- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

Reports of exceptional yellow perch catches are arriving daily, and at the head of the list is the Allens Fresh area of the Wicomico River in Maryland’s Charles County.

Shoreline anglers using shad darts under bobbers, small spinners, live minnows or grass shrimp on bottom rigs have scored nicely. The fishing has been good when the tides are right. Increasing numbers of white perch are found as well.

I had a similar experience in the tidal Potomac’s Nanjemoy feeder creek a few days ago when scattered catches of white and yellow perch were made in the upper creek portions. However, I never observed freshly laid strands of yellow perch roe to indicate that the spawning run was well under way.

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The gold-hued perch are being hooked in Virginia’s Occoquan River, and they’re due to show up across the Potomac in the upper Mattawoman Creek. Meanwhile, my La Plata neighbor, Andy Andrzejewski, was bass fishing near the Mattawoman in Chicamuxen Creek on Tuesday, and he found willing largemouth bass on crankbaits of all things.

A great perch day - Marylanders David Sohns of Arbutus and his fishing pal Tony Quintana of Jessup had a great day fishing for the spawning yellow perch in the upper Patuxent River near the Wayson’s Corner sector. The two hooked over 50 fat female perch, a good many of them approaching 13 inches.

“We had to go upriver about two miles to get into the action,” Sohns said. “We must have hit it just right.”

Occoquan bass fishing slow - Occoquan Reservoir’s Fountainhead Park ranger Smokey Davis said, “Bass remain tough to come by as the fish are still in their winter pattern. Water temperatures are between 44 and 47 degrees.”

Davis said the crappie bite has started off with a bang. Some heavy stringers of 11- to 13-inch fish have been taken on 1/16-ounce red jigs fished over deep main-lake blowdowns. The reservoir is about one foot below normal pool and slightly stained.

Lake Gaston bass perk up - Marty Magone reports that the water temperatures in south-central Virginia’s Lake Gaston are climbing into the low 50s with the largemouth bass beginning to move into the creeks.

“Jig worms have been hot, producing 16 for me in one morning in Hawtree Creek,” he said. “Large stripers are chasing schools of baitfish near the mouth of Poplar Creek, and fish up to 20 pounds are caught on hairy worm jigs.”

A hairy worm jig is a cheap version of a Maryland-style bucktail with a trailer, such as a plastic worm.

At Chesapeake’s lower end - From the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent Virginia Beach, master angler Julie Ball (www.drjball.com) reports that catch-and-release rockfish catches are possible along Bay structures and at the mouths of the feeder rivers.

“Several boats [have] reported catches on live eels near the High Rise section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel,” she said, adding that puppy drum (juvenile redfish) up to 24 inches continue to be caught in Rudee and Lynnhaven inlets.

Tautogs are available over the wrecks, some 20 miles offshore, with crabs and clams still the baits of choice, Ball said. She also said any boats that head out into blue waters and fish in depths up to 300 feet will find good numbers of big blueline tilefish and sea bass and occasionally nice grouper, blackbelly rosefish and golden tilefish.

Ken Neill of the Peninsula Salt Water Sport Fisherman’s Association said the first tuna of the year have been caught in the Atlantic. “Warmer water had shoved into the 100-fathom curve between the Cigar and the Norfolk Canyon, and the crew of the Healthy Grin ran out to check it out,” Neill said. “They found 100-pound class bluefin tunas.”

Antique arms show - The annual Baltimore Antique Arms Show, sponsored by the Maryland Arms Collectors Association, will be held March 21-22 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds Cow Palace in Timonium. Exhibitors from across the United States, Canada and Europe will have more than 1,000 tables filled with antique arms and accoutrements for display and sale. Admission is $10 on March 21 and $5 on March 22. For more information, go to www.baltimoreshow.com or call 301/865-6804.

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] Mueller’s Inside Outside blog can be found at www.washingtontimes.com/sports.

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