THE SPORTS DESK
The authority for sports coverage in the Fredericksburg region.
BY MICHAEL O MALLEY / THE FREE LANCE-STAR
OVERVIEW: We needed rain, but this week s downpours are sure to muddy up the area waters and make fishing tough. Everything is wide open right now, so when the water clears, make your move.
RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER: Crappie fishing has been very good over the last week according to Ken s Tackle. Small minnows are the best bet, but small jigs also work well.
Creeks in the river have been producing the best stringers. Some of the crappie are up to 2 pounds. Bass fishing has also been good.
fish up to 2 pounds are being reported. Catfish have also been an easy target. Shad and herring fishing has been spotty.
POTOMAC RIVER: Reel Bass Adventures reports that water temperatures are back in the upper 60s and most patterns are producing bass.
Grass beds, spatterdock pads, wood, rocks, docks, and wrecks all have bass to some degree. Tubes, worms, creature baits, spinners, chatter baits, soft and hard jerk baits, crank baits and even top waters will take bass. Crappies are schooled in some of the creek coves in water 2 3 feet deep.
Standard crappie lures and techniques will catch them. A few will be over 2 pounds. Yellow perch continue to come from grass beds in the creeks.
Most are being caught by bass fisherman. Some snakeheads are being caught in very shallow water along marsh banks in the creeks. These aggressive creatures like shallow-running crank baits.
LAKE ORANGE: Darrell Kennedy of Angler s Landing (540/672-3997) reports that the water is clear with temperatures in the mid 60s.
Largemouth bass and crappie are beginning to spawn. On warm sunny days they can be found in the shallow spawning areas. On cloudy cooler days, both the bass and crappie back off the shore and can be found in 5 feet of water.
Live bait and soft plastics are the best options for the bass & crappie bite. Jim Ford of Staunton brought in a 7-pound lunker bass on Saturday using a soft plastic bait. Catfish are turning on in both ends of the lake hitting on chicken liver.
Pan fish are moving shallow with red wigglers producing the greatest catches.
LAKE ANNA: The first batch of bass spawners has finished as the females have pulled off the beds and are feeding heavily, especially from mid lake and down, according to High Point Marina. The males are staying in shallow water protecting the fry. Fish are aggressively covering lots of water from 2 10 feet deep.
Suspending jerkbaits (hard or soft body) are working well. Very good topwater action early and late in the day using buzzbaits and poppers. The upper end still has spawners, so use creature type baits in spawning areas 3 12 feet deep.
Grass beds at the Splits and up lake in the North Anna have been producing some great catches. Stripers are still scattered all over the lake, but the best producing areas are from the splits to the bridges. As the water warms, the fish will convert to smaller baits and also retreat to deeper flats where they will school in large numbers.
Now is a good time to catch fish on top water (in low light conditions). Hit main lake points early and late in the day for explosive strikes. Trollers will start to catch more fish as the water warms later in the month.
Crappie have spawned and are headed for deeper waters (10 20 feet). Rock ledges, brush piles and bridge pilings will hold catchable fish.
CHESAPEAKE BAY: The biggest interest still lies in the emerging drum scene, which is motivating anglers to gather blue crabs and head for the Eastern Shore during calm spells. These fish are fierce fighters, and can weigh over 50 pounds.
The best action is still tight to the barrier islands along the surf and breakers. No hurry since these rulers of the shoals will grace us with their presence through October. Black drum are also pushing into the usual haunts.
A few blacks are coming from near buoy 13 and 16 in the Bay, as well as the seaside inlets along the Eastern Shore, while smaller fish are still coming from the surf. Stripers can provide a good alternative for those looking for some variety. Anglers working top water lures along the rocks at the islands of the CBBT are finding some nice fish exceeding the 32-inch minimum size requirement, but most are school-sized.
Tautog are still very active on lower Bay, inshore, and offshore structures but these fish are now only available for catch and release until the fall. Before the season closed, Captain Neal Taylor out of Virginia Beach put 8-year-old Jordan Nestor on the new pending International Game Fish Association Small Fry World Record (21.5 pounds) on a crab. The flounder scene is still dragging.
The best numbers of keeper fish are coming from the lower Bay protected waters, with Rudee and Lynnhaven Inlets the top areas. Anglers are also scoring with a few bluefish and speckled trout in the same areas. Puppy drum are still offering a good fight in lower Bay shallows as well as the Elizabeth River lately.
The opening of seabass season on May 19 has many anglers excited about making the run.
