Serious Recreational Anglers Are Ones That Got Away


Bass Board Needsinput Of Overlooked Group

June 23, 1991|By Capt. Bob Spore

Philip Stone of Brooms Island almost single-handedly won the Solomons Trout and Bluefish Pro-Am Tournament last weekend.

He caught thelargest sea trout and the largest bluefish overall, and he also caught the largest sea trout on Sunday.

About the only major prize Stone missed was the largest trout forSaturday. That went to an angler on Capt. Eddie O'Brien's Semper Fidelis II.

Stone is a serious recreational fisherman, but he and others like him are not being represented on the Striped Bass Advisory Board. That should be changed before we begin deliberations for Maryland's 1992 striped bass regulations.

This year's proposed regulations have been forged with much effort from SBAB members. They should stand as proposed by the SBAB.

The regulations for the fall season still must be blessed by the Administrative Executive Legislative Review Committee. The Department of Natural Resources could not get the regulations completed in time to meet the state's timetable for routine regulations. The proposed regulations therefore become emergency regulations and must go to the AELR Committee for approval.

I don'tlike the recreational fishermen's proposed regulations, and I don't know one serious Chesapeake Bay fisherman who does. I do not propose we change the proposed fall 1991 regulations. I do suggest, however, that the SBAB be realigned to include a serious bay fisherman.

Currently, the recreational portion of the SBAB is made up by a representative from the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association and apolitical activist from the Sportfishing Advisory Commission. The latter admits to occasionally fishing off a sailboat and was more interested in what the other user groups were doing than getting the best deal for the recreational fishermen. His ultra-conservative approach is not representative of the serious bay fishermen.

Serious bay fishermen know what is happening on the Chesapeake. They are out there 25 to 100 days a year. They have been surrounded by acres of breakingrockfish and are well aware that the striped bass have recovered.

They have spent a lot of time and money on their equipment, and theyknow how to use it. They are students of the Chesapeake and her moods. And I know several who can fish rings around some who call themselves charter boat captains.

These people need representation. They don't need a lot of fish because to them the real challenge is getting the fish on the hook. But they do need a few. They have paid their dues and deserve better than what is being handed to them.

The SBAB has started to look at the 1992 spring fishery. The time to get representation for these people is now.

The Chesapeake Bay regulations proposed for this fall include:

* The first half of the recreational season will open Oct. 9 and close Oct. 26.

* Anglers will be permitted to take two striped bass during this period.

* The season will reopen after Oct. 26, assuming the total allocation is not caught, and anglers will be permitted two striped bass per day until theallocation (456,700 pounds) is caught.

* The second half of the season will start before Nov. 9, probably on Oct. 27.

* The minimumsize remains 18 inches.

The charter boat season starts Oct. 9 andruns to Nov. 11, assuming the allocation (161,206 pounds) is not caught. Anglers will

be permitted two striped bass per day. Fish willbe tagged immediately. Charter captains may run no more than two trips daily to fish for striped bass.

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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