- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 15, 2009

If area weather forecasts deliver the cold, wind and ice as promised, the local fishing will come to a quick halt. It’s no fun to sit in a boat on a river - never mind the Chesapeake Bay - in dangerous Arctic blasts that should convince us a warm spot by the fireplace beats being on the water.

However, before the cold wave arrived, we caught a few yellow perch in the Potomac’s Nanjemoy feeder creek as several bald eagles sat up in shoreline trees and watched. It was about 30 degrees, but the wind was absent for a few hours earlier this week. Deep-water creek bends held scattered fish that didn’t mind sampling scent-laden, plastic dropshot shiners.

Meanwhile, there’s a fair chance of finding crappies in the Spoils Cove above the Wilson Bridge, but that part of the river is off-limits until after the presidential inauguration. It’s a safety measure enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Elsewhere, our friend Bob Lunsford said he got into a fair number of bass in the upper Patuxent River’s Western Branch.

“But they quit biting when the tide stopped moving,” he said.

James River blue cats possible-If you don’t mind cold weather you can hook a trophy blue catfish in the James River below Richmond. Chunks of cut bait held on the bottom with lead weights can produce blue “cats” of more than 40 pounds from the Dutch Gap area to the Appomattox River mouth. Looking for a catfish guide? Check out Eberwein’s Catfishin’ (Captain Chris Eberwein), call 804/449-6134 or visit catfishingva.com; Fat Cat Guide Service (Captain Joe Hecht), 804/221-1951 or fatcatguide.com; or James River Catfishing Guide Service (Captain Kevin Salmon) 804/991-2319 or jrcgs.com. All three are Coast Guard-licensed.

Lake Gaston still produces-Marty Magone, who lives along the shores of south-central Virginia’s Lake Gaston, said: “The past several days have been tougher, but main lake points still hold quality fish. Striper fishermen have been scoring by following the birds and baitfish on the main lake and in the creeks. The water temperatures are still in the mid-40s.”

Trout Unlimited chapter show -The National Capital Angling Show, held annually by the National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited, will be March 14 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda.

Among the speakers and fly-fishing instructors will be Mike Lawson, the renowned author of fly-fishing books and founder of Henry’s Fork Anglers fly shop in Last Chance, Idaho. Also appearing will be artist, writer and fishing activist James Prosek, who won a Peabody Award in 2003 for “The Compleat Angler,” his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, as will popular local upper Potomac River guide Mark Kovach and other fly-fishing stars. Add to this a series of indoor casting and fly-tying instructions, fly and tackle shop vendors, rod and reel sales and displays. For more detailed information visit ncc-tu.org.

Baltimore boat show coming - If you suffer from cabin fever and yearn for spring, you will want to visit the Baltimore Boat Show at Baltimore Convention Center from Jan. 21 to 25. More than 450 powerboats from personal watercraft to 45-foot luxury yachts will be there. Hundreds of exhibitors will have the latest in gear and accessories, including boat motors, electronic navigation devices, fishing tackle, nautical accessories and apparel. The show also offers contests and visits from several Ravens players (hey, gang, it’s Baltimore, not the District). There also will be fishing demonstrations and activities for children.

Admission is $10 ($5 for ages 13 to 15 and free for those 12 and under). Admission for the special preview night, Jan. 21, that will benefit the Wish-A-Fish Foundation is $20. Tickets can be purchased at the show or in advance. Free parking and shuttle services are available from Lot C at Camden Yards. For more information, visit BaltimoreBoatShow.com or call 410/649-7360.

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected] Visit Mueller’s Inside Outside blog at washingtontimes.com/sports.

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