I get very frustrated when people in the bait and tackle shops give out misinformation. Who can you trust?
During the last month, I'vebeen in a half-dozen area bait and tackle shops. Some of those are shops I frequent, and the storekeepers recognized me. But in others, Iwas just another bumpkin looking at the nifty toys hanging from the board.
On several occasions, I heard clerks give misleading or downrightwrong information about fishing activity and what is wrong with our fisheries management programs.
It reminds me of one outdoor writerI know -- fortunately, not one from here -- who is more interested in generating words than reporting what is really happening.
I remember a few years back, when I was running charters out of Solomons, reading this writer's fishing accounts for the Solomons area. His reports in no way reflected what was being caught, and he became the jokeof the docks:
"It says here in the paper, Bunky, we caught the hell out of them sea trout last week. Nice ones, too."
"Damn, my memory's getting bad. All I remember is them bluefish chewing up my bucktails."
The majority of the tackle shop representatives and outdoor writers work hard to get you as close to the fish as possible, but there are a few -- as in any profession -- who either don't care or enjoy hearing themselves talk, even if they don't know what they are talking about.
Bluefish are streaming up the bay from the Solomons area. They were thick as fleas from Cedar Point south last weekend and should be around the Silver Ball or above by now.
The black drumare giving us a spectacular year. They are still around and take a bait or two about every other day or so. Poplar Island Flats and the Stone Rock are the two best areas. They prefer soft or peeler crab.
Bluefish in the Deale/Chesapeake Beach/Tilghman area are increasing in number but can be be hard to locate. Try picking up your trolling speed a bit to cover more area.
Some of the big bluefish are stillhanging around the Stone Rock, but not every day. They hit the area in raiding packs to test your tackle.
Rockfish are becoming a serious problem in the upper bay for perch fishermen and bluefish trollers. A few bluefish have been caught between Love Point and the upper end of Swan Point. The problem is that you'll catch 10 rockfish for every blue you find.
The giant 1989 rockfish year-class is moving from the spawning and nursing areas into the bay. You'll see them breaking everywhere. These fish are from 7 to 10 inches and mixed with thewhite perch on the lumps and bar where the perch congregate.
I have found that night crawlers are a good perch bait and won't excite the stripers. You will still catch a bunch, but not as many as if you were using grass shrimp or peeler crab.
Perch fishing is just about outstanding right now and should continue for the next few weeks; then, it might drop down to excellent.
Crabbing is somewhere between excellent and outstanding just about anywhere.
Dave Reitz won last week's white perch contest, sponsored by the Pasadena FishingClub, with a 10 1/4-inch white perch. The club meets the second Monday of every month at the Waterbury Inn (Magothy Beach Road and Riverside Drive).
Another perch contest and fish fry is planned for August. For more information, call George Bentz at 255-3678.
George says the club is not interested in politics, just fishing.
Bob Sporeis a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.
Times below are for predicted average high and low tides for the Chesapeake Bay based at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Times for Sandy Point are minus 1 hour 22 minutes; South River, minus2:06, Shady Side, minus 1:53; Chesapeake Beach, minus 3:00 (add one hour for Daylight Saving Time, April through October).
A.M. ... ... A.M. ... ... P.M. ... ... P.M.
DATE .. .. .. Low .. .. .. High .. .. . Low .. .. .. High
June 21 .. .. 9:22 .. .. . 2:39 .. .. . 8:16 .. .. . 2:11
June 22 .. .. 10:31 ... .. 3:38 .. .. . 9:01 .. .. . 3:06
June 23 .. .. 11:30 ... .. 4:27 .. .. . 9:47 .. .. . 3:59
June 24 .. .. 12:17P .. .. 5:12 .. .. . 10:29 .. ... 4:47
June25 .. .. 12:55P .. .. 5:52 .. .. . 11:14 .. ... 5:35
June 26 .. .. 1:31P .. ... 6:33 .. .. . 11:56 .. ... 6:21
June 27 .. .. --- ..... . 7:09 .. .. . 2:03 ... ... 7:04