Fishing report


September 21, 2001|By Candus Thomson


Note: Security concerns closed or restricted a number of fishing areas during the past week, from Baltimore's reservoirs to selected sites in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Potomac and Patuxent rivers. Most are now open, but information is sketchy. If in doubt about a location, call a local tackle shop.

The locations

Piney Run: Bass are starting their fall bite, say Jim Gronaw and Loren Lustig at the park office. Anglers are taking 3-pound largemouth bass on plastic worms, and some 20-23 inch rockfish are being caught. Two tournaments are coming: the "Full Moon Frenzy," from 6 p.m. to midnight Oct. 5, and the fall tournament, 6 a.m. to noon Oct 13. Advance registration is recommended. Call 410-795-3274.

Prettyboy Reservoir: The water's down 15-18 feet, with daily drops of about 6 inches, says guide Duke Nohe. Gravel has been put on the road to the boat ramp, "but launching is getting hairy, and if you're not careful you can get hung up in the mud," he says. Fish are in the 25-foot zone. Fish the points, rock ledges and humps with plastic worms, spider jigs, surface plugs and pig and jigs.

Loch Raven Reservoir: The water's down about 4 feet. Anglers are switching from white perch to bass, pike and pickerel, say the guys at the Loch Raven Fishing Center. Target areas near the diminishing grass beds with plastic worms. Bass and pickerel are about 20 feet down. Pike are partial to live bait and shallow-running crankbaits.

Liberty Reservoir: They're catching a lot of white perch with nightcrawlers from the Nicodemus Bridge, according to Old Reisterstown Bait and Tackle. Crappie action waits until evening, with minnows working best as bait. Shoreline anglers are landing large- and smallmouth bass using crayfish and pig and jigs. Small stripers are showing up near Oakland Mills.

Susquehanna River: The Conowingo Dam catwalk, open again after having been shut Sept. 11, is still producing catfish. Smallmouth action remains good in the river and the upper bay tributaries; fish piers and structure with spinner- and small crankbaits. Catfish are in the deep holes. If you can smell it, it's a good bait. Anglers on the Flats say they're seeing more stripers; top-water poppers, Bass Assassins and Tony Acetta spoons are working, says Capt. Mike Benjamin at Herb's Tackle Shop in North East.

Gunpowder River: "It's streamer city with a capital `S'," says Theaux LeGardeur, owner of Backwater Angler in Monkton. "Crowds" of tricos, size 22, are coming off in the morning, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Caddis, size 18 and olive color, are coming off from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Middle River: Colder temperatures have rockfish moving, says Jerry Sersen at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. You'll find them at the mouths of Back River, Middle River and the Gunpowder River. Eels are drawing keepers, evenings in the shallows at the points. White perch are at the Gunpowder's mouth and at Pooles Island; use bloodworms and clam snouts. Blues are everywhere.

Patapsco River: "Fish anywhere you want to, says Hank Holland at Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. Smallmouth fishing is improving.. Try poppers all day, grasshopper patterns and woolly buggers and crystal buggers.

Patuxent River: Anglers near Jug Bay are catching catfish and perch, says Ed Johnson at C&EJs in Lothian. Bloodworms, clam snouts and cut squid are best baits.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs: Things are quiet, reports the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. But anglers have been catching bass and walleye. Try plastic worms, minnows and crankbaits for the bass. Walleye prefer minnows, worms and crankbaits.

Chesapeake Bay: Anglers were catching their limit of rockfish chumming at the Gooses. Chumming also is working proving effective at Love Point and Swan Point. Capt. Jim Brincefield and his party bottom-fished at Cove Point, Clancy's Bar and Breezy Point Bar with razor clams, bloodworms and cut spot, pulling in a bumper crop of spots, some gray trout, some snapper blues, two keeper flounders and a non-migrating croaker. He also reports catching and releasing an 18-inch hickory shad. Give the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant a wide berth, at least a quarter-mile, for security reasons. Point Lookout Pier hasn't disappointed. In the lower bay, chummers at Buoys 72 and 72A are seeing improved fishing. Striper anglers reaching their limit are turning to blues in the slicks. Hooper Strait is a great place to stake out spots.

Ocean City: If winds have dropped, red drum fishing should be picking up at Assateague Island, says Sue Foster, owner of Oyster Bay Tackle. Anglers on the U.S. 50 and Route 90 bridges are seeing more stripers. Live-lining spots and eels is getting a lot of the action, but Got-cha Plugs and bucktails will work, too. A healthy number of sheepsheads are reported around the North Jetty; use squid strips and green crab.

Potomac River: In the Washington area, anglers are allowed north of the Wilson Bridge from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but expect to be stopped and questioned by marine police. State fisheries biologist John Mullican says smallmouth fishing should remain strong; tube jigs, spider jigs and small top-water lures.

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