Perch Search Gets Lost in Ice Jam
Byline: Gene Mueller, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Some days a man has to learn how to eat crow. I learned last weekend.
Shortly after predicting we would catch resident yellow perch in the Potomac River or several of its tributaries, two of us drove down to Charles County's Marshall Hall boat ramp, a fine public facility that serves anyone who wants to launch a boat without paying the steep fees charged in Maryland's state-owned facilities. When we arrived, we were greeted by slabs of broken-up river ice, three or more inches thick, jammed into dense piles thanks to a pushing tide and strong winds.
It was clear we wouldn't be going fishing - at least not in the tidal Potomac or any of its feeder creeks, which also showed considerable boat ramp icing.
It also was clear no one else was going fishing unless they were in the Atlantic down along the North Carolina coast, where striped bass fishing remains good. Our contact, Ken Neill of the Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fishermen's Association in the Virginia Beach area, said, "Expect to run anywhere from 30 to 60 miles south to get on the fish. A long run but if you find them, the fishing is spectacular. If you don't mind running that far, then there are some deepwater wrecks out there waiting for you. This is the time of year to target jumbo sea bass. Citation-sized fish can be expected on every trip. If you want to stay a little closer to home, tautog are available on the coastal wrecks."
Charter fishing captain Richard Bartlett (757/876-5376) is one of the professionals who takes his boat south of Virginia Beach's Rudee Inlet. He might run as far as 35 and 40 miles but eventually finds rockfish in the 30-plus-pound range.
My CCA chapter wants you - I belong to a number of fishing/conservation organizations, but none is more important to me than the Southern Maryland Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association. Why? The various CCA chapters throughout the Atlantic and Gulf coast regions play a major part in fish restoration, slowing down greedy commercial netters and keeping our politicians on their toes.
With that in mind, won't you join me and the rest of the Southern Maryland chapter of the CCA as we hold our annual fund-raising banquet Saturday, Feb. …