If the unseasonably warm weather has your auto-cast finger twitching, there still is plenty of decent fishing around in fresh and salt water.
In the lower bay, bluefish, sea bass and sea trout are still active. zTC Try the wrecks and stony bottoms for sea bass while using squid. Blues will take trolled spoons or hoses. Spoons cast into breaking schools work well also. The Middle Grounds, Tangier Sound and the mouth of the Potomac all have been good spots for blues.
In the middle bay, the same methods will work well for blues in the 3- to 6-pound range, but the fish are reported moving south quickly as the weather cools, and catching them may take some work. The Department of Natural Resources reports that green grubs are taking sea trout in the lower Patuxent.
In the upper bay, the fishing for blues has fallen off. White perch seems to be the best catch right now. Try clam snouts or bloodworms fished on the bottom at Belvedere Shoals, Podickory Point, Fairlee and Bodkin creeks or the Chester River.
In the Atlantic surf, fishing for blues has picked up, with some catches reported about 15 pounds at Assateague and North Ocean City on cut mullet. The south jetty at Ocean City has been turning up sea trout and tautog.
In freshwater, striped bass at Liberty Reservoir are hitting large shiners near the Route 32 bridge and the Nicodemus area.
Starting today, Loch Raven is closed for the season.
At Prettyboy, pig and jigs have been taking largemouth bass near the grass beds, and, at Piney Run, they are hitting top-water lures and spinner baits fished near the grass.
In the tidal Potomac, the largemouths reportedly are holding near wooden structures in the river, where pig and jigs, crankbaits and crayfish have been working well. In the upper Potomac, smallmouth bass fishing has been very good, with salt-impregnated grubs and pig and jigs have been very successful.
* David Fritts, a bass pro from Lexington, N.C., who won the recent $231,000 Virginia Top 100 Super B.A.S.S. Pro-Am and finished second in the Maryland invitational on the Potomac River, has his own way of taking the shine out of the Poe 400 series crankbaits he used to win at South Hill, Va.
"I lay them up on the -- of the truck and let them fade a little bit [in the sun]," Fritts said. "I leave them there about a month. It gives them a duller finish."
So much for the scientific side of hunting bass.