[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] the large chopper blues are migrating out to the ocean and the small snappers are making their way north from Point Lookout. Some areas are already experiencing the small bluefish invasion. Just a week ago, it was difficult to catch more than a few fish at Chesapeake Beach. Now there are bluefish here in huge numbers, mixed with a few jumbo spot, sea trout and black drum. In the Lower Bay, anglers continue to load up on small blues inside the mouth of the Potomac, and larger fish are roaming the deep water near the Middle Grounds.
Ed Leffon of University Park, Maryland hit the jackpot in the Deal Fishing Tournament on Doug Kolb's Fannie-K. Leffon's 18-pound 8-ounce bluefish won him $369, and a matching amount was donated to Children's Hospital. The largest trout taken in the tournament was a whopping 16-pound 4-ouncer landed by Greg Morrison of D.C. The tournament runs through the summer, and each month half the prize money goes to a local charity. WHAT'S THE CATCH WASHINGTON AND VICINITY POTOMAC -- Catfish still dominate most of the fishing activity, says Ray Fletcher at Fletcher's Boat House. However, if you're entered in Ray's Catfish Tournament, this could be an asset. The largest cattie entered is still just over 13 pounds. It's not unusual to see several 15-pound or larger catfish caught in the metropolitan area during the summer. Upriver at Dam 4, smallmouth bass fishing continues to hold up well. It's true that most of the bronzebacks are small, but early- morning anglers have managed to hook up with some respectable fish. Striper fishing has been fairly good at Key Bridge for the past few weeks with fish up to 18 pounds being taken. Most anglers are now releasing their striper catches as part of a conservation effort. Guide Charlie Taylor reports bass catches have been fair at Piscataway Creek and lots of good sized channel cats are now being caught on the flats. Crankbaits and plastic worms are best for the bass and the catties are taking cut bait fished on the bottom. MARYLAND TRIADELPHIA & ROCKY GORGE -- Although severe thunder showers hit the lakes last week, the water still remains low and clear, which means tough bass fishing. Bob Griffith at Fishing and Archery Outfitters in Laurel says the few bass that are being caught are mainly undersized fish that must be released. Crappie fishing remains the same as the past several weeks: small fish and only a few keepers. The best action has been just after sunrise and stops abruptly about 10 a.m. DEEP CREEK LAKE -- Scattered catches of smallmouths are now being made in some of the deeper coves by anglers working tiny Rebel Crawfish close to the drop-offs. In addition, good catches of yellow perch are also being made in the same areas. Nightcrawlers and live minnows have been best for the perch. CONOWINGO LAKE -- Fishing has been anything but hot, says Peg Young at Glenn Cove Marina. However, one angler did manage to hook and land a four-pound largemouth in the lake last week. The upper end of the lake is a good bet for big catfish and carp. The best areas have been just below Holtwood Dam and among the islands just east of Muddy Creek Access Area. Nightcrawlers and live minnows will take the catties and the carp are hitting whole kernel corn fished on the bottom. VIRGINIA LAKE ANNA -- If you're one of those individuals that have always wanted to get into fly fishing and haven't been able to master the art, now's your chance to learn from the experts. A two-day fly fishing and fly tying clinic sponsored by Lake Anna Sporting Goods in Mineral will be held this Saturday and Sunday. Charlie Most, outdoor writer and member of the Capital Casters Club, and co-host Walt Cary will show you how to make those long casts and tie the most productive bass bugs to fish for your favorite species of fish. I'll be there also on Saturday to answer any questions you may have about both fresh and saltwater fishing along the eastern seaboard. For more information, call Pete Sprague at 703/894-4733. Meanwhile, some good-sized largemouths are still being caught despite the clear water conditions, says Delmas Moon at Sportsman's One Stop. A five-pound largemouth was taken last week by Joe Pine of Spotsylvania. Bucky Authors of Fredericksburg picked up a 10-pound channel cat while bass fishing with a plastic worm. Most of the bass seem to be holding in six to 18 feet of water, and slow retrieves seem to produce the better catches. RAPPAHANNOCK -- Striper season has finally opened for sportfishermen in the