What's the Catch?

Washington & Vicinity

POTOMAC RIVER -- Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said despite last weekend's rains, levels in the river's upper reaches remain low, but fishable. Guide Butch Ward found lots of smallmouth bass lurking in the deeper pools of Whites Ferry, Edwards Ferry and Seneca, locations where buzzbaits lured fish up to 3 pounds. Washington Channel and Pentagon Lagoon were both good bets for weekend anglers who didn't mind the rain. Good catches of both stripers and largemouths were reported at both locations. Penrod said the deeper coves and ledges of Smoot Bay, The Spoils, Piscataway Creek and Pomonkey Creek provided good to excellent largemouth bass action for those casting plastic worms and shallow running crankbaits during high and ebb tides. The week's largest bass was a hefty 6 pounder caught in Mattawoman Creek just above Slavin's Launch Ramp, however, the largest concentration of fish is in the grass beds of Nanjemoy Creek. Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said the mouth of Chopawamsic Creek, Aquia Creek, Blue Banks and Wades Bay were all extremely productive over the weekend.


SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said, "The river is down to less than 5,000 cubic feet per second, which is nothing more than a trickle at some wider locations. You can still fish the deeper pools and there are lots of bronzebacks in each of them." Kramer says to be successful, anglers must approach the pools quietly and make long casts.


LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Loch Raven Fishing Center played host to a youth fishing event last weekend. Despite high winds and rain, the contingent of more than 100 youngsters all caught large numbers of white perch, sunfish, chain pickerel and a few largemouths.

DEEP CREEK LAKE -- Large numbers of exceptional fish were checked in at Johnny's Bait House, including a 6-pound northern pike, 3-pound, 12-ounce walleye, several large rainbow trout and dozens of monster bluegills ranging up to 12 inches.


LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina reported excellent largemouth bass catches for weekend anglers. Chris Holmes of Fort Washington boated a 5-pound, 9-ouncer that slammed a plastic worm. The week's largest bass -- a 6-pound, 14-ounce largemouth that inhaled a live shad -- was caught by Dave Atwood of Orange, Va. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said if you're looking for stripers, you'll find them near the Route 208 Bridge and the mouth of Contrary Creek. Trollers using Redfins and DD-22s are scoring best, but live shad seemed to produce the largest fish.

JAMES RIVER (Richmond area) -- Catfish remain plentiful downriver of Richmond's I-95 Bridge, where cut herring baits lured catties up to 39 pounds.

SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at Shenandoah River Trips said despite low water, smallmouth bass, large sunfish and mid-size catfish were plentiful in the deeper pools. Live bait produced the best action.

Chesapeake Bay

UPPER BAY -- Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop said largemouths are plentiful in the Elk River, where live shiners produced bass up to 5 pounds. Mike said channel catfish are big and they seem to be everywhere you drop a chunk of bait. Cut herring and bottom-fished night crawlers produced good results in the Elk, North East and Lower Susquehanna Rivers. Trollers using small, red surgical hose eels in the lower Susquehanna River caught fair numbers of barely legal stripers and lots of throwbacks. Live white perch tossed into the tailrace waters of Conowingo Dam produced fair numbers of stripers up to 5 pounds. Crabbing remains good in the Elk River's lower reaches, where trotliners and chicken neckers managed to catch a couple dozen mediums per boat with just a few hours of effort.

KENT ISLAND AREA -- Francis Toy at Toy's Outdoor Store said chummers at Love Point caught large numbers of stripers, some measuring more than the 18-inch minimum. Similar results were reported by anglers fishing near Cliff City in the Chester River. Toy said the upper bay is loaded with small white perch, fair numbers of channel catfish and even a few flounder. "We have a mix of just about everything and when the weather's not too windy, you can enjoy some pretty good fishing."

BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Rob Jepson at the Angler's Sport Shop reported good catches of stripers while trolling along the bay's eastern channel edge between Love Point and the Bay Bridges. White perch are still congregated among the bridge pilings in depths ranging from 10 to 20 feet.

DEALE -- Captain George Prenant, skipper of the Stormy Petrel, said the Deale charter fishing fleet continues to catch limits of medium-size stripers while trolling south of the Radar Towers. Prenant said bottom-fishing action for croaker, weakfish and flounder was best during the late afternoon and evening hours.

CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Keith Turner at Tommy's Sporting Goods said anglers fishing from the U.S. 50 Bridge fishing piers are mainly fishing after sunset. When the sun dips below the horizon, croaker, white perch, snapper bluefish and small stripers become quite active among the bridge supports.

CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- Fred Donovan at the Rod 'n' Reel Dock said most of the striper catches were made between the Stone Rock and The Gooses and fair numbers of bluefish up to 3 pounds were mixed with the rockfish. Croaker fishing is outstanding and patrons fishing aboard the Tom Hooker caught croaker up to 17 inches.

PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said, "Good catches of flounder were reported this week, highlighted by local angler Bill Cherix's catch, a flattie measuring 23 inches that was caught between Buoys #74 and #76. Best baits were live minnows, cut spot, squid, and peeler crab. Mid-size weakfish are mixed with croaker near the `PR` bell buoy at Cedar Point and they'll take the same baits." Lamb said shorebound anglers fishing from the Naval Recreation Pier caught huge numbers of croaker at night, however, the action didn't get under until 3:00 a.m. last Saturday. Stripers are plentiful for trollers and chummers. Local angler Bill Heaton trolled the Patuxent's mouth, catching a mix of rockfish, bluefish, and trout.

POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center said Laurel resident Gordon Fell was fishing aboard the Bay King II when a monster fish moved into the chum slick and slammed his cut menhaden bait. After a tough battle, he boated a 51-inch, 38-pound cobia. Scheible says bottom-fishing ranged good to excellent at the Northwest Middle Grounds, where a mix of croaker, weakfish, flounder and striped bass were congregated.

HOOPER ISLAND AREA -- Captain Henry Gootee, skipper of the Striker, fished for stripers east of Buoy 72, a location where chumming with ground menhaden produced stripers from 18 to 36 inches. Gootee said croaker up to 18 inches and similar-size weakfish were also lurking at the same location.

TANGIER SOUND -- The Crisfield charter fleet is having a phenomenal season for croaker, weakfish and flounder, all of which are abundant at dozens of locations within sight of Crisfield.

REEDVILLE AREA -- Most of the Reedville charter boats are running to the Southwest Middle Grounds for stripers, however, those opting to bottom fish found all the croaker and weakfish they could handle at the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Jim Thompson at Locklies Marina said 12- to 19-inch croaker and weakfish up to 6 pounds are stacked up at the Spike Buoy and Sturgeons Bar.

CAPE CHARLES -- Cobia arrived at Lattimer Shoals, the Inner Middle Grounds and Bluefish Rock in both large numbers and sizes. Live spot, live eels and chunks of cut bunker produced cobia up to 75 pounds at all three locations on days when the weather cooperated. The bottom near The Cell seems to be paved with big croaker, flounder up to 24 inches and spadefish are stacked up adjacent to this manmade structure.

Atlantic Coast

OCEAN CITY -- Windy weather curtailed much of last week's offshore action, however, on Saturday trollers found yellowfin tuna ranging from 35 to 50 pounds at the Hotdog and Jack Spot. Slammer bluefish, some weighing 15 or more pounds, were caught southeast of the Jack Spot by trollers using surgical hose eels and Hoochies. Inshore, a mix of kingfish, striped bass, weakfish and flounder were reported in the Assateague surf and at least one black drum was taken just south of Ocean City Inlet. Stripers, flounder and weakfish were caught by pier fishermen at night.

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Red drum up to 55 pounds were caught and released in large numbers at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel's fourth Island and a few Spanish mackerel were taken at the same location. Spadefish up to 10 pounds cover the underwater supports of the Chesapeake Tower and Tower Reef, and during the past few days, amberjack up to 50 pounds arrived at these structures.

WACHAPREAGUE -- Flounder up to 5 pounds were caught behind the Coast Guard Station on Friday and good numbers of bluefin tuna arrived at the 26-Mile Hill. Unfortunately, most of the bluefins measured less than 47 inches and were released.

OUTER BANKS -- High winds and towering seas prevented anyone from venturing offshore, however, pier anglers managed to catch a mix of snapper bluefish, croaker, Spanish mackerel and a potential new record sheepshead, a fish that tipped the scales at 19 1/4 pounds.

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.