Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Friday, May 29th and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2009. Any angler who catches a citation-qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes including a boat, motor and trailer from Bass Pro Shops and thousands of dollars in merchandise and fishing trips from Bill's Outdoor Center.
On May 28, 2009, fifty specially tagged striped bass were released at locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. One of the 50 will be Diamond Jim, a fish worth $10,000 cash if caught by midnight on June 30, 2009. The other tagged striped bass, Diamond Jim imposters, will be worth $500 each if caught at any time during the contest.
Anyone who has been spending any time in the outdoors lately knows what it is like to be dodging thunderstorms and persistent rain. Let there be no doubt that it has been wet these past few weeks. Water tables are being replenished and most river watersheds are doing their best to handle runoff. Fishermen have been finding good water clarity in most areas of the bay, tidal rivers, lakes and fishing has been good.
Anyone who fishes for striped bass in the Chesapeake has heard about fish being tagged and may have even caught one or know someone who has caught one. The Fisheries Service has put a small video segment together to take you out on a spring striped bass tagging trip and offer some insight into the program.
Striped bass fishing this week in the three regions of the Chesapeake Bay has been very good for the most part. The best fishing in the upper bay region tends to be from the Rock Hall area south to the Bay Bridge; trolling, chumming, jigging and casting are all methods being used with varying success. Middle bay region fishermen are seeing good striped bass fishing throughout the entire region as is the lower bay region. The traditional methods of trolling, chumming, vertical jigging and recently live lining spot are all producing good fishing. Striped bass are also spreading out into the tidal rivers and can be found in shallow areas during the early morning and late evening hours of low light conditions. Matt Mahoney of Oxford was out a dawn to cast lures in the shallows of the Choptank River and helps to add support to that old adage that “the early bird gets the worm” or in this case excellent light tackle fishing for striped bass.
Bluefish showed up in the lower bay region this week in earnest and are expected to move farther up the bay this week. Croaker fishing in the lower bay is excellent in many areas and improving in the middle bay region. Spot are now more numerous in many of the middle and lower bay tidal rivers and striped bass fishermen are beginning to enjoy good live lining action for striped bass. Flounder, speckled trout and white perch help round out additional fishing opportunities in the bay. Recreational crabbers are catching crabs with varying results in the middle and lower bay regions and report large numbers of recently shed crabs.
Freshwater fishermen who love their trout often have a favorite be it the cautious brown trout, the flashy rainbow trout or the hometown native the brook trout. Paul Terlinski sent in a picture of a strange trout he caught and released in the Savage River and Fisheries biologist Alan Klotz offers us some insight into this odd but beautiful trout. This wild fish is a tiger trout, the hybrid of the brook trout and brown trout. These fish are very rare, and only occur when a pair of brook trout and a pair of brown trout are spawning in close proximity and the eggs of one species accidentally becomes fertilized by the other species. Tiger trout are produced in some hatcheries; however no tiger trout are stocked in Maryland.
Largemouth bass fishing continues to very good this week as is smallmouth bass fishing in several reservoirs. The bass are in their post spawn feeding mode trying to build up body stores. Fishermen are enjoying good surface action during low light conditions and also equally good action during the day in deeper more shaded waters. This of course is a wonderful time of the year for families and children to enjoy all kinds of freshwater fishing since the weather is still mild and fish can be found in most any local water. Young anglers do not need much to entertain them just some kind of fish; be it the feisty bluegill sunfish or something along the lines of a channel catfish. Lukas Kanownik was fishing with his dad this past Monday on the banks of the tidal Potomac. A piece of hot dog was the bait of choice and this young angler couldn’t be happier with his catch.
Quote of the Week:
There is no use in your walking five miles to fish when you can depend on being just as unsuccessful near home. Mark Twain
Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent
fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the
following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be
in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file
size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical
handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please
reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.