We've all heard of a busman's holiday, so what do watermen do when they have a holiday?
Go fishing? No, you have to give them more credit than that. They party and talk about fishing.
This is the weekend of the annual waterman's show in Ocean City; most of the oyster and clam boats will spend the weekend in their slips as their masters take over the Ocean City Convention Center.
Show hours today are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., tomorrow 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., andSunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6, or $8 for all three days.
Exhibits on crab pots and fishing net probably won't excite you, but you will see some fine fishing boats, marine electronics and boating equipment. Watermen usually are less interested in the frills thanin good solid equipment that will take a beating and do the job.
Expect to get a different perspective from these exhibits than from last week's Baltimore boat show.
I think the drawing card of the 17th Annual East Coast Commercial Fishermen's Trade Expo and Second Annual East Coast Aquaculture Trade Exposition (waterman's show) is the seminar schedule. The seminars start tomorrow at 11 a.m. and are divided between commercial fishing and aquaculture.
The commercial fishing seminars start with a session conducted by W. Pete Jensen, a representative of the state Department of Natural Resources, on budget cutbacks and how they affect fishermen and the replenishment efforts.
At noon, Bob Alexander, of U.S.A. Services, Norfolk, will discuss changes to fishing vessel safety regulations. From 1:30 to 2:30, he will present an overview on medical and first-aid topics, including hypothermia and CPR techniques.
On the other side of the hall, the aquaculture sessions will be in full swing. Don Webster, extension agent for the University of Maryland, will open the sessions with "Getting Started in Aquaculture" at 11 a.m.
From 11:30 to 12:30, Reginald Harrel will discuss the biology of and production methods for striped bass hybrids. Richard Bohn will follow this presentation with an hour on "Channel Catfish Culture."
At 1:30, Bernie Petrosky will present a program on the methods of producing crawfish in the Mid-Atlantic.
The final seminar of the day is a general session from 3 to 4p.m. for both groups on "Marketing Seafood and Aquaculture."
Sunday is crossover day, with a 11 a.m. to noon session, "Proper Water Pump Applications," followed by a one-hour session by John Collamore, of Hulls Unlimited, on "Building and Repair with Fiberglass."
From 1 to 2 p.m., Mike Osterling will describe the different systems used to produce soft shell crabs and research in improving shedding systems. The final session of the day is on "Water Quality Management," from 2 to 3 p.m.
Aquaculture is an important topic right now. One recreational fishing organization is pushing rockfish to be classified as a game fish, saying that aquaculture concerns can satisfy the commercial demand for rockfish.
The cost of the aquaculture rockfish ismuch greater than that of the commercially caught fish. Certainly, one scenario could see aquaculture companies working together with therecreational anglers to outlaw commercial fishing.
Bass fishermen have a mini-show tomorrow in Frederick. Veteran Lake Anna fishing guide Bill Mathias will sponsor a free seminar from 1 to 4 p.m. atthe Rod Rack, 181 Thomas Johnson Drive.
Mathias' seminar will include an in-depth analysis of largemouth bass and striper fishing at Lake Anna. He will share information on fish movements and seasonal patterns, where to look for fish, effective lures to use, and techniques he developed for catching bass and stripers. For more information, call 694-6143.
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.