river. According to Charlie Wingard at Chesley's Sporting Goods in Fredericksburg, fishing has been excellent for the past week. Henry Carter of Fredericksburg bagged an 11-pound four-ounce striper while casting a Rebel plug, and Winnie Carter topped that with her 12-pound 12-ouncer that hit the same lure. Scattered catches of chain pickerel are also being made in the same area and a few largemouths are once again showing up just above the tideline. JAMES -- Good catches of smallmouths are still being made in the James, says Earl Coppage at Timberlake Sporting Goods in Lynchburg. The bass are hitting spinners, crankbaits and streamer flies fished in the fast water. The river is still extremely low and clear, but anglers fishing during the early morning and late evening hours report good bass catches due to the low light. SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE -- Striper fishing continues to dominate the action on this large impoundment. According to Sonny Davis at All's Hunting and Fishing, several large stripers have been checked in during the past week. Melissa Kentrolis of Roanoke hooked and landed a 23-pounder that inhaled a live shad. According to guide John Jones, the best striper action has been on dark nights. Jones recommends using both deep diving plugs and surface lures -- one will ultimately produce. Scattered catches of walleyes are also being made on the lake and Joe Harner of Staunton bagged a four-pounder while fishing with a deep diving Rebel lure. CHESAPEAKE BAY SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- When I crossed the I-95 bridge of the Susquehanna last Saturday there were only a few boats fishing the lower river. Terry Rhudy at Conowingo Bait says the fishing has been good for smallmouth bass, catfish and a few white perch. However, the best fishing has been during the early morning hours, and anglers are now concentrating their efforts on those first few hours of daylight. SUSQUEHANNA FLATS -- Good catches of largemouth bass are now being made on the flats, says Herb Benjamin of Herb's Tackle Shop. The fish are in the weed beds and taking jointed Rebel plugs cast along the edges of the drop-offs. The deep-water channels are a good bet for some large catfish -- some up to 10 pounds. Cut bait and nightcrawlers fished on the bottom will do the trick on the catties. Huge carp are also in the same areas and they will take whole-kernel corn fished in shallow water. Some will tip the scales at more than 30 pounds -- great sport on light tackle. GUNPOWDER AND DUNDEE RIVERS -- The best white and yellow perch fishing has been in the upper end of the Gunpowder near the marinas, according to Stonewall Sports on Route 40 in Joppa. Grass shrimp and live minnows have accounted for the better catches of these fish. UPPER BAY -- If you're a white perch fan, try chumming at Seven Foot Knoll with ground crabs and using small chunks of peeler crab or grass shrimp for bait. This produced fantastic catches for several anglers this past week, according to Clyde's Sport Shop. Other white perch hot spots include Craig Hill Light, Curtis Creek, Fort Carroll and the tidal ponds at Belgrove Road. Some good-sized catfish are also in the tidal ponds and they'll take peeler crab baits fished on the bottom. BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Where are the bluefish? According to Charlie Ebersberger at the Angler's Sport Center on U.S. 50, the blues seem to have evaporated and none have been caught for more than a week. Not having blues isn't anything unusual for this time of year. It's the lull that takes place when the smaller fish migrate up the bay and the larger fish migrate out to the ocean. However, good catches of white perch are being made in the Severn and Magothy rivers by anglers working the shoreline in early morning with grass shrimp and small spinners. Some of the perch will hit 12 inches but the average is closer to 8. CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- "Fishing has been fantastic," says Calvin Tyler at Tyler's Tackle Shop. Breaking schools of three- to four-pound blues have shown up within the past few days from the C&R buoy to The Gooses. Shaker Black at the Rod N Reel Dock reports the charter fleet hasn't been running those long distances to hook up with all the blues they can handle. The fish are only a few miles from the dock. The headboat Optimist has been fishing the mouth of the Choptank River with excellent results on jumbo spot, blues, white perch and some small sea trout. Bloodworms and peeler crab fished on the bottom