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Moonstone Magic: Beckett weighing up options Ralph Beckett fears the ground may be drying out too much for him to risk Moonstone Magic in the Canford Cliffs EBF Athasi Stakes at the Curragh on Monday.
The Kimpton handler is keen to get the filly back on the track for the first time since she was unplaced in last year’s 1000 Guineas.
She has had her share of training troubles and missed the Doncaster Mile recently after picking up a leg infection.
However, Beckett reports her to be ready to return to action but he will only run her if he considers there to be enough cut in the ground.
“The Doncaster Mile which would have suited her really well, but she picked up a leg infection a couple of days before the race, so we weren’t able to run there,” Beckett told At The Races.
“She’s back now in full swing and is in the Athasi Stakes on the Curragh on Monday, but the ground is drying out there too and I wonder if we will end up going.
Although she could go there, I have a feeling she probably won’t.
“There’s the Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes next weekend at Lingfield and there are races practically every week for her thereon.
“Given she had soundness issues after the Guineas, I’m loath to run her on quicker then good ground.
I think she has trained on and is in good shape.”
Animal Kingdom wins the Dubai World Cup Animal Kingdom is likely to bow out of racing in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot before taking up stud duties in Australia.
The impressive Dubai World Cup winner also holds an entry in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes over a mile and a quarter at the Royal meeting, but connections are leaning towards the one-mile contest to help promote him as a stallion in the southern hemisphere.
The five-year-old, winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2011, is currently being housed at David Lanigan’s stables in Lambourn in preparation for Royal Ascot under the scrutiny of his trainer Graham Motion.
“We put him in both the Prince of Wales’s and the Queen Anne.
At the moment we would prefer the Queen Anne, but we are not going to rule the other race out,” said Barry Irwin, founder member of breeders Team Valor, who are co-owners of the horse along with Arrowfield Stud and Sheikh Mohammed.
“The trainer wants to train him and watch him see how he is doing and he will make a late decision.
“We are leaning towards the Queen Anne for one main reason which is that the race is at a mile.
The horse is going to stud in Australia where they prize speed above all.
“We sold a majority interest in the horse to Arrowfield Stud, and John Messara, who is the owner of that stud, feels that if we won that race it would be more important to the breeders of that country.
“The race is over a straight track which is something he has never done, so to compensate for the fact he’s got no experience of that when we thought about which jockey to ride we went with John Velazquez.
“He knows the horse better than anybody and he’s won at Royal Ascot on the straight course (at the 2009 meeting on Jealous Again and Strike The Tiger, for Wesley Ward).” Animal Kingdom was given an entry this week in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on July 6, but Irwin stressed that was purely as a precaution.
“We only did that was as a back-up in case something happens and he was unable to go to Royal Ascot,” said Irwin.
“Royal Ascot will be his last race if he runs there.
If he doesn’t make it then there’s the Eclipse as a back-up.”
Asli Cakir Alptekin: Turk charged with second doping offence Olympic 1,500 metres champion Asli Cakir Alptekin is facing a lifetime ban from athletics after being charged with a second anti-doping offence.
Cakir has been charged on the basis of abnormal blood values from her biological passport.
The 27-year-old, who was given a two-year ban in 2004 after a positive dope test at the world junior championships, stormed to victory in London ahead of compatriot Gamze Bulut.
Another Turkish athlete, double European 100m hurdles champion Nevin Yanit, also faces a ban after “multiple positive findings in both in-competition and out-of-competiton tests,” the International Association of Athletics Federations said.
Both athletes have been charged with anti-doping rule violations by the IAAF and are provisionally suspended.
Their cases have been referred to the Turkish federation for adjudication and Cakir faces an automatic life ban for a second doping offence.
Cakir’s ban will hardly raise eyebrows in the world of athletics, despite her denying the use of performance-enhancing drugs when grilled immediately after her London success.
Shortly after the 1,500m final, Britain’s Lisa Dobriskey, who finished 10th, voiced her frustration.
“I’ll probably get into trouble for saying this but I don’t believe I’m competing on a level playing field,” she said.
“I think the blood passport is catching people but I think these Games came too soon.
People will be caught eventually, I think.
Fingers crossed anyway.”
Ile De Re wins last year’s Chester Cup Last year’s winner Ile De Re will bid to give trainer Donald McCain a third consecutive Stanjames.com Chester Cup victory on Wednesday.
The dual-purpose performer has not been seen since disappointing over hurdles at Haydock in November.
