What's the Catch?

Washington & Vicinity

POTOMAC RIVER -- Despite extremely low flows, the upper Potomac River continues to provide anglers with good to excellent catches of smallmouth bass. Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said, "The river is choked with stargrass, however, we continue to catch impressive numbers of quality, smallmouth bass." Penrod said firetiger crankbaits produced good catches of both largemouth and striped bass at Long Bridge, the Three Sisters Island, C&O Aqueduct foundations, Key Bridge and along the drop-offs in Washington Channel near Fort McNair wall. Big-mouth spinnerbaits lured largemouths from the grass beds just above Woodrow Wilson Bridge, Belle Haven Cove, Broad Creek, the pilings of Fort Washington Marina, Little Hunting Creek and Mattawoman Creek.


LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Loch Raven Fishing Center hosted a bass tournament over the weekend, which produced largemouths up to 5 pounds, smallmouths up to 4 pounds and large numbers of pickerel. Center manager Kevin McComas said white perch are plentiful throughout the impoundment's middle reaches, where inline spinners trimmed with night crawlers produced huge numbers of 10- to 14-inch perch.

DEEP CREEK LAKE -- Several exceptional fish were weighed in at Johnny's Bait House during the weekend, including an 11 1/8-inch bluegill that weighed over a pound. Shop owner John Marple also weighed in a 4-pound 12-ounce rainbow trout and a 7-pound, 14-ounce walleye.


LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina weighed in several largemouths that weighed up to 7 pounds last weekend, most of which were caught on plastic worms. Catfish are plentiful throughout the lake and crappie are schooled in deep water among bridge pilings. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said striper hot spots last weekend were Rose Valley, The Splits and Jetts Island, where trollers using Redfins and DD-22s produced linesiders up to 8 pounds when trolled at depths of 10 to 25 feet.

JAMES RIVER (Richmond area) -- Blue catfish up to 30 pounds were caught on cut herring baits and a few flatheads were reportedly caught downriver of Richmond's I-95 Bridge. Upriver, anglers fishing isolated pools with tiny topwater lures caught good numbers of smallmouth bass up to 3 pounds and an occasional walleye.

SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at Shenandoah River Trips said anglers drifting live minnows and hellgrammites caught large numbers of bronzebacks throughout the area, some weighing up to 3 pounds. Channel catfish and panfish are plentiful in the deeper pools, where bottom-fished night crawlers produced good results.

Chesapeake Bay

UPPER BAY -- Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop said 6-year-old Tony Gunzl III of Newark, Del., caught a pair of 4-pound channel catfish on cut bait while fishing the mouth of the North East River. Benjamin said crabbing remained good in the Elk River, with the best action taking place during high and ebb tides in shallow water. Small white perch, a few tidewater largemouths and catfish can be found in the grass beds of Elk and North East Rivers. Scattered catches of stripers were made by anglers casting small topwater plugs and live white perch in the rapids of the Susquehanna River, with most fish measuring from 16 to 22 inches. Clyde Blamberg at Clyde's Sport Shop in Baltimore said spot arrived at the mouth of the Chester River, Eastern Bay and Kent Narrows, where bottom-fished bloodworms produced excellent results. Fair catches of stripers to 25 inches were made by anglers drift fishing chunks of peeler crab at Key Bridge and Swan Point.

KENT ISLAND AREA -- Francis Toy at Toy's Outdoor Store said the area between Swan Point and Bay Bridges has been the hot spot for chummers, but the vast majority of the stripers were too small to keep. Scattered catches of flounder and an occasional bluefish were reported along the bay's eastern channel edge during the past few days, with most caught by chummers trying to catch stripers.

BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Fair numbers of stripers were found among the pilings of the bridges, particularly on the eastern side of the main channel. John Lambert at the Angler's Sport Shop said trollers using bucktails trimmed with green Sassy Shad produced good numbers of stripers while trolling between Sandy Point Light and Baltimore Light.

DEALE -- Captain George Prenant, skipper of the Stormy Petrel, said the Deale charter fleet reported good catches of stripers ranging from 20 to 26 inches and an occasional monster of 45 inches. Prenant said large bucktails and spoons produced the best results when trolled along the bay's western channel edge. Bluefish up to 4 pounds and weakfish up to 8 pounds were often mixed with the stripers.

CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Anglers fishing from the decks of the Choptank River's public fishing piers at night caught a mix of croaker, white perch and an occasional legal size striper. Keith Turner at Tommy's Sporting Goods said most of the stripers were taken on chunks of peeler crab, while bottom-fished bloodworms and squid strips lured perch and croaker.

CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- Rod 'n' Reel Dock dockmaster Fred Donovan said several large stripers were weighed, some of which exceeded 24 pounds, in last weekend's Solomons Pro-Am Fishing Tournament. Donovan said night fishing for croaker remained excellent.

PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said spot have moved into the mouth of the Patuxent in large numbers, where bottom-fished bloodworms produced excellent results. "Trollers and chummers catch plenty of rockfish in southern Maryland waters with prime locations being the gas docks above Cove Point and just about anywhere south of Point No Point on both the west and east side of the ships channel," Lamb said. He said Spanish mackerel and snapper bluefish have also arrived in the Solomons area, both averaging about 18 inches in length. Small spoons trolled at speeds of 6 knots or faster are required to catch the speedy mackerel.

POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center has been chumming near Point No Point Light for stripers, then traveling east of Buoy 72 and bottom-fishing for croaker and weakfish. "We're catching all the croaker and trout a person can want and there have been good numbers of big flounder mixed with them," Scheible said. Captain Paul Kellam on the Patty Lee chummed at the Southwest Middle Grounds where he found a mix of stripers, snapper bluefish, croaker, spot and flounder all at the same location. Upriver, anglers fishing the Wicomico River's mouth near Bushwood caught incredible numbers of croaker up to 19 inches while dunking squid strips. Fair numbers of spot and a few weakfish were also reported among the fish checked in at Quade's Store.

HOOPER ISLAND AREA -- Anglers fishing with Captain Henry Gootee aboard the Striker had a banner weekend setting their hooks on striped bass up to 25 inches, snapper bluefish, croaker and weakfish. Gootee was fishing northeast of Buoy 72 in 33 feet of water. Captain Mike Murphy of Tide Runner Charters fished the shallows of Bloodsworth Island and Lower Hooper Island, where he found good numbers of speckled trout and stripers. Murphy said the best catches were made on large streamer flies cast to depths averaging 3 to 5 feet.

TANGIER SOUND -- The Crisfield charger and headboat fleet fished a half-dozen locations in Tangier Sound's middle reaches, concentrating their effort along the sound's eastern channel edge. Most captains reported outstanding bottom-fishing action for croaker, weakfish, spot and flounder, with the best action during late afternoon and evening hours.

CAPE CHARLES -- A 90-pound, 3-ounce cobia was checked in at Cris's Bait and Tackle last week, one of several citation winning cobia caught at Lattimer Shoals. Just a few miles to the north at Kiptopeake, anglers drifting live minnows and squid strips caught a mix of big croaker, pan trout and keeper flounder up to 19 inches. Larger weakfish were reported among the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel's manmade islands.

Atlantic Coast

OCEAN CITY -- Captain Greg Steen on the Magic fished Poorman's Canyon last Friday and loaded up on chunky yellowfin tuna and a couple of gaffer dolphin. On Saturday, he fished the Jack Spot for bluefish. This offshore lump has been home to lots of slammer blues this spring and Greg's party battled several monsters that weighed nearly 14 pounds. Captain Don Churchill, skipper of the Second to None, also fished the Jack Spot, where his party caught a mix of slammer bluefish, Atlantic bonito and a few bluefin tuna. Inshore, striped bass up to 30 inches and weakfish up to 5 pounds were caught by anglers fishing at night from the decks of the U.S. 50 Bridge.

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported the headboat fleet was able to fish most days last week, however, the location depended on wind velocity and direction. When they fished the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, the catch consisted of pan trout, croaker and flounder. The inshore Atlantic Ocean wrecks yielded good numbers of sea bass and a few tautog. The offshore fleet ran to the southern tip of Norfolk Canyon, where catches consisted of gaffer dolphin, yellowfin tuna up to 50 pounds and an occasional wahoo.

WACHAPREAGUE -- The offshore fleet running from Wachapreague Marina fished the 26-Mile Hill, where trollers using cedar plugs and rigged ballyhoo caught a mix of yellowfin and bluefin tuna. Inshore, flounder action ranged good to excellent at both Wachapreague and Quimby inlets.

OUTER BANKS -- High winds and rough seas hampered offshore activities most of last week, however, during the few calm days the charter fleet caught large numbers of billfish, dolphin and yellowfin tuna. The tuna ranged up to 80 pounds. Inshore, surf anglers enjoyed a steady catch of puppy drum and striped bass. The stripers were released. Headboat anglers caught a mix of croaker, triggerfish and sea bass at the inshore wrecks.

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.