Fish va­ri­eties in­crease as we March into spring

The Washington Times Daily - - Sports -

There’s no way to hide it. March is here, and even if day and night tem­per­a­tures still can be on the cold side, the num­bers of fish species that lo­cal and dis­tant an­glers now go af­ter are in­creas­ing daily.

It be­gins, of course, with the cur­rent run of spawn­ing yel­low perch that are caught on shad darts, jigs, plas­tic grubs, real grass shrimp and live min­nows in Mary­land’s Wi­comico River in Charles County (Route 235, Allen’s Fresh). Some white perch are show­ing up there as well. Add the Nan­je­moy Creek (off Route 425, Friend­ship Land­ing Road, Charles County) where yel­low and slowly in­creas­ing num­bers of white perch are present. Ditto for the Patuxent River up­stream of Jack­son’s Land­ing near Western Branch in Prince Ge­orge’s County, also up­stream of Hill’s Bridge. By now, the perch also should be in the mid­dle and up­per Mat­ta­woman Creek in Charles County.

Yel­low perch can be caught in Virginia’s Oc­co­quan River, up­stream of the In­ter­state 95 cross­ing, also in the back­wa­ter coves be­low Belle Haven Ma­rina in Alexan­dria. In the North­ern Neck of Virginia, check out No­mini Bay and No­mini Creek (off the ti­dal Po­tomac south of Colo­nial Beach). Far­ther down the Routes 301/2 cor­ri­dor in Hanover County, the Pa­munkey and Mat­taponi rivers can hold plenty of spawn­ing yel­low perch if they can get through the many fallen trees and branches that choke these lit­tle wa­ter­ways. A Virginia road map can show lower ar­eas of the Pa­munkey and Mat­taponi where you might launch a john­boat.

Trout stock­ing in Charles County — Tom Roland, the man in charge of fish­ing fa­cil­i­ties and green spa­ces in Charles County, passes along word that Fri­day, the Mary­land Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources is sched­uled to de­liver 960 golden and rain­bow trout to the county-owned Wheat­ley Lake in Gil­bert Run Park on Route 6, east of La Plata. For South­ern Mary­land res­i­dents who mostly go af­ter ti­dal-water species, this is a won­der­ful fresh­wa­ter fish­ing op­por­tu­nity. To join the ac­tion, an­glers will need a Mary­land fresh­wa­ter fish­ing li­cense and a trout stamp. Dur­ing March, the park gates are open on week­ends, but walk-in vis­its are per­mit­ted week­days dur­ing day­light hours.”

Ti­dal Po­tomac bass are will­ing— More than one bass boater in the gen­eral Washington area has been scor­ing nicely on the large­mouth bass in the up­per ti­dal wa­ters of the Po­tomac River. It be­gins with the Fox Ferry Point and Spoils Cove wa­ters above the Woodrow Wil­son Bridge, where plas­tic grubs, jig’n’pig lures, even deep-run­ning crankbaits have scored on bass. The same stretch of river also gives up slab-size crap­pies.

Bass will look at an avo­cado-color Mann’s Sting Ray grub or deep-run­ning ounce crankbait from the edges of Hog Is­land and down at Fort Washington Light as well as the deeper in­sides of ev­ery cove and feeder creek be­low the Pis­cat­away Creek.

Blue cat­fish go af­ter bot­tom baits — If it’s blue cat­fish you’re af­ter, slabs of cut fish stuck on 7/0 cir­cle hooks and dropped into 20 and 30 feet of water bot­tom with 3 or 4 ounces of weight will at­tract the “cats” just out­side the Pis­cat­away Creek, also in the big river bend op­po­site the Fen­wick and Green­way flats as well as the stretch of river from the Vepco Pos­sum Point Power Plant down to the Quan­tico Ma­rine Base’s ma­rina.

Lake Gas­ton’s stripers ac­tive— Dez Rubesch, who lives along the shores of Virginia’s Lake Gas­ton, sent us sev­eral pho­tos of land­locked stripers that he’s caught. In fact, he’s been hook­ing the fresh­wa­ter rock­fish all win­ter long. “Lately, I’ve been catch­ing them at the mouth of Great Creek in 15 to 25 feet of water, mostly on white buck­tails,” Rubesch said. The water tem­per­a­ture gen­er­ally stays around the 50-de­gree mark.

Tau­togs are tasty catch in ocean wa­ters — From Virginia Beach, the fish­ing den­tist, Dr. Ken Neill, has been hook­ing tau­togs in Virginia’s off­shore wa­ters. Sev­eral days ago, Neill sent a mes­sage that be­gan, “We went back out af­ter ’togs to­day. It was rough early [but] the ’togs didn’t care. We ended up catch­ing 43. Six of them had pre­vi­ously been tagged.” The fish bit clam, blue crab and fid­dlers. One of the tau­togs, caught by Roger Burn­ley, weighed well over 9 pounds.

Lower Bay gives up stripers— The best lady an­gler in Virginia, Dr. Julie Ball (www.dr­jball.com), said things have been too windy for re­laxed fish­ing in the lower Ch­e­sa­peake and ad­ja­cent At­lantic Ocean. Along with the blus­tery weather, she adds that most ocean striped-bass re­ports now are less than glam­orous. “Per­sis­tent an­glers are com­ing across a few fish on the troll from Cape Henry down to False Cape,” she said, but added, “Within the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, plenty of school-sized fish are [found] along with fish up to about 30 pounds.” It’s hard to be­lieve, but top-water lure cast­ers are find­ing ac­tion at the Hamp­ton Roads Bridge-tun­nel and the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Bridge-tun­nel.

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