McCain decided to save him for a Flat campaign after that and he could be one of several runners from the yard in the feature handicap.
However, one who will not be there is Overturn, who won in 2011 and chased home his stablemate last year.
“We’ll have Ile De Re in the Chester Cup and one or two others,” McCain told At The Races.
“He just didn’t show the same form over hurdles so we decided to concentrate on a Flat campaign with him.
He worked on Wednesday, he’ll work at the weekend and he’ll go there next week.
“Overturn’s having a well-earned holiday, he hasn’t had one for about four years! “Thimaar will go there as well and if another couple sneak in we might have three or four, but Ile De Re would be the obvious one.”
Charlie Whiting: Has floated the penalty points system Sky Bet Formula 1 Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Formula 1 Betting 10 Free Bet Proposals to introduce a penalty points system into Formula 1 are set to be revisited by the FIA as the sport seeks to find the best way to punish drivers that step out of line.
The Times reports that FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting will meet with the grid’s teams and representatives of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association to again discuss the prospect of introducing a totting-up procedure whereby the governing body would put points on a driver’s superlicence for on-track misdemeanours, with an automatic race ban triggered once they reach a certain limit.
Driving infringements are most commonly currently punished by grid penalties, reprimands and fines but drivers and teams are thought to be keen to see an end to the latter in particularly owing to the recent hikes in superlicence and F1 entry fees, something a penalty system would likely achieve.
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Our dedicated F1 channel will broadcast every race, qualifying and practice session live, along with highlights shows, analysis and even more coverage via the Red Button.
Find out more at sky.com However, one challenge of any system is to ensure the punishment fits the relevant crime – something Whiting is conscious of.
“We need to make sure a driver deserves any ban.
We will be monitoring offences and running a system in the background to see how it would all work if put into practice,” he was quoted as saying.
Moves to introduce a more streamlined punishment system have been mooted since last season when growing concerns over the driving standards displayed among the latest generation of drivers entering F1.
Lotus’s Romain Grosjean became the first driver to be banned for an event for 18 years after he caused a massive first corner pile-up at Spa, while Williams’ Pastor Maldonado picked up numerous penalties during the course of the season.
An initial form of totting-up procedure was introduced during 2011 to cover reprimands, with Article 18.2 of the Sporting Regulations stating that “any driver who receives three reprimands in the same Championship season will, upon the imposition of the third, be given a ten grid place penalty at that Event.
If the third reprimand is imposed following an Incident during a race the ten grid place penalty will be applied at the driver’s next Event”.
Trent Copeland: Match figures of 10-113 Northamptonshire maintained their fantastic start to the Division Two campaign by completing a seven-wicket victory over Kent inside three days at Canterbury.
The table-topping Steelbacks had Australian seamer Trent Copeland to thank for their third win in four games as he bagged his second five-wicket haul in the match to help skittle Kent for just 135 in their second innings.
His efforts meant Northants required just 104 for victory and David Ripley’s men eased past the total with just three wickets lost.
The Steelbacks, who won just four matches in all competitions last summer, leave Canterbury with 22 points, while Kent, who remain winless, collect just five.
More to follow…
Jamie Carragher: Will join the likes of Ian Rush and Alan Hansen in having played in at least 30 Merseyside derbies Sky Bet Football Betting Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds Football Betting 10 Free Bet Manager Brendan Rodgers reckons “incredible” Jamie Carragher could have played on at Liverpool next season.
The defender is preparing for his 30th and final Merseyside derby this weekend as he comes to the end of a distinguished career with the Reds, before joining Sky Sports next season as a pundit.
“Last week at Newcastle (in the 6-0 victory) how he marshalled the defence and how he played – everything about his game is at the top level,” said Rodgers of the 35-year-old.
“I can’t think of enough words to describe him.
His performance level has been incredible.
“It (retirement) is such a shame because he probably could play on but he has already made his mind up.
“His dream was to go out at the top and he is fulfilling that dream because he is a top operator at this level.
“But his concentration will be on the games and no further than Everton.” For Bootle-born Carragher, a boyhood Everton fan, and club captain Steven Gerrard, from Huyton, the Merseyside derby is key date in the fixture list.
“Everton is a massive game for Jamie, he’s a boy from the city and Steven (Gerrard) as well,” Rodgers added.
“These are guys who have shown passion in every single game – but this one adds a little bit more for them.
“I am sure Jamie will want to play his last derby and finish it on a high.”