- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 27, 2007

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (..) — At Fletcher”s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; call 202/244-0461) the usual summertime fare greets anglers even if summer is over. There are catfish and a few bass in warm water. Downstream things are not a whole lot better. From the District into western Charles County’s creeks and over into the Virginia feeders, the bass fishing has seen slight improvements, but the fishing still isn’t what it should be. That will change when cooler nights and days arrive for good, even though during the coming water weed die-offs the fishing will switch from milfoil and hydrilla beds to sunken wood and rip-rap walls. Farther down the river, Lexington Park’s Ken Lamb reported that rockfish and blues are plentiful for live-liners and trollers in the lower portions approaching Point Lookout. Flounder are hooked in Cornfield Harbor.

WICOMICO RIVER: 55 miles (..) — Spot, perch and a few rockfish are available, but there are few croakers. Rental boaters should check with Quade’s store in Bushwood (301/769-3903).

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles. (.) — Slowly improving bass catches are noted, but the fishing is not super. Catfish, however, love bottom-fished clam necks in the creek channel.

SO. MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (..) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6 east of La Plata) is showing an algae bloom that covered the entire lake last week. Fish catches dropped dramatically. St. Mary’s Lake (south on Route 5 past Leonardtown to Camp Cosoma Road) continues to deliver the goods with bass, sunfish and crappies being caught.

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) need prolonged soft rainfalls, but even now there’s a good chance for bass and catfish, as well as bluegills.

WSSC RESERVOIRS: 20-30 miles (.) — (Triadelphia, off Route 97 or Route 650 in Montgomery County; Rocky Gorge, off Route 29 in Montgomery County) Rocky Gorge can be fished from shore but not with a boat that requires a launch ramp during these days of dam repair work. For a work progress report, call Brighton Dam’s visitor center, 301/774-9124. Triadelphia’s Green Bridge Road ramp is open, but water levels are down 10 feet or more because of the drought. The fishing has been awful.

PATUXENT RIVER: 25-60 miles () — Anglers Andy Croley and Bernie Scheiner trolled between Cedar Point and buoy 77. “We used Clark spoons and surgical tubes [and] caught the limit on bluefish and two rockfish,” Croley said. Meanwhile, the Tackle Box’s Ken Lamb reported, “I’ve heard of trout up the Patuxent at Buoy 18. They were caught on peeler crab by bottom fishermen and average 14 to 16 inches.” If it’s large spot you want, Lamb said the hot location is the mouth of the river, where bloodworm pieces do a number on them. He also said hardheads are still available.

OCCOQUAN RESERVOIR: 25-30 miles (..) — At Fountainhead Park (Route 123, Fairfax County) ranger Smokey Davis reported, “Extremely low water conditions have made launching a boat a challenge. Bull Run Marina can only handle canoes or kayaks; the Lake Ridge ramp is closed and the ramp at the marina at Fountainhead is completely out of the water. However, bass can be found off main lake points if you use plastic worms. Large crappies are being caught on small minnows in deep blowdowns.”

BURKE LAKE: 29 miles () — (Ox Road, Route 123, Fairfax County) Crappie and bass are stirring. Fishing can be fairly good, but rain is sorely needed.

AREA 2: CENTRAL, WESTERN MD.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER: 35-100 miles (..) — DNR biologist John Mullican said the river continues to be very low. “Low, clear water combined with heavy vegetation growth has made fishing very tough,” Mullican said. But he agrees that smallmouth bass can be caught with topwater lures and small plastic worms.

DEEP CREEK LAKE: 179 miles () — Lake guide Brent Nelson (240/460-8839) is finding smallmouth and largemouth bass in grass, rocks and under floating docks. Some walleyes are beginning to cooperate.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER: 65-100 miles () — The DNR’s Keith Lockwood said river and flats fishermen find bass action despite low water flows. “The extensive grass beds of the flats are starting to break up,” he added. That makes for tough fishing.

AREA 3: CHESAPEAKE BAY

MARYLAND: 45-75 miles () — From St. Jerome’s Creek in St. Mary’s County, Christy Henderson (www.buzzsmarina.com) reported, “The smallest bluefish we saw this week were in the 7-pound range, and 8- to 10-pounders were common. The oyster sanctuary outside of Point Lookout’s fishing pier has been a big producer. Deadly Dick and Hopkins spoons are best for the bluefish. The mouth of our creek has turned up flounder, rockfish and blues. The Southwest Middlegrounds during the full moon turn up 8- to 10-pound blues. Point Lookout State Park anglers got several 19- and 20-inch flounder on night crawlers.” From the Tackle Box in Lexington Park, Ken Lamb reported a possible state record Spanish mackerel of 10½ pounds. It was caught by local angler Kevin Bantista, who trolled a Clark spoon last weekend off Point Lookout. Elsewhere up and down the bay it’s bluefish, rockfish and Spanish mackerel time. Good fishing is had if the wind isn’t howling.

