AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY
POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (….) — At Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461), expect shad, rockfish, catfish and a few bass. River guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) are doing exceptionally well in feeder creek coves and creek points. Some of the bass have finished spawning. Senko-style worms and jerkbaits can be terrific choices.
WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (..) — Some rental boaters out of Quade’s Store in Bushwood say they’re catching plenty of croakers; others say the fishing has been tough.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — Good bass fishing, but weekend boat traffic can put a crimp into efforts. Stick with soft plastics and grass beds, especially in the backs of coves.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (…) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) shows some catch-and-release bass and plenty of sunfish. At St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5, past Leonardtown, to Camp Cosoma Road) the crappies and bass are biting.
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) are good for bedding bass that must be released. Sunfish and catfish are hungry.
WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (…) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97, or Route 650, in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Crappies love a small minnow under a bobber, but a tiny white dart or feather jig will do as well. Bass are on the beds.
PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles (…) — The Tackle Box’s Ken Lamb says the white perch are hitting small spinners and spinnerbaits in the feeder creeks and the public fishing pier under Solomons Bridge produces croakers. There have been reports of flounder catches near the mouth.
OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (…) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County), expect the bass to be spawning, with some already done. Soft plastics do a fine job, but crankbaits and jerkbaits also work. The crappies are waiting.
BURKE LAKE: 29 miles (…) — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Some of the bass have laid their eggs, others are still sitting on the nests. Crappies are biting.
AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (…) — Good smallmouth chances on tubes, jigs and crankbaits from Knoxville down to Edwards Ferry. Catfish are hungry, too.
DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles (…) — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) says the largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has picked up on secondary points leading into various spawning coves. Use tubes, Sugar Shad lipless baits, and spinnerbaits.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles (…) — The special striper season ends at midnight. The striper fishing could have been great, but strong winds have curtailed much of it. Shad are in Deer Creek.
AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY
MARYLAND: 45-75 miles (…) — Ken Lamb at Lexington Park’s Tackle Box reports rockfish of all sizes are showing up, but he knows that strong wind and heavy seas are not helping the catches. The trophy season ends Tuesday night. When it’s calmer, anglers will find action in the bay using tandem rigs, umbrellas and daisy chains. Christy Henderson at Buzz’s Marina (www.buzzsmarina.com) on St. Jerome’s Creek said, “The striper fishing can be fantastic, but strong winds earlier this week kept some of the trollers in their marinas. Don’t forget that croakers have been caught from the Point Lookout State Park Pier and the beaches. In fact, the croakers are beginning to show up in a host of places.”
VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles (…) — Northern Neck charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (Ingram Bay Marina in Wicomico Church, www.captbillyscharters.com, call 804/580-7292) finds rockfish by the numbers and says croakers are in the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers. Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association reports big red and black drum are the hot bite now in the lower bay near the bridge-tunnel and Cape Charles. It’s good just in time for the Black Drum World Championship Fishing Tournament on May 19 and 20. An entry form can be found at the Chesapeake Angler Magazine’s Web site: www.chesapeake-angler.com/blackdrum.htm.
AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.
CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 MILES (…) — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) Upper river offers perch, bass and shad. We’re talking about upstream of Denton.
POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles (…) — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) The bass fishing has been fine. Small, shallow crankbaits and 4-inch Power Worms will score.
NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles (..) — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313, or use the Federalsburg ramp on the Marshyhope Creek) — Expect some vicious strikes from shallow water bedding bass, but many of the largemouths have finished already. Marshyhope Creek also offers crappies.
AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA
LAKE ANNA: 82 miles (…) — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Some of the bass females are done with spawning. and buck bass are hanging around the nests. Topwater poppers, jerkbaits and finesse worms will see action. Crappies are hungry. Some rockfish are hooked.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (…) The Fredericksburg portions will show shad, perch and catfish, with upper river areas giving up fair to good numbers of smallmouth bass. In tidal water, the Hicks Landing to Green Bay stretch will turn up largemouths. Croakers are down in the lowest parts.
LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (…) — (Route 793, off Route 29) Crappie, sunfish and bass catches are promised. Remember, some females are done spawning and might be a bit sluggish now.
LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (…) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Quite a few of the bass have left the beds now that they’re done with spawning chores. The crappie, sunfish and catfish bite can be good.
LAKE GASTON: 179 miles (…) — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake angler Marty Magone said, “Everybody’s fishing for the spawning bass, but there are other options. Get out early and plant yourself on any of the shallow bars in the backs of creeks. Most have baitfish on them now and with the 70-degree water temps, topwater action is fast and furious. We had one of those rare days today when they nailed everything from chug bugs to floating minnow baits. We caught over 80 bass up to four pounds.”
KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles (…) — (Route 58, Clarksville) Bass are coming off the beds and can bring the post-spawn blues, but fish can be caught. The crappies are more than willing.
JAMES RIVER: 115 miles (…) — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) Blue catfish and some fat rockfish are in the upper tidal river.
CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles (…) — (Williamsburg area) Bass, perch, crappies and sunfish are taken clear up to Walker’s Dam.
AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA
SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — The Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville stretches can be good for bass, says Front Royal’s Dick Fox. He likes tubes and small crankbaits.
SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles (…) — (Route 122, east of Roanoke) Bass catches have been good. Many largemouths are sitting on beds in coves and on shallow points.
UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles (…) — (Route 6, south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Expect good fishing for smallmouth bass this weekend unless heavy rains visit again.
AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN
MARYLAND: 153-175 miles (..) — (Route 50 to Ocean City) The wind has made fishing a chore, but besides small sharks the surf crowd is finding a few rockfish. Offshore headboats will locate tautogs. If all goes right, expect a few flounder to jump on drifted shiners.
VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach (…) — International Game Fish Association representative Julie Ball has applied for a women’s world record in the 12-pound test line division with a 14-pound, 14-ounce tautog she caught in the offshore waters east of Virginia Beach. She and some friends also found good numbers of fat sea bass. Eastern Shore flounder catches can be good if the wind doesn’t blow so hard. For charter boats, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/422-5700.
Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: email@example.com.