Bluefish Limit Isn't Catching On


Regulations Need To Be As Unique Aschesapeake Bay Is

March 31, 1991|By Capt. Bob Spore

We now begin the period when there are not enough days in a weekend -- a lot is going on.

* A few weeks ago, the Department of NaturalResources sponsored a public hearing on new regulations limiting recreational fishermen to 10 bluefish each. But the DNR didn't do the best job of getting the information out, so the crowd wasn't all that large. As a matter of fact, only two watermen and two charter captainsshowed up at the hearing. I was one of the charter captains. All present spoke against the new regulations for one reason or another.

High-priced organizations such as the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermens Association and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation sent letters instead of testifying in person. Takes all the fun out of it.

Our new bluefish regulation is part of an Atlantic States Marine FisheriesCommission coast-wide bluefish program. Everyone is to have a 10-fish creel limit. My point in arguing against the regulation is that theChesapeake Bay is unique. Every piece of literature you pick up on the bay will tell you that.

Fishing in the bay is also unique. Bluefish may start in the Carolinas and migrate to New York, but we neverknow what is going to decide to turn left and come into the bay. Therefore, ourfishing regulations must also be unique. They must be dynamic, to match the fisheries in the bay and not just along our coast.

* I'm certain you know by now that the white perch are running at Red Bridges, Millington, and Martinak State Park; white perch and crappie also are being caught at the Blackwater. White perch are beginning to run in some of the tidal water ponds on such rivers as the Severn and the Magothy.

Further south, the flounder are about to begintheir first showing at Wachapreague, Va. The water temperature is 53degrees, just about right.

I would have predicted good fishing this weekend had it not been for the winds. Winds and flounder fishing don't mix. The winds at Wachapreague stir up the bottom and baits become covered with slime. You cannot keep a bait clean for more than a few minutes, if that. I think the fishing will take off this week.

Flounder fishing has not been great for several years, and won't be until the states or regional commissions do something about commercial over-fishing in the Virginia/Carolina area. Wachapreague is probably the best known of the remaining fair-to-good flounder fishing holes.

The best spring flounder fishing is at the junction of Green andDrawing channels. The best time is during the outgoing tide. The Virginia creel limit is 10 flounder per day, but they ask that recreational fishermen limit themselves to five. Minimum size is 13 inches.

The early flounder at Wachapreague are usually 2- to 3-pounders; occasionally a 5-pounder will surprise you. For more information, call 804-787-4110.

* Our spring rockfish season starts soon, so the timeis here to start sharpening your techniques. A good place to get a head start is at the Chesapeake Sportfishing '91 Seminar/Show sponsored by the Solomons Charter Captains Association. Show times are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7. The location is the Solomons Holiday Inn.

Excellent charter captains provide detailed information on: how to read a depth finder, how to fish an exact spot, what fishing techniques should be applied to each fish, season forecast for 1991, what areas should be hot and when, tackle selection and rigging, boat speeds, live and artificial bait, and related topics. Fishing areas from Crisfield, Bay Bridge, Annapolis, Deale, Solomons, Chesapeake Beach and Point Lookout will be covered.

Exhibits, tackle sales and boat rides also will be featured.Should be worth your while. The cost is $5 per person, with a portion of the profits going to Children's Hospital.

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.

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