THE Maryland Department of Natural Resources stocked approximately 57,000 rainbow and brown trout in Maryland's designated trout streams, 7,000 more than the program stocked last year. Some are holdover fish, which average a half-pound apiece and measure 12 or more inches in length. Because of lower than normal stream flows, most were stocked in larger lakes, ponds and rivers. A complete list of the stocked streams is available on the DNR's Web site at www.dnr.state.md.us What's the Catch?
Washington & Vicinity
POTOMAC RIVER -- Guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited said, "The water temperature dropped below 60 degrees, the river is clear and flows are somewhat above normal, but very safe." Penrod said dislodged aquatic grasses continue to hamper fishing to some degree, but that he found good numbers of exceptionally large bass weighing up to 5 pounds lurking in the deeper pools of Whites Ferry, Edwards Ferry and Lander. The fish were found holding tight against the rock-strewn bottom, where Cabin Creek tube lures rigged to 1/8-ounce leadheads proved extremely effective. Downriver, the Potomac's tidal reaches continue to provide good to excellent catches of both striped and largemouth bass, particularly in Washington Channel and along the drop-off near Fort McNair Wall. Stripers and largemouths were also congregated downriver of the Blue Plains Treatment Plant and beneath some of the docks along the Alexandria waterfront. Penrod said you would find significant numbers of both stripers and largemouths lurking among the chunks of concrete at The Spoils and anywhere there is a partly submerged rock pile, jetty or tree. Penrod and guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said they anticipate that the bass and striper action will hold up well into winter.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- Guide Bill Kramer of Potomac Guide Service said, "The river is still low, but we're catching good numbers of smallmouths in the deeper pools near Three Mile Island."
LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Kevin McComas at Loch Raven Fishing Center said this is the last full week that the fishing center will be open, though it will remain open on weekends until the end of November. McComas said a 14-pound hybrid striper was taken by an angler fishing for crappie with live minnows with an ultralight spinning outfit armed with 4-pound test line. Additionally, several northern pike of a similar size were also caught by anglers dunking live minnows and casting deep-diving crankbaits for largemouth bass. While crappie fishing from Dulaney Valley Road Bridge remains fairly good, most of these fish are still too small to keep. The larger crappie should move in when water temperatures dip below 50 degrees.
LAKE ANNA -- Dave Fauntleroy at Anna Point Marina said some of the season's best crappie action is currently taking place among the branches of partly submerged trees, shallow brush piles and bridge pilings. Local anglers dunking live minnows caught slabsides weighing more than 2 pounds last weekend, which is exceptionally large for this particular species. Most of the bass seem to have migrated into the shallows to fatten up for the ensuing winter. Carlos Wood at Highpoint Marina said bass can be found roaming in depths of 2 to 4 feet where shallow running crankbaits and spinnerbaits produced largemouths up to 4 pounds. Striped bass action remains good in the lake's upper reaches, where trolled Redfins and Sassy Shad lured fish up to 24 inches.
SHENANDOAH RIVER -- Trace Noel at Shenandoah River Trips said, "Water temperatures have finally fallen below 60 degrees, but weekend anglers caught lots of big bass." Noel said this would be the last weekend the facility will be open for rentals until next spring.
UPPER BAY -- Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop said high winds and bone-chilling temperatures preempted any possibility of fishing last weekend. However, before the winds, a few stripers were caught in the North East and Elk Rivers, mainly by anglers casting Atom Poppers on the Susquehanna Flats. Reinert Kilbirth of Charlestown, Md., caught a 30-inch, 11-pound striper on a topwater lure. Scattered catches of channel catfish were made by shorebound anglers throughout the area. Greg Kaufman at Sarge's Market said striper fishing improved in the Bohemia River, mainly near the bridge. The same holds true for the Sassafras River. Antwonette Parsons weighed in a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth caught in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal's Chesapeake City Basin.
BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Rob Jepson at the Angler's Sport Shop said scattered catches of stripers were made among the bridge pilings, while inside the Severn River near Little Round Bay, good numbers of small weakfish were found schooled along the channel edge. White perch are plentiful beneath most of the piers, where small leadheads trimmed with squid strips or frozen peeler crab produced perch up to 12 inches.
CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Chuck Prahl at Tommy's Sporting Goods said there are still good numbers of stripers in the Choptank River, mainly congregating in the deeper water between Chancellor Point and the U.S. 50 Bridge. Prahl said most stripers were taken while casting bucktails trimmed with twister tails and Sassy Shad, with the best action taking place during high and ebb tide. Fair catches of larger stripers, weakfish and bluefish were made at the mouth of Broad Creek, where Sting Silvers and Crippled Herring jigging spoons were extremely effective.
CHESAPEAKE BEACH -- On days when the weather cooperates, the Rod `n' Reel Dock charter fleet has been chumming for stripers at The Diamonds, Stone Rock and Winter Gooses, locations that provided limit catches of rockfish up to 22 inches. The headboat Tom Hooker continues to bottom fish near the Choptank River's mouth, where patrons reported good catches of weakfish and a few stripers.
PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park said trollers using parachute bucktails managed to hang a few exceptionally large stripers while fishing near Hooper Island Light and the mouth of the Patuxent River. Weakfish are beginning to school in deeper water, mainly along the bay's eastern channel edge, where Sting Silvers and Crippled Herring jigging spoons proved effective. Some of the weakfish weighed up to 7 pounds.
HONGA RIVER AREA -- Captain Mike Murphy of Tide Runner Charters took refuge from last weekend's winds and fished sheltered coves inside the Honga River. Murphy reported good catches of stripers up to 26 inches and speckled trout up to 22 inches while casting small bucktails trimmed with a 4-inch chartreuse twister tail.
POINT LOOKOUT -- Captain Bruce Scheible at Scheible's Fishing Center fished the Northwest Middle Grounds on Sunday, where he found large numbers of stripers up to 22 inches schooled along the bay's eastern channel edge. Patty Lee captain Paul Kellam chummed near Buoy 72, where he caught stripers up to 24 inches and bluefish up to 7 pounds. Kellam said the bay water temperature in this area is now 60 degrees and fishing should remain good at these locations until early December.
TANGIER SOUND -- The Crisfield charter fleet continues to chum about a mile south of the Target Ship American Mariner, mainly concentrating their efforts in depths of 25 to 30 feet. After catching a limit of stripers, some of the captains made a short stopover in Tangier Sound near the Puppy Hole Buoy, where weakfish and a few spot were caught while drifting squid strips and chunks of peeler crab.
CAPE CHARLES -- Captain Jim Jenrette on the Buccaneer reported good catches of tautog to 10 pounds while drifting chunks of crab over the Mussel Beds, located near Cape Charles Harbor's entrance. Cris's Bait & Tackle registered a pair of citation-size speckled trout caught in Hungars Creek over the weekend and there was a 7 1/4-pound flounder caught from the flats near Kiptopeke. Weakfish, flounder up to 9 pounds and stripers were among the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel's reported weekend catches. Most of the stripers ranged from 14 to 22 inches, with the best action taking place just after sunset.
OCEAN CITY -- Captain Bob Gowar at Ocean City Fishing Center said anglers fishing aboard the Ocean City Princess caught a mix of sea bass, tautog and croaker while fishing the inshore waters just a few miles east of Ocean City Inlet. Barbara Baker at Delmarva Sports Center said good numbers of stripers to 48 inches were caught from the U.S. 50 Bridge at night, while speckled trout, tog and sheepshead were taken from the inlet during the day. Snapper bluefish averaging about a pound are still everywhere you look, but the big guys seem to be staying offshore. Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle and Fenwick Tackle said good numbers of tog were caught at both Ocean City and Indian River inlets and along the bulkhead at Second Street in Ocean City. Several puppy drum were caught in the Assateague surf, a few larger drum were taken from the Fenwick surf.
OUTER BANKS -- On days when the wind permits, bluewater charter boats reported good catches of yellowfin tuna, mid-size dolphin and king mackerel. Surf fishing seems to be improving, with good catches of snapper bluefish, puppy drum, spotted seatrout and pompano.
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.