Fish Lines

What's the Catch?

Washington & Vicinity

TIDAL POTOMAC RIVER -- Tidewater largemouth bass action was fair, especially in the river's lower reaches in Mattawoman, Powell and some smaller tributaries above the Route 301 bridge, where tube lures and spinnerbaits were effective at dawn. In the river's District segment, especially in the stretch between Key Bridge and Great Falls, smallmouth bass action has been hot. Bronzebacks to two pounds smacked shallow-running crankbaits and live minnows near bridge pilings and in the eddies of submerged boulders. The river's channel edges above Woodrow Wilson Bridge provided boating anglers with lots of channel catfish to 10 pounds; shorebound anglers near Fletcher's Landing caught somewhat smaller catties. Bottom-fished night crawlers, chicken livers, cut spot and squid strips were all effective.

UPPER POTOMAC RIVER -- The river is clear, low and difficult to fish. Scattered catches of smallmouth bass were made at Lander, Whites and Edwards ferries, and the stretch between Dam No. 4 and Brunswick.

SUSQUEHANNA RIVER (PA.) -- The best action for smallmouth and largemouth bass continues in the upper ends of Conowingo and Holtwood pools, where live minnows lip-hooked to one-eighth-ounce shad darts and fished close to shore proved effective.


TRIADELPHIA AND ROCKY GORGE RESERVOIRS -- A few anglers reported good catches of small to mid-size largemouth bass and channel catfish.

LOCH RAVEN RESERVOIR -- Loch Raven Fishing Center (410-887-7692), a Baltimore County-operated facility, is closed Tuesdays and Thursdays through October and will be open weekends only during November. Trollers using inline spinners trimmed with a bit of night crawler caught huge numbers of white perch to 14 inches, plus a fair number of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Plug casters caught lots of bass while using Bass Assassins and plastic worms rigged unweighted and weedless along the edges of hydrilla beds.


LAKE ANNA -- Striped bass dominated the action in the lake's upper and middle reaches. Trollers caught the lion's share of larger fish, some tipping the scales at nearly 10 pounds. The best catches were reported at Jett Island, The Splits, mouth of Sturgeon Creek and the channel edges near the state park. Lots of largemouth bass in the shallows. Crappie are still suspended about 10 to 15 feet beneath the surface near bridges.

SHENANDOAH RIVER -- The river remains crystal clear in the Bentonville Bridge area and smallmouth bass action has been great.

Chesapeake Bay

UPPER BAY -- A few relatively large striped bass were found at the Susquehanna River's mouth; the fish, measuring 28 to 30 inches, readily inhaled live gizzard shad on fish-finder rigs just above the Interstate 95 bridge. The same rig also enticed channel catfish to 12 pounds along the river's channel edges near Port Deposit and Lapidum Landing, mostly from depths of 12 to 15 feet. Tidewater largemouth bass action remains good near Garrett Island and just downriver of Spencer Island, where tube lures along the edges of grass beds during the first few hours of ebb tide were effective. Striped bass action was hot in the North East River's lower reaches near the south edge of the Susquehanna Flats. Bass Assassins and live menhaden lured fish at 18 to 32 inches from depths of four to six feet. White perch to 12 inches were stacked along the North East River's channel edges, nailing a jigging spoon as soon as it touched bottom. When the tide was running hard, perch action was nonstop.

BAY BRIDGE AREA -- White perch fishing was decent at Kent Narrows where bottom-fished bloodworms and strips of razor clam lured perch to 10 inches from among pier pilings and jetty boulders. The best catches were made just after sundown during periods of tidal flow. Eastern Bay anglers caught a mix of white perch and small striped bass while fishing the channel edges near Parson's Island, but none of the rockfish were big enough to keep. Recreational crabbing remains good in Eastern Bay, and most folks caught their two-dozen limit in just a few hours using collapsible traps baited with chicken necks.

CHOPTANK RIVER AREA -- The river's upper reaches near Route 50 Bridge provided a mix of channel catfish, white perch and throwback rockfish. Downriver, jigging spoons fished along the river's channel edge between Castle Haven and Todd Point lured striped bass to four pounds, plus some white perch up to 13 inches.

CHESAPEAKE BEACH AREA -- Area charter boats returned to the docks with limit catches of rockfish to nearly 30 inches, most caught near Breezy Point while trolling tandem bucktails and surgical hose eels.

TAYLOR'S ISLAND AREA -- Only a handful of anglers ventured out during the past week, but those that trolled the bay's channel edges using tandem bucktails and small spoons caught a mix of striped bass to 28 inches, bluefish to 24 inches and mackerel to 22 inches.

PATUXENT RIVER AREA -- The river's middle reaches are still loaded with white perch ranging from six to 13 inches. Most of the larger fish seem to be near the mouths of major tributaries, where bottom-fished bloodworms and bloodworm imitations proved effective.

HONGA RIVER AREA -- Trollers found rockfish, bluefish and mackerel on the bay's eastern channel edge between Hooper Island Light and Buoy 72A. Most measured 18 to 22 inches, but there were a few schools of larger fish found near Holland Island Flats and across the bay near Point No Point Light. Nearly all were taken on tandem rigged bucktails and small silver spoons.

TANGIER SOUND AREA -- Spot and small weakfish dominated bottom-fishing action in both Tangier and lower Pocomoke sounds. Lower water temperatures triggered a flurry of striped bass and bluefish action near Puppy Hole Buoy, but most of these fish were too small to keep. Just west of Smith Island at the Mud Leads bottom-fished squid strips and chunks of peeler crab produced spot, small croaker and an occasional flounder.

POINT LOOKOUT AREA -- Charter and private boats encountered large schools of chopper bluefish to eight pounds while dragging surgical hose eels along both sides of the bay's main shipping channel near Smith Point Light and the Southwest Middle Grounds.

CAPE CHARLES AREA -- Red drum to 30 pounds smacked live spot fished near Buoy 13 and 36A but were too large to keep. Only a handful of reds in the 18- to 28-inch slot limit were caught, and they took cut spot and bunker strips fished at the same locations.

Atlantic Coast

OCEAN CITY -- Bluefin tuna to 181 pounds, longfin tuna to 40 pounds and a couple bigeye tuna to 200 pounds dominated the offshore action. Most of the bluefins were taken while chunking along the 40 fathom curve, while the other species were found at the north end of Washington Canyon and the Rock Pile.

CHINCOTEAGUE & WACHAPREAGUE -- Scattered catches of flounder were made from the mouths of both inlets, but the best action was offshore at the middle of Washington Canyon where huge numbers of yellowfin tuna and bailer dolphin were taken.

OUTER BANKS -- A steady run of spot, croaker, sea mullet, blowfish, snapper bluefish, speckled trout and an occasional pompano rounded out the action from the Nags Head beaches and piers.