VIRGINIA: 75-150 miles () — In the Northern Neck, charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin (www.captbillyscharters.com) finds Spanish mackerel and scads of bluefish. The fishing is wonderful. From Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association down around Virginia Beach comes word about the fall rockfish season. The bay season will open Oct. 4 with two fish a person allowed. There will be a no-take slot limit between 28 and 34 inches, but one of your two fish can be more than 34 inches. From Dec. 10 to 31 you will be allowed only one fish a person. That fish may be either under or over the no-take slot limit. Neill also said flounder are being hooked along the Baltimore Channel and around some of the wrecks in the bay. Norfolk spot seem to be biting everywhere, with the lower James River particularly productive. Flounder are found at the Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

AREA 4: EASTERN SHORE/MD.

CHOPTANK RIVER: 120 miles () — (Route 50 east to Cambridge) The mouth of the river delivers bluefish, stripers and even an occasional Spanish mackerel. Inside the river expect white perch, spot and juvenile rockfish.

POCOMOKE RIVER: 140-170 miles () — (From Snow Hill down to Shad Landing) The cool weather didn’t last long, but it promises to return this weekend. Bass catches will be fine.

NANTICOKE RIVER: 120 miles () — (Sharptown ramp off Route 313 or use the Marshyhope Creek ramp outside Federalsburg) Rockfish have been found up and down the Nanticoke’s marsh banks and channel ledges up toward Vienna, but the upper river’s bass catches again took a dip. Rain and cooler temps are needed.

AREA 5: CENTRAL VIRGINIA

LAKE ANNA: 82 miles () — (Route 208, Spotsylvania County) Good deep-water catches of bass are reported by fans of Carolina-rigged worms. Crappies are starting to wake up a bit now. Live minnows are best, but tiny darts and jigs under a bobber will work around brush piles and boat docks.

RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: 47-100 miles (..) The upper river is slow for waders seeking smallmouth bass. The tidal parts below Fredericksburg give up a few largemouths in the Hicks Landing sector, but overall numbers of bass are low.

LAKE BRITTLE: 59 miles (..) — (Route 793 off Route 29) It’s slow going for all species except sunfish.

LAKE ORANGE: 75 miles (..) — (Concessionaire: 540/672-3997; look for left turn sign on Route 20 before entering town of Orange) Catfish will take a bottom-fished liver or clam neck bait. Bass catches are way down. Crappies should begin to cooperate.

LAKE GASTON: 179 miles () — (Route 46, Gasburg) Lake reporter Marty Magone said, “Main lake grass points between Holly Grove Creek and Smith Creek produce nice bass up to five pounds. Topwater lures and spinnerbaits are the lures of choice. Striper activity has slowed, but early risers still score with hairy jigs on main lake humps.

KERR RESERVOIR: 185 miles () — (Route 58, Clarksville) Bass, crappies and catfish can be caught, but this lake needs water — lots of it. Come on rain!

JAMES RIVER: 115 miles () — (Tidal Richmond area and downstream) The lowest parts of the river are alive with jumbo spot, but toward the Richmond area it’s all blue catfish. Some of them are whoppers.

CHICKAHOMINY RIVER: 135 miles () — (Williamsburg area) Fair bass chances exist now, plus outstanding catches of catfish.

AREA 6: WESTERN VIRGINIA

SHENANDOAH RIVER: 75-85 miles (..) — (Route 340, Front Royal, Luray and Bentonville areas) Rain is needed, but a few bass and sunfish are hooked.

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE: 210 miles () — (Route 122 east of Roanoke) Finesse worms on drop-shot rigs or Carolina-rigged worms will find bass action around parched lake points.

UPPER JAMES RIVER: 130 miles () — (Route 6 south of Charlottesville, Scottsville) Smallmouth bass anglers complain about low water and how everybody up here could use a steady rain to perk up the fish. However, some bass are taken on Zoom flukes.

AREA 7: ATLANTIC OCEAN

MARYLAND: 153-175 miles () — (Route 50 to Ocean City) Bluefish sometimes tear up the waters of the Ocean City In let, and with a little luck you might find a keeper flounder behind the Ocean City skyline. Don’t wait, though. Time is running out. The surf might give up a channel bass (redfish), rockfish or blue now, while offshore boaters have had to endure strong wind. That will slow down, and tunas, sharks and dolphinfish will be available in the distant waters.

VIRGINIA: 210 miles to Virginia Beach () — Julie Ball said cobias are a possibility but not for long. The big deal is the “Run of the Bulls” as large red drum migrate down the Eastern Shore. Surf and pier anglers have a chance to hook one of these prized fighters. Puppy drum up to 27 inches are in the surf at Sandbridge, with speckled trout being hooked inside Rudee Inlet. Spanish mackerel, false albacore and king mackerel might be hooked at the Chesapeake Light Tower. Good billfish action will bring boaters to offshore waters. Yellowfin tuna are possible, with some pushing 70 pounds. For more information go to www.drjball.com. For charters, call the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, 757/491-8000.

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

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