Sunday, March 30, 2008

Burke Lake, VA in March

Burke Lake in Fairfax County is always nice to visit on a sunny day, even in March when the temperature is 49 degrees and there's a breeze, as it was on March 29, 2008. However, leave the fishing to the experts in their boats. The water is still too chilly for much action from the shore, or the pier, where these fellows had no fish. But the park facilities open in one more week, the first Saturday in April. If it's warm it might be a good day to rent a boat — and try to catch a fish or two.

Accotink Trout in April

Accotink Creek at Lake Accotink, near Springfield, VA is another place to fish for winter trout. The Fairfax County program differs from the state urban trout programs. Here you have to have a state fishing license and a one-day pass from the lake marina and it costs $10, $9 for kids over 10. For that money, you would expect to have some very dependable fishing. All reports indicate it's not especially dependable fishing. It's nice to visit, but the best fishing is the day the fish are put in the creek and, especially at the dam, the day after, when many fish have adjusted to the new waters and are ready to strike. The stockings are every two weeks on Fridays. The next is set April 4, 2008, and it's possible this will be the season finale. This is a 20-year tradition here, and there's a crowd waiting every time, and they actually help with a bucket brigade, releasing the buckets of trout. Unlike other urban fishing lakes, here the fish seem to be mostly caught within three days of stocking, although you do have a chance of catching a trout on any day. One possibility you rarely find anywhere: fishing with corn, you could catch either trout or carp.
The lake itself has the standard species (no trout), but has silted so much since the dam was built in 1943, it appears most of it is about two feet deep or less. A three year dredging program is in its final year with a goal of removing 161,000 cubic yards of silt, but much of the lake still looks very shallow. It's still a good lake for small bluegills and sunfish, with occasional bass and catfish, and plentiful carp.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Still Chilly -- Perch Weather

Still chilly most places in late March, and the fish haven't started biting much. You could go fishing for perch this early, the spawning runs are on -- yellow perch first, then white perch a little later. The most famous place for March yellow perch in the mid-Atlantic is called Allens Fresh, along highway 234 in St.Mary's/Charles Counties in Maryland. Many people fish from the side of the road (check your safety rules). March 22: a fellow with two small boys had two yellow perch in ten minutes fishing with worms and floats at this bridge. White perch will be there by early April, and also at many places on the Potomac. Fletcher's Boat House at Washington's Key Bridge is one of the most famous places for white perch and shad.