What's the Catch?

Washington & Vicinity

POTOMAC RIVER -- Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said the river's upper reaches are choked with aquatic vegetation, flows are at record lows, but fishing at some locations remains good to excellent. Penrod fished the deeper pools located near Seneca, Whites Ferry and Edwards Ferry, and caught bronzebacks up to 19 inches and similar-size walleye with tubebaits. Penrod said good largemouth bass catches were made at Smoot Bay, Washington Channel, Fort Washington Marina, Bulltown Cove, Little Hunting Creek and Gunston Cove. Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service found large numbers of bass lurking in the grass beds between Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Powell Creek. Kramer said good catches were made early and late in the day, when water temperatures were a few degrees cooler. Kramer said the secret to success is to fish the inside of the grass beds during high tide, then move to the outer edges as the tide ebbs. Plastic worms and spinnerbaits proved productive under these conditions.


SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said there were a few anglers wet-wading near Harrisburg, mainly catching small to mid-size bronzebacks from isolated pockets.


TRIADELPHIA & ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIRS -- WSSC patrol officer Ray Hohl said early morning anglers managed to set their hooks on good numbers of largemouth bass in both lakes while dunking live minnows and casting plastic worms. Hohl said channel catfish are plentiful through the area and they're taking bottom-fished night crawlers and cut baits fished along the channel edges. Panfish action is somewhat slow, likely because of higher than normal water temperatures.

LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Loch Raven Fishing Center manager Kevin McComas said white perch are stacked up at the mouths of nearly every mid-lake cove, largemouth bass are still lurking in the shallow grass beds and wooded cover and chain pickerel up to 4 pounds were caught by anglers trolling inline spinners for perch.

DEEP CREEK LAKE -- Johnny's Bait House was buzzing with activity over the weekend, especially near the fish scales. Several rainbow and brown trout in the 2- to 3-pound range, a 4-pound, 11-ounce largemouth bass, dozens of monster bluegills and several exceptionally large yellow perch were weighed in.


LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina said cooler weather during the past week triggered good to excellent striped action in the lake's upper reaches. Fauntleroy said most of the action takes place in depths ranging from 12 to 20 feet, where deep-diving crankbaits and bucktails produced limit catches of stripers up to 9 pounds last weekend. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said the few anglers that managed to find isolated pods of largemouth bass fished large plastic worms and spoons to depths of 18 feet. Wood said anglers should concentrate their efforts at deep points and creek mouths, particularly early in the day. Guide Glenn Briggs found several schools of walleye while fishing for stripers at the Route 208 Bridge and near Dike #3. Briggs trolled night crawlers and 3-inch shad early and late in the day for the walleye.

JAMES RIVER (Richmond area) -- Large numbers of catfish, some weighing nearly 30 pounds, were weighed in at Chester Ice House over the weekend. Smallmouth bass action was limited to deeper pools upriver of Richmond.

SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at Shenandoah River Trips said, "The river is about as low as I've seen it, but fishing has been fantastic." Most anglers reported outstanding catches of smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds, channel catfish up to 5 pounds and panfish action beyond belief.

Chesapeake Bay

UPPER BAY -- The Susquehanna River's flows are down to a trickle. Consequently, striper fishing has come to a complete standstill near Lapidum Landing. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop says large numbers of channel catfish were also caught in the North East, Elk and Sassafras rivers, where bottom-fished night crawlers, clam snouts and cut herring baits proved effective. Benjamin said tidewater largemouth bass action ranged from good to excellent for early morning anglers tossing small topwater lures early and late in the day, but striper fishing came to a screeching halt when water temperatures soared above 80 degrees. Clyde Blamberg at Clyde's Sport Shop in Baltimore says Love Point was still the hotspot for striped bass in the open bay, a location where chummers caught lots of undersized fish and a few keepers.

KENT ISLAND AREA -- Francis Toy at Toy's Outdoor Store said, "The croaker migrated up the bay to Worton Point and there have been a few weakfish mixed with them." Toy said bottom-fished squid strips and bait shrimp proved effective on both species.

BAY BRIDGE AREA -- John Lambert at the Angler's Sport Shop said croaker up to 19 inches were caught at Tolly's Lump, Hacketts Bar and near the Severn river's mouth at Thomas Point, with bottom-fished bloodworms, bait shrimp and squid strips producing the best action. Striper fishing near the bridges remains quite slow.

