**** EXCELLENT*** GOOD** FAIR* POOR Salt water...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

**** EXCELLENT*** GOOD** FAIR* POOR Salt water OCEAN

Inshore **** -- The number of keeper flounder (13-inch minimum) is steadily increasing in the back bays. Some of the better places have been between buoys 10 and 13 behind Assateague Island, the Thoroughfare and Horn Island. Drifting minnows works best. Sea trout have been active in the Ocean City Inlet and below the Route 50 bridge at night, taking bucktails and peelers. In the surf at Assateague and North Ocean City, kingfish, blues and spot have been active, although bluefish catches are not common.

Offshore **** -- DNR reports that the first white marlin of the season was checked in last weekend in Ocean City. The 5-foot fish took a cedar plug at Washington Canyon, where yellowfin tuna and dolphin also are being taken occasionally. Bluefish in the 10- to 15-pound range still are being taken at Jackspot and Delaware Light Ship. Shark fishing remains hot, with makos, blues, tigers, sand tigers and duskys taken near the Fingers. A 137-pound bluefin tuna was taken near Poor Man's Canyon. Head boats are taking sea bass at the wrecks.

CHESAPEAKE BAY

Lower bay **** -- Schools of smaller blues, in the 2- to 5-pound range, have been breaking, with much of the best action coming at the Middle Grounds, Hooper Straits, the Target Ship and the mouth of the Potomac as well as off Solomons. Chumming, trolling and casting spoons into breaking schools all have been working well. Sea trout have hitting peeler crab on the bottom in Tangier Sound, Cornfield Harbor, Kedges Straits and Solomons. Medium to large spot have been taking bloodworms in Tangier Sound and Cornfield Harbor.

Middle bay **** -- Some black drum still are around, with catches reported from Poplar Island down to Sharps Island at the mouth of the Choptank River. Some catches of 3- to 4-pound bluefish off the Choptank and out of Chesapeake Beach. Some white perch being taken in Eastern Bay and in the lower Choptank.

Upper bay **** -- White perch and catfish and a few bluefish in the lower reaches of this area. Some of the best spots for perch and cats are Hart-Miller Island, Craig Hill Light, the Key Bridge, Elk River and Chester River as well as the Corsica River. Scattered catches of blues near Love Point on trolled red surgical hoses. On the Susquehanna flats, and in the Gunpowder River, Dundee Creek and Saltpeter Creek, largemouth bass fishing has been good, especially close to the grass beds.

POTOMAC RIVER

Washington and upper tidal *** -- From D.C. down to Mattawoman Creek, the edges of grass beds near drop-offs in the main river will provide the best fishing for bass, but patience is required. Spinnerbaits in white or chartreuse should do well along the edges during the day, with topwater lures the preferred baits early and late. Some good-white perch fishing in the creek mouths with bloodworms.

Point Lookout **** -- Action is picking up in Cornfield Harbor, where sea trout, spot and some blues are being taken.

OTHER RIVERS

Patapsco River *** -- In the lower river, catfish and perch are the best bet. Try the piers of Key Bridge with bloodworms and grass shrimp for white perch and cut bait for catfish.

Patuxent *** -- White-perch fishing has been good. Grass shrimp and bloodworms work well. Spot are moving in and off the river mouth, blues are a good possibility on trolled spoons and red hoses. Some sea trout taken while bottom fishing with peelers.

Magothy *** -- At the mouth of the river, white perch are in deep holes and taking on bloodworms or grass shrimp. Catfish will be in the same area, but try cut bait for them.

Susquehanna River *** -- On the flats and in the lower river, bass are moving out of spawning areas and into the grass, especially in and around Stillpond Creek. The river is low.

Choptank River *** -- White perch and catfish at the fishing pier in Cambridge. From Denton to Greensboro, bass will be holding near wood on the high tides, when jigs or crayfish imitations will be especially successful.

Chester River *** -- The best fishing here still is for white perch with grass shrimp or bloodworms; catfish on cut bait.

Freshwater lakes and rivers

Deep Creek Lake *** -- Pickerel have been hitting minnows fished along the shoreline and good numbers of large trout have been taking minnows in 15 to 20 feet of water. Walleye have been in on the shoreline at evening and taking minnows fished on the bottom.

Upper Potomac River (fresh) **** -- The fishing for smallmouths has been good despite temperatures and low water. The best fishing will be along drop-offs where the current is quick. From Brunswick to Lander, mid-river cover has been showing good catches of smallmouth bass on salt grubs and topwater lures early in the day. When the sun gets high, use ribbed worms or Guido bugs on the drop-offs. DNR reports that walleye have been active in the Brunswick area.

RESERVOIRS

Conowingo *** -- Upper end of the reservoir remains low and still provides the best fishing for smallmouths on rattlers or crayfish imitations worked around rocky islands and ledges.

Liberty *** -- In the Murray Road area, catfish are taking cut bait. Crappie have moved into deeper water, where minnows and shad darts do well. Try the Nicodemus area.

Loch Raven *** -- Largemouth bass have moved into the grass beds. Early and late in the day, try topwater lures over the grass and then switch to pig-n-jigs in 10 to 20 feet of water as the sun rises. Bluegills and perch are taking night crawlers fished along the shoreline.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge *** -- Walleye fishing is good in Triadelphia, where night crawlers fished on the bottom in 15 to 20 feet of water works well. Bass fishing in Rocky Gorge continues to be good on deep crankbaits and plastic worms.

Prettyboy *** -- Perch fishing is good, with Beckleysville bridge a prime location, as are Georges Run and Frog Hollow.

TROUT

Hunting Creek -- Caddis flies are hatching. Nymphs and streamers have been working well during the day. Water is very low but in good condition.

Savage River -- River is very low but clear. Caddis and olives have been hatching.

Gunpowder -- Caddis flies are hatching. The river is low but in good condition.

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