On the fishing front, the dog days of summer came early this year, but sweat them out -- and turn them into bass days. That's what I did the other day as the mercury climbed above 100 in Southern Maryland.
If you've got to endure the heat, you might as well do it whil fishing. And, hot weather or cold weather, fish have to eat sometime. The trick is to be there when they do.
It was a day of extreme contrasts. The first farm pond -- dee and of 40 acres -- didn't turn up a strike for Ebbie Smith and I. Our companion Francis Connor got one 2-pound bass.
After four hours of thrashing waters with lures that worked fro top to bottom, we switched to a 10-acre pond where fish were much more cooperative. Or perhaps, by dumb luck, we arrived when they decided to eat. In four hours, I caught and released more than 20 bass of up to 2 pounds. My companions took more than 20 each, mostly large bluegills, with some nice crappies and small bass mixed in -- and Smith had a pickerel of about 20 inches.
They scored on tiny (1 1/2 -inch) jig and blue twister tai combinations; I got mine on Super Frogs -- and might add I had at least 30 other strikes.The pattern was to cast within inches of the shoreline,especially around lily pods,weeds,or any other structure.
They got their fish several feet from shore to the boat,especially on drop-offs.So don't let the hot weather get you down.Be at the right place at the right time,and you will score.
Calendar ...* Saturday: Free training clinic and field trials of Maryland Retriever Club, 9 a.m., at intersection of Walnut and Park Heights avenues five miles from the Beltway. Call 242-8513.
* Saturday: Annual Ocean City Small Boat Tournament. Cal 1-301-289-6363.
* Monday: Striped Bass Advisory Board begins deliberations o next spring's rockfish regulations,6 to 9 pm,Department of agriculture Building,Harry Truman Parkway,Annapolis.Call Frances McFadden,974-3365.
* Monday: Loch Raven bass guide John Hauserman will start week-long fishing course on that reservoir for young and beginning anglers. Call 882-2307.
* July 11-14: Fourth annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament. Cal1-301-289-8121.
* July 26-28: Maryland Trophy Deer Contest at Howard CountFairgrounds. All bucks must be scored by an official scorer of Maryland Taxidermist's Association or Boone & Crocket scorer before the contest.Sorry no antlerless deer regardless of size.
Sponsors are the department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Bowhunters Society.Call cochairmen Tinker Johnson at 1-301-349-2413, or Don Travis at 1-301-778-4107.
Names and places ...
* Jim Donahue and Ray Nichols, who took over the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show in the 1970s, have sold it to New York City-based National Marine Manufacturers Association, which will promote the 38th annual edition next winter. The sale was not associated with the lull in boat business, much of which is blamed on the new 10 percent luxury tax -- the show was sold out, said Nichols.
NNMA has been purchasing major boat shows across th country to make them trade shows. Donahue and Nichols will continue to operate the Richmond Boat Show, also the International Auto Show at the Convention Center.
* A 395-pound mako shark won first place in both the Mako an Big Fish divisions of the annual Ocean City Sharkers Tournament for Brian A. Tarr of Harwood aboard the Yankee Babe. Hadie Bazar took second-place mako honors with a 195-pounder aboard the Its A Wrap. In the Open Division, Ed Kareskie got a 114-pound black tip aboard It's A Wrap, and Chet Madigan's 110-pound hammerhead came aboard the Fin Addict.
Ninety-four anglers on 20 craft boated seven sharks an released45, as emphasis grows on releases. The Sea Witch released two makos, five sandbars and one hammerhead. Also, on the release front, Murray Adams of Ellicott City caught Ocean City's best mako of the year -- estimated at 500 pounds -- and released it just before the tournament. And on another release front, Tom Harkins fishing the Charisma out of Ocean City Fishing Center took OC's first big blue marlin -- estimated at 400 pounds -- and promptly released it. Not long ago, the big blue billfish were brought back to the docks -- especially the first of the season. Much of the credit goes to 18-year-old Michelle Nichols who wrote a paper on fish releases at Key School Annapolis, and while doing so badgered skippers about releasing fish. She expects to continue her crusade from Washington College in Chestertown.