DEALE AREA -- Stormy Petrel skipper George Prenant said charters have been trolling between Bloody Point and Holland Point and catching a mix of striped bass, bluefish and weakfish on double rigged bucktails and surgical hose eels. Prenant said bottom-fishing is "prime" and most of the boats report excellent catches of jumbo spot, croaker and white perch while drift fishing near Holland Point with bloodworms, chunks of peeler crab and chunks of skinless chicken breast.

CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Keith Turner at Tommy's Sporting Goods said anglers fishing from the U.S. 50 Bridge at night caught croaker and white perch and an occasional striped bass. Downriver at Chloras Point, a few stripers were caught by plug casters and trollers working the shoreline drop-offs during ebb tide.

CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- The headboats Tom Hooker Rod 'n' Reel Dock and Lady Hooker continue to hammer huge croaker, weakfish and an occasional flounder while fishing near the Choptank River's mouth. The Rod 'n' Reel Dock charter fleet trolled bucktails and surgical hose eels between the mouth of Parkers Creek and The Radar Towers, and consistently produced a mix of stripers averaging 18 to 24 inches, weakfish up to 22 inches and bluefish up to 4 pounds.

PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said, "Rockfish are really strong for chummers. The mid-bay regions close to Buoys 72 and 72A produced plenty of rock, and not just the smaller sizes. Fish of 30 inches were quite common." Lamb said trollers fishing Patuxent's mouth with umbrella rigs caught stripers up to 20 pounds. Surf-casters found surface feeding stripers in Cedar Point Hollow Saturday night and the area also holds weakfish and croaker. A mix of croaker, weakfish, an odd cobia and a few red drum were among catches reported by anglers bottom-fishing with squid strips and bait shrimp near Buoy 74. Flounder have arrived in large numbers and sizes at Buoy 74, holding in depths of 22 feet where live minnows get their undivided attention.

POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center said the Mud Leads holds large numbers of weakfish and flounder, but if you're after rockfish and bluefish, you'll find them churning the water to foam while surface feeding at the Southwest Middle Grounds. Scheible said croaker fishing is beyond his wildest dreams, with incredible catches made during the late afternoons and evenings near Buoys 72 and 74. Upriver, near the Wicomico River's mouth, anglers are loading their coolers with croaker, spot and weakfish while fishing from rental skiffs running from Quade's Store in Bushwood.

HOOPER ISLAND AREA -- Captain Phil Gootee on the Fish Magnet chummed along the bay's eastern channel edge near Buoy 74 for stripers, where he had no trouble catching limits of 18- to 24-inch fish. Gootee later fished for croaker and weakfish at the same location, reporting excellent catches of both.

TANGIER SOUND -- The headboats Barbara Ann II and Barbara Ann III both fished lower Tangier Sound just south of the Virginia state line, where bottom-fished squid strips produced a mix of croaker, weakfish, spot and flounder during both day and evening trips. Captain Curtis Johns on the Karen Ray reported excellent bottom fishing action in upper Tangier Sound near Terrapin Sands, where croaker, weakfish and flounder dominated the action.

CAPE CHARLES -- Several citation-size cobia were weighed in at Chris's Bait & Tackle, the largest topping 62 pounds. Most of the cobia were caught at Bluefish Rock and Lattimer Shoals, mainly by anglers floating chunks of cut bunker or live spot. Anglers fishing from Kiptopeake Pier caught a mix of weakfish, croaker, flounder and spot.

Atlantic Coast

OCEAN CITY -- High winds again hampered small boat anglers, however, larger charter boats running from Ocean City Fishing Center enjoyed red hot bluefin tuna action at the Parking Lot. Ironically, most of the tuna measured above 47 inches. Inshore, flounder and croaker dominated the action behind the barrier islands.

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Headboats running from Virginia Beach Fishing Center reported excellent croaker catches while dunking squid strips just inside the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Offshore, a few boats ventured out to Norfolk Canyon where a mix of billfish, yellowfin tuna and wahoo were boated.

OUTER BANKS -- Hatteras-based boats had another tough week of windy weather, with high winds and towering waves. The few days the weather cooperated produced a mix of yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, sailfish, dolphin and wahoo. Surf anglers caught a mix of puppy drum, speckled trout, sea mullet and snapper bluefish.

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.