THE SOLOMONS Charter Captains Association will once again hold its Annual Pro/Am Fishing Tournament. This year's event takes place June 25-27 and features $92,800 in cash and prizes. For information, call 410/326-2670.
What's the Catch?
Washington & Vicinity
POTOMAC RIVER -- Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said striped bass action near Key Bridge was red hot, particularly for anglers casting surface plugs just before sundown. Trollers using firetiger crankbaits managed to hook a few stripers while trolling along the channel side of grass lines. Inside the grasses, particularly near the Fort McNair Wall, lurked fair numbers of largemouths ranging up to 5 pounds. Ray Fletcher at Fletcher's Boat House said channel catfish are plentiful throughout the District segment of the river, many tipping the scales at 5 to 8 pounds. Cut herring baits and bottom-fished night crawlers produced the best action. Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service found schools of largemouths congregated at grass beds located at the mouth of Chickamuxen Creek, Wades Bay, Aquia Creek, Potomac Creek and Nanjemoy Creek. While spinnerbaits produced the best results during high tide, plastic worms worked best during falling tide.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said "We're still catching fish, but the river is really low, measuring 3 feet at Harrisburg. We're mainly concentrating on the deeper pools and fishing hard during the first few hours of daylight."
LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Kevin McComas at Loch Raven Fishing Center said the drought hasn't affected fishing. "We're still seeing lots of chain pickerel caught from the shallows, a few big bass were caught and released last weekend, and perch fishing is excellent." McComas said anglers trolling inline spinners trimmed with a chunk of night crawler caught huge numbers of white perch and chain pickerel.
TRIADELPHIA AND ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIRS -- WSSC patrol officer Ray Hohl said plastic worms and grubs produced good to excellent largemouth bass action at both impoundments early and late in the day. Northern pike and tiger muskies were caught by anglers fishing for largemouths at Rocky Gorge and these fish were frequently mixed with undersize walleye. Cut herring baits and bottom-fished chicken livers produced great channel catfish action at both reservoirs.
DEEP CREEK LAKE -- John Marple at Johnny's Bait House spent the weekend weighing in a variety of relatively large fish. Outstanding catches include an 11-inch bluegill, 21-inch chain pickerel, 14 1/2-inch yellow perch and a 24 1/2-inch walleye.
LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina said he checked in nearly four-dozen keeper-sized largemouth bass, including a huge 8-pound, 2-ouncer caught by Billy Jackson of Bealton, Va. Most were taken on surface plugs. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said striper fishing seems to be improving, particularly near Jett Island, Rose Valley and The Splits. Most of the linesiders are taken while trolling a variety of deep-diving crankbaits. Some of the largest fish, including an 11-pounder, were taken on live shad fished about 22 feet beneath the surface. Crappie have migrated into deeper water, congregating near bridge supports in depths ranging 12 to 18 feet.
JAMES RIVER (Richmond area) -- Anglers fishing downriver of the I-95 Bridge continue to catch large numbers of blue catfish up to 36 pounds while bottom-fishing with chunks of herring.
KERR RESERVOIR (Buggs Island Lake) -- Hugh Hamby at Castle Heights Grocery said anglers trolling managed to catch a few stripers on white bucktails and crankbaits, but the best striper fishing remains below John Kerr Dam. Catfish, some tipping the scales at more than 35 pounds, can be found throughout the impoundment and crappie fishing is the best it has been in years.
SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at Shenandoah River Trips (formally River Rental Outfitters) in Bentonville said, "We're still seeing good numbers of smallmouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish caught, despite low water conditions."
UPPER BAY -- Herb Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop said, "Legal-size rockfish were caught on the upper Susquehanna River at Conowingo Dam, and in the lower Susquehanna River near Port Deposit." Benjamin said anglers fishing near the base of Conowingo Dam and from the structure's catwalk were casting live white perch into the foamy waters discharged through turbines, a technique that produced constant action. White perch remain plentiful throughout the Susquehanna River, with the largest concentration lurking near Port Deposit. Bottom-fished bloodworms and grass shrimp produced perch from 8 to 10 inches.
KENT ISLAND AREA -- Francis Toy at Toy's Outdoor Store said, "It's a hit or miss situation with rockfish." Toy said the best results were obtained while trolling half-ounce, white bucktail trimmed with chartreuse Sassy Shad. Toy said a few flounder, weakfish and bluefish were caught near Love Point, along Kent Island's Shores and just inside the mouth of Chester River. Some of the blues weighed nearly 4 pounds.
BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Scattered catches of legal stripers were made by chummers at the Dumping Grounds and The Hill, and a few larger fish were found along the bay's western channel edge. Rob Jepson at Anglers Sport Center said live eels drifted at Baltimore and Sandy Point Light lured stripers up to 18 pounds last weekend.
DEALE -- Captain George Prenant, skipper of the Stormy Petrel, said the Deale charter fishing fleet has enjoyed great trolling action along the bay's western shore in depths ranging from 35 feet to mid channel areas. Prenant said most captains caught their limit of stripers to 24 inches, an occasional bluefish up to 4 pounds and even a few weakfish while trolling small spoons and bucktails.
CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Keith Turner at Tommy's Sporting Goods said anglers fishing from the U.S. 50 Bridge fishing piers caught a mix of croaker and a few legal stripers. Downriver, at Castle Haven, bottom-fished squid strips produced a mix of croaker, weakfish and flounder.
CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- Fred Donovan at the Rod 'n' Reel Dock said trollers managed to catch stripers of various sizes while trolling small bucktails between the Radar Towers and the Gas Docks. Black drum fishing was hit or miss, but nighttime fishing for croaker was excellent.
PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said, "Good catches of big croaker were made at the mouth of the Patuxent River at Green Holly, Point patience, Kingston Hollow, Cedar Point and Hawks Nest. Croaker catches were also excellent in the bay, mainly along the eastern channel edge in roughly 30 feet of water."
POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center said bottom-fishing near the Target Ship has been incredible, particularly at night. Most anglers caught a mix of croaker, weakfish and an occasional striper. Captain Paul Kellam, skipper of the Patty Lee, chummed at the Southwest Middle Grounds and caught limit catches of stripers to 24 inches.
HOOPER ISLAND AREA -- Captain Henry Gootee, skipper of the Striker, traveled south to a lump located near the Mud Leads, a location that produced limit catches of stripers to 22 inches while chumming. He then switched to bottom-fishing with squid strips at the same location and caught limits of hefty croaker and weakfish.
TANGIER SOUND -- Tangier Sound's upper and middle reaches provided anglers with limit catches of croaker and weakfish, plus an added bonus of spot and flounder. Nearly all were caught on bottom-fished squid strips.
REEDVILLE -- Roger Wilkins at Jett's Hardware said bottom-fishing action near Buoy 62 remains good to excellent for croaker and weakfish.
CAPE CHARLES -- Cobia up to 90 pounds arrived in the shallows of Lattimer Shoals, while the channel edge near Buoy 13 was the hotspot for black drum. Red drum have been caught in the Smith Island surf, some measuring more than 50 inches. Spadefish arrived in good numbers at The Cell, with some fish weighing more than 10 pounds.
OCEAN CITY -- Windy weather plagued Ocean City's offshore fleet over the weekend, however, charter boats running to Poorman's and Washington canyons midweek found good numbers of yellowfin tuna up to 35 pounds and dolphin up to 15 pounds. Weakfish, striped bass and tautog inhabit Ocean City Inlet, with the best action on all three species taking place near sundown. Anglers fishing from the U.S. 50 Bridge caught weakfish up to 8 pounds and stripers up to 30 inches.
VIRGINIA BEACH -- Cobia up to 70 pounds were caught near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunneland Bluefish Rock by anglers fishing with live spot and cut menhaden baits. The CBBT's fourth Island was a good bet for a mix of flounder, spadefish, croaker, weakfish and Spanish mackerel. Spadefish are plentiful at the Tower Reef and Chesapeake Tower, with most fish weighing 5 or more pounds.
OUTER BANKS -- Weakfish, snapper bluefish, sea mullet, spot, croaker and a few flounder were listed among the weekend's surf catches. Anglers fishing from the piers caught a mix of Spanish mackerel, cobia and an occasional puppy drum. Offshore, yellowfin tuna and dolphin catches were rated as very good to excellent, while nearly a dozen bigeye tuna were boated on Sunday.
Hear updates on this week's hottest fishing spots by calling Post-Haste at 202/334-9000 and entering category 3474 (FISH). Fishing columnist Gary Diamond files audio reports weekly. The call is free wherever 202 area codes are free. From Prince William County call 690-4110.