On Tuesday, the summer bait restrictions...

CHANGES OF NOTE

June 17, 1993

CHANGES OF NOTE On Tuesday, the summer bait restrictions went into effect on the Conowingo Dam catwalk. Only worms (excluding bloodworms), chicken livers, dough baits and prepared scent baits will be allowed until Sept. 15. Artificial lures and other baits are permitted from the shoreline, but boats will not be allowed to fish the river between the dam and the power lines that cross the river at Rowland Island.

The bait and access restrictions are in effect to protect the striped bass in the area.

Yesterday, the catch-and-release season for non-tidal black bass ended. Now in effect is a 12-inch minimum size limit and an aggregate creel limit of five bass.

In tidal waters, the minimum length for black bass dropped from 15 to 12 inches, also with an aggregate creel limit of five fish.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE The head of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission is opposing a bill in Congress that would give the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission the power to compel states to adhere to its recommendations for management of migratory fish species.

Well, no surprise there.

Virginia has balked at every step of the way as the ASMFC has moved to conserve rockfish, bluefish, sea trout, flounder and other species that travel the East Coast.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Gerry E. Studds, D-Mass., is called the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Management Cooperative Act and apparently has the support of fisheries managers everywhere except in Virginia.

Bill Pruitt, VMRC commissioner, said earlier this week that "It's a states' rights thing as far as I am concerned."

But what about the rights of the other states?

Yes, anglers, there is (still) a Virginia.

THE FISHING REPORT SALT WATER Ocean Inshore -- very good -- Flounder from 3 to 5 pounds have been taken from near buoys 5, 6 and 7 behind Assateague Island below Ocean City, and good numbers of 14- to 17-inch flounder have been taken from the Thoroughfare, the Route 50 bridge and the Oceanic Pier. In the surf, small bluefish and sea trout, kingfish and croaker have been caught at Assateague and North Ocean City.

Offshore -- good -- Shark fishing continues to be the best action, but Norfolk Canyon produced the first yellowfin tuna of the O.C. season over the weekend, and the first king mackerel was taken at the Jackspot. Bluefish catches have been scattered along the 20-fathom line.

Chesapeake Bay Lower bay -- good -- Bottom fishing is not filling in fast, with Tangier and Pocomoke sounds being the best bets for flounder, croaker and sea trout. Live minnows drifted along the drop-offs in 12 to 25 feet of water have worked well for flounder. Crab baits in 20 to 40 feet of water were good choices for sea trout and croaker.

Middle bay -- poor -- Black drum continue to be the drawing point in this area, with 40- to 80-pound fish taken from small schools scattered in 15- to 25-feet of water from James Island area to the Stone Rock and off Poplar Island. Soft crab is the best bait. Bluefish are widely scattered, with some bottom fishing in the mouth of the Choptank River and mouth of the Patuxent.

Upper bay -- very good -- White perch have not filled in yet on the lumps at Belvidere Shoal, but earlier this week there were some pockets of smaller fish inside the Craighill Channel between the mouth of the Magothy and Bodkin Point. Headboats that usually fish the Chester River out of Kent Narrows were out on Belvidere earlier this week and that does not speak well for perch fishing in the Chester or in Eastern Bay.

Potomac River Upper tidal -- very good -- In the Washington area, largemouth bass fishing has picked up near the Wilson Bridge, with Fox Ferry Point, the Spoils, Belle Haven and Smoots Bay all producing good fish on plastics and crankbaits.

Other rivers Gunpowder River -- poor -- Bass action slow, but Dundee Creek grass beds should turn up some largemouths on spinners, Pork-Os or Slug-Gos.

Patapsco River -- good -- White perch fishing for fish in the 8-inch range and occasional larger ones on grass shrimp, bloodworms or crab baits.

Susquehanna River -- very good -- Black bass, catfish and white perch all are active in areas downriver from Conowingo Dam.

Choptank River -- good -- Action at fishing pier at Cambridge slow, but still some perch and catfish. Further upriver, from Denton to Greensboro, spinnerbaits should work well on bass in the grass beds on low tide.

Wicomico River -- good -- Action slowing somewhat around Salisbury, but lily pads, bulkheads, docks and other wood structure should turn up some largemouths.

Magothy River -- poor -- White perch increasing at the river mouth, although size and numbers still on the slim side.

FRESHWATER LAKES AND RIVERS Upper Potomac River -- very good -- Stay clear of muddy water and the fishing should be very good. River is low and temperature is about 70 degrees.

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