- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2009

More flounder are moving up the Chesapeake Bay and into its rivers, albeit at a slow pace, Virginia charter fishing captain Billy Pipkin said. They have been holding in the Cell area of the Virginia parts of the Bay, on the Eastern Shore side. Most productive has been a stretch of water between Buoys 41 and 42, a good distance east of the Rappahannock River. The Rappahannock’s mouth, incidentally, also gives up flounder.

Flounder bites are possible on the shoals at Smith Point, a spot that has turned up flatfish up to 20 inches long over the past two weeks. Pipkin says most drop-offs adjacent to flats along the mouths of rivers and creeks will produce flounder this time of year.

If you do some live-baiting around the abutments and rock piles of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, you’ll connect on flounder. Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association said, “There will be some big flat fish caught this week as the best flounder anglers in the Bay will gather Saturday to compete in the Flounder Bowl.” Check out www.pswsfa.com/FlounderBowl and also go to www.daremarina.com to see what the entry fees and regulations are.

As you enter the Maryland portions of the Bay, flounder are found by bait drifters in the lower Potomac River, from the Cornfield Harbor section to the ledges and drop-offs of the river between Piney Point and St. George’s Island.

Some flounder have been caught near and in the mouth of St. Jerome’s Creek, north of Point Lookout, and also inside the Patuxent River.

As far as the croaker fishing is concerned, in the Virginia stretches of the Bay you’ll find action from Windmill Point (Rappahannock River) north to Smith Point, then across the Bay in the lower Tangier Sound, also at Buoy 72A (especially after sunset), and in the lower Potomac, Patuxent, Choptank, even the Chester River’s Love Point area.

The Patuxent has been especially productive, with rockfish taking live-lined spot under the Solomons Bridge, spot roaming all over the lower river, croakers biting at the mouth of Cuckolds Creek and other drop-offs and channel areas. Meanwhile, rockfish are falling for live-lined spot from above the Bay bridges down to the Gas Docks and even the Point Lookout State Park Pier. Trollers also do well and ever-increasing numbers of 2- to 3-pound bluefish let their presence be known whenever they tear a trolled Sassy Shad lure in two.

Occoquan ready for action - Smokey Davis, the ranger at the Fountainhead Park area of Occoquan Reservoir, reported: “The water has cleared up nicely and as a result the bass bite has improved dramatically. Last weeks Fountainhead Bass Club Tournament had 30 boats participating and most of them caught six-fish limits. The winning weight was 16.89 pounds. Buzzbaits produced well early in the morning but [that ended when] the sun came up. A few quality fish were taken on crawdad-color crankbaits. Crappies are still plentiful around beaver dams and blowdowns. Use a medium minnow under a sliding bobber. Catfish prefer chicken livers or cut bait and some fine bluegills are being taken on meal worms or crickets.

Upper rivers should deliver - After weeks of rain and discolored water, the mountain rivers, including the upper Potomac, Rappahannock, James, Shenandoah and Susquehanna should settle down and deliver smallmouth bass by Saturday. No such worries concerning the upper tidal Potomac River between Washington and western Charles County. The largemouth bass fishing can be outstanding in spite of the numerous run-and-gun tournament boats that are out on the river every weekend.

His first flounder - Fenwick Trimble, 6, who lives in Virginia Beach visited a namesake fishing spot in Delaware with his father, Jim. They fished the Fenwick Ditch, drifting with live minnows, when little Fenwick latched onto an 18 1/2-inch flounder - his first ever. Good show, Fenwick.

c 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] Also check out Mueller’s Web site weekend fishing report and his Inside Outside blog at www.washingtontimes.com/sports.

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