What's the Catch?

Washington & Vicinity

POTOMAC RIVER -- Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said smallmouth bass action is red hot in the river's upper reaches near Brunswick, Whites Ferry, Lander and Edward's Ferry. Penrod was tossing green/pumpkin tube baits into the deeper pools, which produced outstanding catches of smallmouths up to nearly 4 pounds. He also caught and released a 48-inch tiger musky over the holiday weekend. If you're looking to catch big catfish or possibly striped bass, Ray Fletcher at Fletcher's Boat House said there are plenty of both within sight of his boat rental facility. Ken Penrod fished Washington Channel, a location that sheltered him from the prevailing wind and provided lots of action on various sizes of striped bass and a few post-spawn largemouths. Downriver, the spatterdock beds of Mattawoman Creek continued to provide fair to good largemouth bass action on days when the weather cooperated.


SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said the deeper pools near Three Mile Island are the only areas still navigable. Guide Butch Ward fished that area over the holiday weekend and reported good catches of mid-size bronzebacks on a variety of small lures.


LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Kevin McComas at Loch Raven Fishing Center said School House, Hampton, Dead Mans and Pierce's coves all provided great catches of chain pickerel and largemouth bass. Anglers trolling the mouths of the same coves with inline spinners trimmed with night crawlers caught lots of white perch ranging from 8 to 12 inches and an occasional yellow perch up to 15 inches.

TRIADELPHIA AND ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIRS -- WSSC patrol officer Ray Hohl said largemouth bass up to 5 pounds were caught in both reservoirs by anglers casting crankbaits, plastic worms and live minnows in the stump strewn shallows. A pair of tiger muskies, both weighing more than 10 pounds, were caught at Rocky Gorge by anglers casting plastic worms for largemouth bass. White perch are plentiful throughout both impoundments, large schools of crappie are holding near beaver huts and partly submerged trees and live minnows produced good action on both species.


LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina said topwater largemouth bass action has been excellent early and late in the day, with some fish tipping the scales in excess of 7 pounds. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said guide Glenn Briggs found large stripers near Dillards Bridge, the mouth of Contrary Creek and near Dike III, locations where local angler Ed Tombs caught four fish with a combined weight of 29 pounds. Wood said the lake's largemouth bass population has migrated to deeper water. Wood recommends casting deep diving crankbaits and plastic worms 10 to 20 feet from shore and allowing them to sink to depths of 3 to 10 feet before beginning a slow retrieve.

JAMES RIVER (Richmond area) -- Jimmy Fields at Chester Ice House was kept busy weighing dozens of huge catfish, some topping 35 pounds. Upriver, smallmouth bass action seems to have improved, however, the best catches are made during the first few hours after sunrise.

KERR RESERVOIR (Buggs Island Lake) -- Hugh Hamby at Castle Heights Grocery said trollers found fair numbers of stripers lurking along the lake's channel edges, while uplake, white bass and crappie dominated the action.

SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at River Rental Outfitters at Bentonville said last weekend's smallmouth bass and panfish action was the best so far this year, with live shiners producing outstanding results.

Chesapeake Bay

UPPER BAY -- Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop said the Susquehanna River is still loaded with white perch, however, most are smaller males, averaging just 6 to 8 inches. Scatted catches of larger females were made in deeper water just above the I-95 Bridge in depths of 22 to 25 feet. Bottom-fished bloodworms and grass shrimp produced the best results. Mike said the Susquehanna Flats continue to hold good numbers of stripers, some measuring up to 32 inches. Channel catfish are plentiful throughout the area, with some fish tipping the scales at more than 5 pounds.

KENT ISLAND AREA -- Francis Toy at Toy's Outdoor Store said a few legal-size stripers were caught near the Triple Buoys by anglers chumming with ground menhaden.

BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Scattered catches of legal size stripers were made by anglers casting small bucktails and Sassy Shad among the finger pilings of the new Bay Bridge. Most ranged from 15 to 24 inches and were taken during the first few hours of ebb tide.

DEALE -- Captain George Prenant, skipper of the Stormy Petrel, said most of the Deale charter boats trolling the bay's western channel edge between the Radar Towers and Chesapeake Beach produced lots of topwater action though most of the breaking fish were too small to keep.

CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Keith Turner at Tommy's Sporting Goods said croaker dominated the weekend's action for anglers fishing at night from the Choptank River's fishing piers. Turner said fair numbers of white perch and a few stripers are also lurking among the bridge pilings. Bottom-fished squid strips produced the best results when fished during high and ebb tides.

CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- Fred Donovan at the Rod 'n' Reel Dock said most weekend charter anglers caught stripers ranging 28 to 34 inches while trolling along the bay's western channel edge between the mouth of Parkers Creek and Chesapeake Beach. Donovan said headboat anglers scored well on a mix of croaker, white perch and a few weakfish while bottom-fishing with squid strips and bloodworms near the Choptank River's mouth.

PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said, "Flounder arrived along the eastern edge of the bay's main channel between Hooper Island Light and Buoy 74. One charter captain reported catching nearly two dozen flatties ranging from 16 to 19 inches." Lamb said croaker have carpeted the bay's bottom and have also moved into most rivers to feed.

POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Paul Kellam on the Patty-Lee said excellent catches of stripers were made just south of the Virginia state line. Kellam said bottom-fishing action for croaker up to 20 inches and similar size weakfish has been fantastic, particularly at the southern tip of the Southwest Middle Grounds. Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center said bottom fishing over the holiday weekend was "beyond your wildest dreams." His catches consisted of a mix of croaker, weakfish, flounder, spot and even a few bluefish. Anglers fishing from Point Lookout State Park's public pier and causeway caught fair numbers of croaker, a few bluefish and legal size flounder.

HOOPER ISLAND AREA -- Captain Henry Gootee, skipper of the Striker, hammered monster croaker up to 20 inches, weakfish to 4 pounds and jumbo spot while bottom fishing a few miles south of Hooper Island Light. Captain Mike Murphy of Tide Runner Charters fished the shallows near Lower Hooper Island Bridge and Bloodsworth Island, locations where he found large numbers of stripers up to 24 inches, speckled seatrout and big croaker.

TANGIER SOUND -- Captain John Asanovich said anglers fishing aboard Barbara Ann II and Barbara Ann III caught a mix of big croaker, mid-size weakfish and large spot while bottom fishing near Puppy Hole Buoy.

REEDVILLE -- Captain Ferrel McLain, skipper of the Red Osprey, said chummers fished near Buoy 62 over the weekend, a location that produced excellent striped bass action and a few mid-size bluefish.

CAPE CHARLES -- Black drum ranging from 47 to 51 inches were caught along the bay's eastern channel edge by anglers fishing with Captain Gerald Dawson aboard the Carolyn-D II. Flounder have migrated inshore of the channel, most lurking in depths of 3 to 10 feet. Bottom-fished squid strips and live shiners lured flatties up to 5 pounds last weekend. Flounder pounders fishing the CBBT's Fourth Island area caught flatties to 7 pounds, weakfish to 10 pounds and even a few red drum.

Atlantic Coast

OCEAN CITY -- Barbara Baker at Delmarva Sports Center said "This has been a great weekend for fishing. We've seen a little bit of everything including a nice 15 1/2-pound rockfish caught from the U.S. 50 Bridge by Bob Spetzler of Ocean Pines while fishing with a bucktail. A 3 1/2-pound, 21-inch flounder was caught by Fred Muela of Ocean City while fishing with squid and shiners at The Thoroughfare." Bill Phelan at Shantytown Fishing Pier said anglers fishing at night caught flounder up to 20 inches, bluefish up to 4 pounds, a few big weakfish and even a few shad.

VIRGINIA PIERS -- Croaker, croaker and more croaker. Though it may be difficult to believe, some anglers have actually complained that they're having trouble catching anything other than croaker. The season's first Spanish mackerel were taken from Lynnhaven, while at Buckroe Beach, flounder up to 4 pounds and bluefish up to 10 pounds were reported on Sunday.

OUTER BANKS -- The blue-water fleet running from Hatteras and Oregon inlets reported outstanding offshore action on yellowfin tuna, dolphin and some monster wahoo. Inshore, Spanish mackerel arrived at the Nags Head piers, while surf anglers caught a mix of sea mullet, pan trout and snapper bluefish. Speckled trout were reported just inside the inlets and red drum have migrated inside Oregon Inlet Bridge.

Hear details on this week's fishing hot spot by calling Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and entering category 3474 (FISH). Fishing columnist Gary Diamond files updates weekly. The call is free wherever 202 area codes are free. From Prince William County, call 690-4110. A map of the mid-Atlantic region that identifies locations (including Loran coordinates) often mentioned in the Fish Lines column is available for $2.50 by fax or by mail. For a fax copy of the map, phone 800/945-5190 from a touch-tone phone. You will be asked to enter the number of your major credit card and the article number, which is No. 455. You will also be asked to enter the number of your fax machine. For delivery by mail, call 800/666-9329, Ext. 121, between 9 and 5 weekdays.