Weekend Fishing Report – There’s no accurate way to predict the weather, which means we haven’t a clue as to what will happen over the next several days. Strong thunderstorms remain a constant threat. We certainly were burned last weekend when heavy rains visited some parts of our region and messed up more than one trip while the fishing report painted a glowing picture. However, serious fishermen understand the vagaries of summer weather.
The Chesapeake Bay is alive with fishing action. For example, St. Mary’s County charter fishing captain Pete Dahlberg (better known as Walleye Pete), who runs the Four Seasons Guide Service (410/586-8340), came into Buzz’s Marina in St. Jerome’s Creek a few days ago with a black drum, a red drum, large sea trout, croakers, bluefish and stripers. Talk about variety — Walleye Pete delivers it.
Although the mountain rivers received rain and most exhibit discoloration, the tidal Potomac River and its tributaries downstream of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge continue to deliver bass by the numbers. Early hour topwater poppers or buzzbaits, followed by an assortment of plastic worms, usually are all you need to enjoy success.
By the way, if you like to eat white perch — and who doesn’t? — now is the time to go after them using small spinnerbaits, inline spinners, mini Rat-L-Traps and such. They’re caught in profusion in the lower Choptank, Chester, Pocomoke, Patuxent and Potomac rivers, as well as the lower ends of the Rappahannock and James rivers. Shallow-to-deep river points, grass bed edges and fallen trees are typical perch hangouts. To give you an idea, in our group a good-size white perch would have to measure 10 inches or more before it’s judged worthy of the frying pan.
AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY
POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (…) — Around the boathouse at Fletcher’s Cove (Georgetown, off Canal Road; 202/244-0461) Ray Fletcher says a fair number of bass and catfish cooperate, along with plenty of channel catfish. Charles County bass guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) say the fishing for bass is simply wonderful. Fifty bass a day are not unheard of, but remember that some of them will be tiny specimens. Normally, you will hook one good keeper out of every 10 bass caught, but the largemouths are biting in every feeder creek and the main stem wherever grass beds, fallen trees, or rock piles can be found. In Bushwood by the Wicomico River (St. Mary’s County side), croakers, spot and white perch are possible, but it’s best if you fish at dawn or at sunset. Quade’s Store in Bushwood (301/769-3903) has rental boats and bait. The main stem of the Potomac from St. Clements down to Point Lookout offers a mixed bag of rockfish, some small blues, croakers and spot, but flounder have been hard to come by.
MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (…) — Submersed vegetation is the secret for bass success. Fish the edges and open pockets with poppers and small buzzbaits early in the morning and hang on. The bass will do the rest. As the sun super-heats the water, it will have to be Berkley Power worms, Bungee worms, Senkos, Zeros and so on. Catfish are biting, but crappies have taken a powder.
SOUTHERN MARYLAND LAKES: 40-50 miles (…) — Gilbert Run Park’s Wheatley Lake (Route 6, east of La Plata) shows mostly young bass and sunfish and not much else, but I’m not complaining. The water level is low at St. Mary’s Lake (Route 5, south of Leonardtown on Camp Cosoma Road), as it has been for some time, but bass and sunnies can be hooked. Dam repairs and the refilling of the lake will not be complete until next year.
By Gene Mueller
July 14, 2005