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Diamond Jim Or Imposter? First Tagged Striper Caught In 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge
SHARPS ISLAND – On Saturday, June 16th, Rob Johnson of Preston, MD, caught one of 21 specially tagged “Diamond Jim” striped bass initially released by DNR into the Chesapeake Bay at the kick-off of the 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge on Thursday, June 14th.
Johnson was aboard a private boat trolling an umbrella rig trimmed out with storm lures and 10 ounces of weight along the 40 foot contour line, just west of the Sharps Island Light, when he caught the 20-inch striped bass sporting a special, bright yellow tag, bearing the designation "Diamond Jim". On Tuesday, June 19th, a Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Biologist certified the catch. An avid angler, Johnson fishes often on the Chesapeake. In the first week of July, Johnson will find out if his angling efforts have won him $10,000 from Boater’s World and a $5,000 diamond from Smyth Jewelers in Timonium.
“The ‘bite’ along the eastern edge of the channel has been excellent over the past 10 days, with fishermen routinely catching limits of stripers from 18 to 26 inches, with the occasional fish up to 34 inches,” said Marty Gary, DNR Fisheries Service Biologist. “Trolling is the preferred method, but jigging or live lining is also capturing some rockfish.”
Only one of the “Diamond Jim” fish released last week is worth a cash prize, the remaining 20 “imposter” fish are worth a $500 gift certificate to Boater's World Marine Centers, the official sponsor of “Diamond Jim” in the 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge. Johnson’s catch also makes him eligible to vie for the contest's grand prizes, a Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota, a 591 Nitro with a 115 HP Mercury engine, and a trailer donated by Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats.
The 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Thursday, June 14th and runs through Labor Day, September 3rd. Rather than tagging a multitude of fish, this year, any angler who catches a citation award qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes. Based upon last year’s citation award program results, DNR expects more than 400 anglers to catch qualifying fish in the 2007 Challenge. Grand prize winners will be randomly selected at a closing ceremony in September at Sandy Point State Park. All rules and tournament information can be viewed at www.dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge.
June 20, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.