We lost a master charter boat captain, a teacher and a close friend when Capt. Mike Sullivan succumbed to cancer Oct. 14.
Mike was an innovator. Many of his ideas have become standard procedure for his fellow charter captains. Some ideas didn't work a lick, but Mike was always thinking.
He was the undisputed king of sea trout and, before that, rockfish -- when they were legal to catch.
Mike was a colorful character. Always the most expensive captain in a tournament calcutta, a bit bashful over all the fuss, he worked the hardest to catch the winning fish. And he won often enough to keep him No. 1.
Mike was one of my teachers. During the three summers I fished out of Solomons Island, he taught me to solve many of the mysteries of catching sea trout. At the end of the day, after the parties and the other captains had departed the dock, I would sit on his "Miss Dolly" and later, his "Dolly Diesel" as he explained not only the how, but the why of catching sea trout.
Never one to fish with the "fleet," Mike would run the farthest for his catch, though we warned him he would one day fall off the edge.
Capt. Mike Sullivan has fallen off the edge. He left behind some big footprints that few, if any, of those of us on the bay will be able to fill. The fishing community has lost a giant and many of us have lost a good friend.
Fishing reports are a bit skimpy just now since most of the trips chartered for this week were canceled when the rockfish season ended early.
Bluefish are feeding up a storm, getting ready for their migration out of the Bay.
The better fishing starts around Thomas Point on the western side and just below Bloody Point on the eastern side, but there are still a few blues above the Bay Bridge. The super bluefishing starts around Chesapeake Beach and improves as you go south.
White perch fishing is still a thing of the future. Most of the catch so far is small; the colder weather this week should help improve this fishing in the next few weeks.
A few black sea bass are being caught by bottom fishermen on some of the wrecks and rocky bottoms. The mouth of the Choptank has given up a few fair catches. The best bait has been squid or bloodworms.
Flounder have been caught in fair numbers throughout the area, but few have reached the legal 13-inch minimum size. Maryland increased the minimum to 13 inches to comply with other management plans in the region. We may now be equal, but few Maryland fishermen are keeping any flounder.
The Department of Natural Resources has proposed changes to non-tidal fishing regulations for 1991.
The modifications would provide additional put-and-take trout fishing areas and result in more protection for wild brook and brown trout in Maryland's waters.
The proposed regulations do not have any effect on fishing in Anne Arundel County. They are, however, fairly extensive.
For further information, contact Frances McFaden at 301-974-3365.
Don't forget the Chesapeake Appreciation Days celebration tomorrow and Sunday at Sandy Point State Park. The festivities start at 9 a.m. each day and close at 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children under 12 are free.
You can expect plenty to see and do plus excellent food and drink. What more can one ask for?
*Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.
His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.