What's the Catch?
Washington & Vicinity
TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER -- Despite rapidly changing weather conditions and largemouth bass coming off the spawning beds, persistent anglers caught bass just about everywhere between the Chickamuxen Creek's mouth and the District line. In Mattawoman Creek, spatterdock beds above Slavins and Marsh Island's lily pads held good numbers of chunky bass to three pounds. The grass beds in Chickamuxen and Aquia creeks, Wades Bay, Piscataway Creek and Bulltown Cove continue to produce fair numbers of bass, mainly for anglers casting spinnerbaits and tube lures close to the edges of vegetation. In Potomac Creek and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge area, several bass in the four-pound class were caught mainly on tube lures. Channel catfish remain plentiful throughout the river's District sector, many of which tipped the scales at 10 to 15 pounds. Most were caught by anglers dunking cut herring baits, night crawlers and chicken livers along the river's channel edge. Significant catches were also made by anglers fishing near Washington Channel and from among the submerged boulders at Fletcher's Landing.
UPPER POTOMAC RIVER -- Smallmouth bass to 16 inches smacked a variety of small lures and live baits near Lander, Whites and Edwards ferries, Point of Rocks and the Maryland side of Harrison Island.
SUSQUEHANNA RIVER (PA.) -- The mouth of the Juniata River at Duncannon provided lots of bronzebacks weighing two to three pounds. Most were caught while casting tube lures and live minnows lip-hooked to tiny shad darts.
TRIADELPHIA AND ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIRS -- There were good reports of crappie, channel catfish and bass catches from the middle and upper reaches of both impoundments.
LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Trollers loaded their coolers with tasty white perch from 9 to 14 inches long while dragging inline spinners trimmed with a morsel of night crawler in the lake's middle reaches.
LAKE ANNA -- Shallow-water bass fishing has been productive throughout the lake, especially the upper end. Most of the bass have taken up residence among submerged stumps and beneath docks in the smaller creeks and coves. Topwater plugs produced excellent results early and late in the day, while midday anglers found tube lures and other soft plastics rigged to small jig heads were effective. Mike Rasnake of Charlottesville landed a 4-pound 4-ounce largemouth last weekend, and Jeff Muller and David Butler of Spotsylvania returned to the docks with a stringer of four bass with a combined weight of 10 pounds 2 ounces. Muller also caught a 6-pound 10-ounce largemouth earlier in the week. Striped bass are still holding in the lake's main channel area and scattered between Sturgeons Creek and The Splits, and from Jett Island to Rose Valley Island. Sea Shads, Storm Wild Eye Shad, and three-quarter-ounce spoons were all productive, and live bait has been equally as productive. Most of the action takes place in depths from eight to 15 feet, but when the sun is bright, the fish tend to go deeper.
SHENANDOAH RIVER -- The river's water temperatures passed the 70-degree mark, which produced excellent catches of both smallmouth bass and panfish. However, if you're looking for big bronzebacks, you may be disappointed. Most of the fish taken last weekend measured 10 inches or less.
UPPER BAY -- Anglers plug casting the Susquehanna Flats near Rocky, Red and Carpenter points were greeted with explosive strikes from tidewater largemouth bass to six pounds, plus a bonus of striped bass to 30 inches. Live-lined white perch in the Susquehanna River's upper reaches produced striped bass to 25 inches during the past week, while downriver near the mouth of Deer Creek, stripers from 12-inch throwbacks to 24-inch keepers smacked shallow-running crankbaits and tiny topwater plugs during high tide. Tidewater largemouth bass to four pounds were found among the submerged boulders just east of Lapidum Landing, fish that hit tube lures and spinnerbaits fished slowly, close to the bottom. Channel catfish to 12 pounds were pulled from the C&D Canal near Chesapeake City, North East River at Turkey Point, Elk River, lower Sassafras River and most channels near Havre de Grace. Cut herring, chicken livers and night crawlers were all effective, particularly when fished during periods of moving tide.
BAY BRIDGE AREA -- Fair catches of croaker were reported near the mouth of Eastern Bay, the mouth of Miles River and Eastern Bay's channel edges near Parson's Island. White perch were schooled in Kent Narrows, the mouth of Crab Alley Bay. Bottom-fished bloodworms and razor clams proved best for both croaker and perch early and late in the day.
CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- Big croaker, some measuring up to 21 inches, were caught from depths of just six to 10 feet along the river's channel edges from Cook Point upriver to Castle Haven and above. Most were taken late in the day and into early evening with bottom-fished squid strips and bloodworms topping the list of productive baits. Anglers plug casting the river's shallows near Black Walnut Point and the mouth of Broad Creek found stripers to 24 inches in depths of two to four feet.
CHESAPEAKE BEACH AREA -- Black drum to 75 pounds were caught at the Stone Rock while drifting chunks of peeler crab in depths of 35 to 50 feet, fish that really put a bend in your fishing rod and challenge your stamina. Panfish action picked up at The Diamonds, where spot to 12 inches were caught on bottom-fished bloodworms.
PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- Chummers found snapper bluefish from 14 to 18 inches at the Middle Grounds, and farther north near Breezy Point last weekend. Several blues were taken by surf fishermen in the mouth of the Patuxent and below Cedar Point Hollow. Trollers noticed Sassy Shad tails were cut off while trolling for rockfish, and several blues near six pounds have taken big lures meant for stripers. Chummers had limit catches of striped bass while fishing near buoys 72 and 72A. These fish were 18 to 30 inches and seemed to be holding at this location in large numbers.
HONGA RIVER AREA -- The river's shallows are loaded with striped bass from 10 to 25 inches, most of which were caught on brightly colored streamer flies and bucktails trimmed with a chartreuse twister tail. Similar catches were also reported in the shallows of Bloodsworth and Holland islands, where rockfish have been foraging in depths of just two to three feet at high tide.
TANGIER SOUND AREA -- Most of the headboats and charter fleet has been running 30 or more miles south to find schools of large croaker.
POINT LOOKOUT AREA -- Bluefish to 18 inches and stripers to 30 inches were stacked up at the mouth of the Coan River, where chummers scored heavily through much of the past week. After catching a limit of stripers and loads of blues, many captains ran just a short distance and loaded up on croaker to 18 inches, spot to 12 inches and a few flounder.
CAPE CHARLES AREA -- From Exmore south to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel anglers found huge numbers of snapper bluefish, croaker and spot, fish that were frequently mixed with black drum to 70 pounds and channel bass to 35 pounds. Most were found in depths of 35 to 55 feet along the bay's eastern channel edge, but at night many of these fish moved into shallower waters of just six to 10 feet. Flounder to eight pounds were caught while drift-fishing with large, live minnows and squid strips at The Cell and Kiptopeke Flats, while at the bridge, the season's first cobia was sighted foraging on menhaden that recently arrived in the Chesapeake's lower reaches.
CAPE HENLOPEN/INDIAN RIVER -- Broadkill Slough, in the confines of Delaware Bay, currently holds fair numbers of weakfish ranging from throwbacks to five pounds, fish that smacked squid strips and small jigging spoons worked along the bay's southern channel edge. Anglers fishing from Cape Henlopen Pier caught a mix of snapper bluefish, flounder and an occasional weakfish. Weakfish, bluefish and flounder were also found just inside the mouth of Roosevelt Inlet, where chunks of peeler crab and squid strips were effective. Indian River Inlet is loaded with snapper bluefish and a few keeper-size tautog. Indian River Bay, however, holds some big flounder measuring up to 21 inches.
OCEAN CITY -- It was a slow go for offshore shark fishing, but there were some blue sharks caught at the canyons on Saturday. Makos were sighted in chum slicks at Poorman's and Washington canyons, but none were willing to feed on the whole bluefish and mackerel baits drifted back to them. Closer to shore, headboat anglers loaded up on sea bass to four pounds while bottom fishing with squid strips at the inshore wrecks. The lumps and bumps situated within 20 to 30 miles of shore all hold large bluefish to 15 pounds, and most were taken while trolling Hoochy Trolls. Striped bass to 30 inches were decked from the Route 50 bridge at night, most of which were taken on Tsunami bucktails cast in the structure's shadows.
CHINCOTEAGUE & WACHAPREAGUE -- Slammer bluefish to 17 pounds were caught at the Lumpy Bottom and Parking Lot, but it's still too chilly for bluefin tuna and mako sharks. Inshore, both inlets continue to provided good catches of flounder to 18 inches and there has been an occasional black drum caught at both locations.
OUTER BANKS -- Bluefish continue to be plentiful in the surf from one end of the Outer Banks to the other, and most are weighing more than a pound. Some blues have ranged from five to 12 pounds. A few stripers were caught in the Corolla-Duck area. Bluefish and sea mullet dominated catches, with several topping the five-pound mark. A few flurries of big red drum were reported at Cape Point, with bluefish and sea mullet adding variety.