have been the ticket to success here. SOLOMONS ISLAND -- Although bluefish still dominate the fishing scene at the mouth of the Patuxent, good catches of sea trout are now being made. Captain Bill Meadows on the El Toro has been catching a mixed bag of trout and blues while fishing just out from the mouth of the river. Captain Lou Snyder on the Julie Lynn has had similar experience fishing the same area. Within the next few weeks, trout fishing here should bust wide open. PATUXENT -- White perch fishing has been excellent at Bushwood, says Ken Lamb at The Tackle Box on Route 235 in Lexington Park. The perch are taking grass shrimp and peeler crab baits fished over the shallow oyster beds. Surf fishermen casting from the NAS pier have managed to hook up with a few blues and an occasional trout using cut bait. POINT LOOKOUT -- Nearly every day for the past two weeks, a citation-sized sea trout has been checked in at Scheible's Fishing Center. The trout are coming into the chum lines at the Middle Grounds, which have attracted thousands of three- to five-pound blues. An occasional 18- to 20-pounder has shown up, which keeps things interesting. Captain Doug Scheible on the Bay King II has started night fishing for sea trout and managing to hook up with a few weakfish and blues in the same area. Captains Phil Langley on the Tracy Ann, Paul Kellam on the Patty Lee and Eddie Davis on the Edith Rose are all fishing the mid-bay lumps and hooking up with incredible numbers of three- to five-pound blues while chumming with ground menhaden. Trollers working the same areas with surgical hose have only scored on a few fish. CAPE CHARLES -- Several anglers fished close to the Concrete Ships last week and hooked large numbers of small sea trout. These fish only averaged about 12 inches, but a few hit the two-pound mark. Don Stiles at Kings Creek Marina reports bottom fishing has been excellent and he's still catching black drum weighing up to 50 pounds at the Cabbage Patch. Flounder remain slow, but should improve within the next few weeks as the next wave migrates into the bay. ATLANTIC OCEAN OYSTER -- Only a few yellowfin tuna have been caught the past week at the 21 Mile Hill. However, if you're looking for some huge chopper blues, this is the place to fish. Captain Otis Asal on the Buccaneer last Friday didn't hook up with the tuna, but the blues were everywhere and provided lots of action. The tuna could show up any day with the ocean temperature now in the upper 60s. CHINCOTEAGUE -- Flounder fishing has been a hit or miss proposition here with the better catches only amounting to 15 fish per boat. However, blues, sharks and red drum are taking up the slack and hitting cut bait fished in the surf near Wallops Island. WACHAPREAGUE -- Bob Fate at Wachapreague Marina reports drum have shown up at the inlet and the offshore wreck fishing has been fantastic for huge tog. The Canyon Lady bagged 36 big tog in a little over an hour at one of the wrecks. Thirty of these fish were citation-sized at more than eight pounds. Just inside the inlet, snapper blues and small sea trout are hitting bucktails jigged close to the bottom. OCEAN CITY -- Flounder fishing is still rotten in the back bay, but at the mouth of the inlet, some good-sized sea trout are now being taken by anglers jigging with bucktails at the South Jetty. This can be dangerous water to fish, and unless you're familiar with conditions here, I suggest fishing with a guide. Offshore wreck catches include a few jumbo blues, tau-tog and sea bass. Shark fishing has been outstanding at the 20-fathom curve where huge makos are being caught by chumming with cut mackerel baits. The largest this season was a whopping 485-pounder taken near Baltimore Canyon. INDIAN RIVER -- The lumps and shallow structure about 15 miles out from the inlet are a good bet for chopper blues weighing up to 18 pounds. These fish are feeding on huge schools of sand eels, which are now migrating through the area. Trout fishing is still on the slow side, but you can catch all the sharks you can handle in the traditional trout spots. DELAWARE BAY -- Sea trout, blues and flounder are being caught near Brown's Shoals according to the folks at Fisherman's Wharf in Lewes. However, most of these fish are small and although catches have been fairly good, it takes quite a few fish to fill a cooler. Offshore, loads of huge chopper blues are now concentrated at the lumps about 15 miles out from Indian River Inlet. These fish will take Hoochy Trolls and jumbo Sassy Shad weighted with a two-ounce head.