Early signs indicate run of big blues is on wayIs your...

Outdoor Journal

April 18, 1991|By Bill Burton

Early signs indicate run of big blues is on way

Is your boat ready? The bluefish surprised us and arrived 10 days early.

The first known hook-and-line catch came yesterday off Poin Lookout, and a fine fish it was -- hopefully an indication of what's to come.

The 12 1/2 -pounder was taken by Guy Mundie while trolling a 11/0 Crippled Alewive, then checked in at the Tackle Shop in Lexington Park, which incidentally is continuing its annual contest for the first blue taken from shore at either the lower Potomac or Patuxent. For information on that -- and the prize of a $170 surf outfit for a fish that just might be caught from DNR's Point Lookout Fishing Pier -- call 1-301-863-8151.

Mundie made his catch aboard Capt. Jim Bentley's charterboat said weigh master Bill Dement. Last year's first blues were 10 days later and were considerably smaller. This catch -- along with reports of larger fish from the mouth of the bay and offshore southeast of there -- could mean we're in for bigger blues.

Several days ago while it was cold and rainy down that way, pound netter took a blue of 11 pounds in the same general area. Before the chill, bay water temperatures off Point Lookout were 58 degrees, but dropped to 51 Monday. But obviously the blues didn't mind.

Troll deep waters with large spoons, but not necessarily on th bottom. These fish are cruising and could be at any depth from several feet below the surface to several feet off the bottom.

This writer prefers the light tackle route, trolling an exceptionall long line with a 2-ounce sinker, with the lure less than 5 feet below the surface. My choice of lure would be a 9/0 or 11/0 (you can't ignore a winner) Crippled Alewive of the combination blue-purple color, or perhaps one of all white.

In the past dozen years or so I have found catching as good o better close to the surface -- and there's the added fun of light tackle (light rod with 20-pound test monofilament line), which could be a downright challenge if the larger blues predominate.

Rockfish could turn up now, too. Handle them carefully, releas them promptly -- no time for pictures of measurements. Maybe by the weekend, the blues could be as far up as the mouth of the Patuxent, or off the Tilghman Island-Chesapeake Beach area.

An early start will also help in figuring things out for the May 4- $20,500 Pro-Am Fishing Tournament headquartered at the Rod and Reel Docks at Chesapeake Beach. This is the earliest -- and one of the best angling contests on the bay -- and the heaviest blue will be worth $10,000. Plus, if it is taken along with the heaviest sea trout, there's a $5,000 bonus. Call 1-301-257-2735.

Calendar ...

* Today: Opening of the Maryland spring wild turkey season, but the recent chilly rains won't help. The weather slowed things down considerably in Saturday's Virginia opening. Beginning this year, spring turkey hunters cannot use shot larger than No. 4 or smaller than No. 6; if you can call 'em close, go with the smaller shot -- at the head.

* Today: Opening of three-day WRANGLER/BASS Nationa Amateur Championship at Smith Mountain Lake.

* Tonight: Trap doubles, 6 p.m., Loch Raven Skeet & Trap Club Another shoot next Thursday night. Call John Stevens, 679-4199.

* Tonight: Fly-tying demonstrations, 7:15 public meeting o Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Glenallen Elementary School, Wheaton. Call George Quart, 1-301-236-0267.

* Tonight: Striped Bass Advisory Board will probably make som important decisions for the fall rockfish season at a 7:30 meeting, open to the public in the Tawes State Office Building, Annapolis. Call Frances McFaden, 974-3365.

* Tomorrow: Opening of three-day Yankee Boat Peddlers 15t annual Used Boat Show at Jabine's Boat Yard, Annapolis on Back Creek. Hours all three days are 9:30 to 6:30; admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children 6-12. Call 1-800-395-1343 or 1-800-345-5322.

* Saturday: Shearwater Sailing Club's Chesapeake Tou Double-Handed Race for two-person teams, starting and finishing at Annapolis. Call Kevin McLaughlin, 1-301-757-5917.

* Saturday/Sunday: Outdoor Expo, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Senec Creek State Park, Gaithersburg. Backpacking, hiking, camping, cross country skiing, rock climbing, kayaking and caving to be covered. Call 1-924-2127.

* Saturday/Sunday: Trap shoots -- Free State Handicap, Carrol County Gun Club off Liberty Road, both days, and on Sunday, Synepuxent Trap Club, Berlin. Call John Stevens, 679-4199.

* Sunday: Eco Fair, Earth Day '91, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Druid Hil Park, all kinds of activities for the family.

* Sunday: Archery shoot with cash prizes, register at noon, Fox Pheasant Hunting Preserve, Kearneysville, W.Va., 9 miles southwest of Frederick, Call 1-304-725-4963.

* Wednesday: Ray Morgan will speak on stream entomology an pollution at an open-to-the-public meeting of Maryland Fly Anglers, 7:30 p.m., Community Hall of Ridge Garden Apartments, 8509 Harford Road. Call Steve Werinstein, 381-5436.

Ongoing ...

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