Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Right after we said that the tuna fishing wasn’t all that hot last week, along came hordes of bluefin and some albacore in the offshore waters east of Ocean City. Whoever happened to be in such bluewater places as the Hot Dog or Baltimore Canyon saw action. The best results came to boats whose anglers were using a cut bait technique known as tuna chunking.

In the Chesapeake Bay, the chumming for stripers and occasional bluefish continues to be fruitful between the Gooses and several Southern Maryland hangouts, including the Middle Grounds. If you troll a small silver or gold spoon fairly high in the water, Spanish mackerel can be yours over wide areas of the Chesapeake, from the Northern Neck of Virginia clear up to Chesapeake Beach.

In the rivers, undersized rockfish mixed with occasional 18-inch-and-over keepers can be found around a number of river points, grass edges, power plant outflows and bridge abutments. The best fishing in the Potomac and Patuxent rivers occurs around dawn. After the sun rises fishing comes to a halt. During twilight, topwater chug lures, even bass buzzbaits, Rat-L-Traps, soft-bodied plastic baits such as the Zoom Fluke and Sassy Shad — will work. In the Potomac, good numbers of fish have been taken (and usually released) as far as the Route 301 bridge and areas above it. In the Patuxent, try river points and gravel bars during strong-moving tides past Benedict.

Bass anglers aren’t complaining. The tidal Potomac has been good to them from the Blue Plains treatment plant south to Charles County’s creeks. Spinnerbaits, plastic grubs and worms, even some topwater plugs or crankbaits will get the largemouth interested. For smallmouth bass fans, however, the constant threat of powerful summer rain continues to loom over weekend outings. As of today, the upper Potomac and Shenandoah rivers have been fine. In fact smallmouths and walleyes have been cooperating in western Maryland with Virginia’s Shenandoah also giving up bass.

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