Gene Mueller's Weekend Fishing Report.(sports)(outdoors)

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Mueller, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Although this is our weekly fishing report and many who fish also hunt, we think it prudent to begin with Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening's decision to prohibit the firing of guns in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties to hold down the number of phone calls to local police concerning the discharge of a firearm.

Yes, it's all because of the so-called sniper - the very word ought to raise the hackles of any trained, decent Army or Marine sniper - and the many phone reports from citizens every time a car exhaust backfires, never mind the firing of a gun. All of this will not set well with blackpowder rifle-using deer hunters. The muzzleloader deer hunting season begins today in Maryland but apparently not in the above-mentioned counties. Archers are not affected, but rifle- or shotgun-toting squirrel hunters and blackpowder deer fans won't be happy. By the way, for some odd reason, Glendening says he won't stop the shooting on approved firing ranges. Why? Do the shooters use silencers at those facilities?

Now to the fishing. The strong winds and heavy rains in the area will not enhance opportunities. In some cases, it will curtail them. For example, here's betting that the weekend along the Atlantic Ocean fronts will be a washout.

On the Potomac River, where marine grasses are dying and floating up and down the river with every changing tide, things won't be easy for the bass-boating crowd, but fish can be caught. Soft plastics and weedless topwater lures can see action in quiet creek pockets. However, when the hydrilla and milfoil beds in the river totally collapse because of a severe cold snap, many of the bass will quickly seek sanctuary among the sunken shoreline trees, duck blinds and around boat docks.

The Chesapeake Bay continues to hold great promise for trollers and casters after rockfish, bluefish and gray sea trout. The trout are found from as far north as Kent Island, Md., to as far south as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel near Cape Charles, Va.

Thanks to the Maryland DNR, freshwater trout have been stocked by the thousands to provide good fall fishing. Such places as western Maryland's Rocky Gap Lake, Blairs Valley Lake, Greenbrier Lake, Antietam Creek and Piney Reservoir received fish. So did the not too distant Patapsco River at Daniels and at Avalon.

You can reach us via e-mail at gmueller@washingtontimes.com.

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(Ratings key: .... = excellent fishing; ... = Good; .. Fair; . = Poor.)

AREA 1: D.C. AND VICINITY

POTOMAC RIVER: 0-35 miles (...) - In the District, the Fletcher's Boat House (off Canal Road, call 202/244-0461) area might turn up a catfish or two, maybe a bass, but runoff will not help matters. The fishing in town has been slow, but throw a spinnerbait or soft plastic worm to find a bass in Washington Channel and in the beginnings of the Anacostia wherever you see hiding structure. Bass fishing guides Andy Andrzejewski (301/932-1509) and Dale Knupp (301/934-9062) have done well from the Fox Ferry Point rockline into the Spoils and onto the plentiful underwater structure found near the Wilson Bridge. Some decent keeper bass fall for plastic worms, jig'n'craws, topwater poppers and spinnerbaits from Broad Creek down to the Pohick Bay area and beyond. Find quiet pockets, trees that are down, or still healthy looking greenery, then work lures that will snag the least amount of weeds. Also don't forget that the river points from the Possum Point Power Plant down to the Route 301 Bridge now are likely to give up stripers to Rat-L-Trap lures, topwater "walking" baits such as the Zara Spook, or sub-surface jerkbaits that imitate a slender baitfish.

MATTAWOMAN CREEK: 40 miles (...) - Bass catches can be quite good if you work plastic worms slowly and thoroughly anywhere you see a drop along a shoreline where spatterdock might draw a fish to seek food. …