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Fishing report

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The locations

Piney Run: Huge yellow perch and "slab" bluegills, some of them state-citation size, are being caught on trolled nightcrawlers off the deeper edges of the hydrilla beds, report Jim Gronaw and Loren Lustig at the park office. Ardaynthe Warren of Ellicott City caught a 13-inch crappie, good for a citation, on a minnow. Anglers targeting largemouth bass with topwater lures got surprised when they hooked tiger muskie running 30-35 inches. More than 60 people competed in the Full Moon Frenzy Tournament last Friday. First place went to Gus Balsamo of Finksburg, who landed a 2.48-pound bucketmouth on a rubber worm. David Kyle of Westminster took second place (2.36-pound fish) and Roy Bulter of Westminster took third (2.30-pound fish). Final tournament of the year is from 6 a.m. to noon Oct. 12. Cash prizes will be awarded for largest catfish, striper, tiger muskie and largemouth bass. Call 410-795-5165 to register.

Prettyboy Reservoir: It's strictly shore fishing, says Duke Nohe of the Maryland Aquatic Resource Coalition. Target bass on the points with plastic worms, crayfish and shiners. Try the same locations for white perch, but use little spinners and worms or bobbers.

Loch Raven Reservoir: Cast plastic worms, pig and jigs or stickbaits to wood cover and the grass bed edges and at points in 10 to 20 feet of water for bass. Bluegills and yellow perch are taking worms. The Loch Raven Fishing Center is closed Tuesdays and Thursdays and open other days 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Liberty Reservoir: Stripers from 18 to 23 inches long are taking chicken livers, nightcrawlers and extra-large shiners at the pumping station at Locust Point, says Doug Geis at Old Reisterstown Bait and Tackle. "There's enough action to make it worth your while," he says. Shoreline walkers are still taking smallies at the points on pig and jigs, surface lures and plastics. White perch and small crappies are biting at Nicodemus Bridge.

Susquehanna River: In the river, target the bridge foundations with tubes on 1/4 -oz. jig heads for bass. In the Northeast, the largemouth bass are at marina piers, sea walls and rock points.

Gunpowder River: Water is off-color and the temperature is 70 degrees, says Theaux LeGardeur at Backwater Angler in Monkton. There's a trico hatch in the morning. Fish hoppers - size 10 and 12 - off the banks in the afternoon. In the evening, switch to a beadhead nymph or green weenie.

Middle River: "Fishing is h-o-t, the best action since spring," says Jerry Sersen at The Fishin' Shop on Pulaski Highway. Stripers are in the shallow water of Back River and the Gunpowder. Topwater lures are working early and late and anglers trolling small white bucktails are spanking them. The Joppatowne area of the Gunpowder and Dundee Creek "are loaded with bass," he says. Spinnerbaits and plastics do the trick.

Patapsco River: Cooler nights and this week's rain are improving fishing, says Hank Holland at The Fisherman's Edge in Catonsville. "The water is low and fish are concentrated. So if you find them, the fishing is surprisingly good," he says. Use surface lures with rubber legs or white crystal buggers.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge reservoirs: Lots of channel cats and largemouth bass are being caught at both impoundments, says Hector Padilla, the WSSC officer at Brighton Dam. Robert Gunderman of Silver Spring caught a 20-pound, 14-ounce striped bass on a crankbait at Triadelphia. Another angler hooked a 4-pound, 13-ounce lunker on a spinnerbait at the same reservoir.

Chesapeake Bay: Live lining spot and chumming at the Gas Docks continue to produce decent catches of stripers with snapper blues mixed in, says Capt. Jim Brincefield. Buoy 14 in the Choptank River is beginning to show its usual fall promise as a hot spot for white perch. Breaking rockfish are heavy at Cedar Point in the early morning and at dusk, says Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lexington Park. Spots are biting in the Patuxent River at Green Holly, Drum Point and the Pistol Range. Anglers on the water near Broome Island at daybreak are catching trout running 18-24 inches by trolling small white or yellow bucktails on the bottom. Trout also are plentiful for bottom fishermen between the Point No Point lighthouse and the mouth of St. Jerome's Creek. Anglers are catching troutfrom the pier. Croaker are still active in many areas, biting in the late afternoon and shutting off after dark.

Ocean City: The state yellowfin tuna record was obliterated at 3 a.m. Sunday, when Mark Bennett of Salem, N.J., hooked a 236.5-pound fish while chunking butterfish at the Washington Canyon 500 Fathom Tip. Bennett was aboard Doghouse, captained by Edgar Lewis. The record fish was 68.75 inches long with a girth of 48.5 inches. It weighed 49.5 pounds more than the fish that earned the previous record, set July 25, 1998. Offshore, billfish are being caught in Poor Man's Canyon and south in 50 to 500 fathoms. For bottom fishing try Great Gull. Best bets for the weekend, if the weather cooperates, include surf fishing for blues at Assateague, Fenwick Island, and the 3R's in Delaware. Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Tackle suggests fishing a mullet rig with whole finger mullet attached. The U.S. 50 bridge is the scene of good flounder fishing (at night), along with tautog, trout and striper action. Go for tautog several hours ahead of high tide, Foster says. In the Ocean City Inlet, anglers are picking up blues and sea trout on bucktails, Rat-L-Traps and Storm lures.

Potomac River: If low water and thick grasses don't deter you, try the deeper holes in the upper river between the power lines and the Fish Pots, says guide Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited. Stay on the Maryland side to avoid the heaviest grass. Also try the deeper water between Catoctin Creek and the Sawbuck ledge. Tubes and Magic Stix are best baits. In the tidal river, the grass between Blue Plains and the bridge shelters nice fish on spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and Magic Stix, says Penrod. Other choice spots are the concrete cover in the spoils and barges near the bridge. The grass below the bridge is finally productive; coves below Belle Haven Marina remain consistent.

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