Poor weather will hurt the bass hunters.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (.) — Nothing doing yet. There will be some rockfish around the mouth at the Lighthouse Lumps, but current weather conditions aren’t helping.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — Bass have been biting nicely over just about all the creek’s emerging grass beds. Four-inch-long red finesse worms, Baby 1-Minus crankbaits and lipless rattle baits have done well.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (..) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) will give up a few catch-and-release bass and keeper sunfish. St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road) is good for bass, crappies and sunfish.

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 see a drop in bass and panfish activity because of the weather changes.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (..) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Colder weather will drive bass into deeper layers of water and hence make them tougher to find. Crappies love a live minnow in any cove where waterlogged brush and rocks are found.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (…) — The upper river around Hill’s Bridge and beyond will have white perch taking worms baits or small spoons and spinners. In the lower saltwater parts around Solomons, the charter boat captains are doing practice runs for trophy stripers. We’re talking catch-and-release fishing, and the professional captains are finding some action.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (..) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County), ranger Smokey Davis said, “The bass bite remained very good this past week. Three fish weighing over six pounds each were brought into the marina. Each was caught on a different lure: spinnerbait, lizard and jig. The bass are staging in six to seven feet of water near their spawning grounds, and the crappies are beginning to show some interest in medium minnows fished under a bobber. The catfish and bluegill bite is still slow mainly because no one is really fishing for them.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (..) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Bass and crappie chances have improved, but colder weather will hurt this weekend.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (…) — DNR biologist John Mullican reports water levels continue to fall on the upper river. Water temperatures are in the mid-50s, and the walleyes are spawning. Smallmouth bass are biting. They like spinners, grubs, tubes and small crankbaits.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — The DNR says bass and pickerel are biting, with the water temperatures hovering in the mid-40s. The weekend weather will not help; even a chance for snow was forecast. Look for bass around floating docks and in deepwater coves.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — A few big stripers are hooked on the Flats and on the inside of the river mouth, while largemouth bass have been cooperating among fallen trees along the river shoreline. Shad should be available in Deer Creek — if not today, perhaps early next week. Warmer weather is needed.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (..) — Ken Lamb of the Tackle Box store in Lexington Park said a waterman, Tommy Courtney, caught the first croaker this year in the lower Potomac’s Cornfield Harbor area Monday. Alas, the 14-inch croaker was in his pound net. Hopefully, more croakers will avoid the net and come upriver soon. Lamb also said that catch-and-release trollers are hooking plenty of rockfish, most of them in the slot about 36 inches, but there have been some in excess of 41 inches. The trophy season opens April 21.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (..) — In the lowest portions of the bay, flounder can be caught around the third island of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, as well as over on the Eastern Shore side of the bay (not the ocean). Closer to the Northern Neck, expect trophy stripers that need to be released.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (..) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Upper river bass anglers might find a few fish, but the colder weekend weather will hurt. Red Bridges area shows white perch.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (..) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) Just below Snow Hill, where spatterdock is now coming up and plenty of flooded branches and brush are found, the bass like a Manns Baby 1-Minus or a short junebug or red plastic worm. White perch are seen around Snow Hill and above.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) Marshyhope Creek bass fishermen get a bite now and then, but this place has seen better days. Use soft plastics and shallow crankbaits around brush, flooded pilings or emerging water weeds.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Some bass fishermen swear this lake is on “fire” because they’re getting so many strikes from the largemouths. Add good crappie chances and some fat walleyes and this could be the place to be if the wind doesn’t howl this weekend.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) Upper river smallmouth catches are possible in shallow water. Hickory shad are in the Fredericksburg sector and can be caught up and down the Route 1 bridge sector. Large blue catfish are hooked below Port Royal, and white perch are moving upriver from Portobago Bay toward Port Royal and fat females will be heading upstream to Fredericksburg any day now.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (..) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Crappie fishing has been okay as white grubs or darts under a bobber can connect in sunken brush. Bass will look at a short finesse worm in red.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (..) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Not super for bass, but it can be worth a try. Crappies are turning on.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake specialist Marty Magone says that the bass have been biting closer to deep water-surrounded points. “Water levels have been high, and upper lake water temperatures are a little colder from the Kerr Lake runoff, so the shallow bite has slowed some. In two separate trips we managed 20-plus bass. My big fish was a 51/4-pounder. Our bass struck crankbaits and jigworms.”

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Water levels are still high. Flooded brush holds bass and crappies. Some stripers are taken up around Nutbush Creek.

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (…) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish deliver the goods in the Dutch Gap area, while white perch are seen at the Richmond fall line.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (…) — (Williamsburg area) Good catches of bass are possible from near the river’s junction with the James River, upstream toward Walker’s Dam where some perch are available.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (…) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville stretch will turn up some action. Front Royal’s Dick Fox says, “The river is in great shape, and the fishing can be good.” Before the colder temperatures arrived, Fox did three trips and caught smallmouth bass up to 17 inches on tubes and crankbaits. Fox also said that of the 40 smallmouths he has let go, not one showed signs of illness. Yet, the reports of dying or sick bass continue.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (..) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Colder weather has slowed bass fishing, but a few rockfish are hooked down around the “S” curve.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (..) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Smallmouth bass are available, and they like grubs, tubes and Zoom flukes.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (…) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Water temperatures in the inlet and the surf have been in the 40s. Rumors of stripers having been hooked in the surf are swirling about. The resort city’s headboats find offshore tautogs, but if the wind blows, there’s a chance the boats won’t go out.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association says fellow club member Kim Rideout took Yorktown fisherman Rick Wineman into the deep offshore parts east of Virginia Beach, and before the day ended Wineman caught a 19-pound, 14-ounce blueline tilefish that will be a state and world record. Now that Virginia has an 181/2-inch minimum size for flounder, not many are hooked on the Atlantic side of the Eastern Shore, but on the bayside limit catches of the flat fish are taken, especially from Buoy 36A to Plantation Light, as well as the third island at the Bay Bridge-Tunnel. For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/422-5700.


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