While several dozen of the best professional bass fishers in the country descended on Baltimore last month for the BASS Masters Classic, a group of younger anglers hit Centennial Park in Howard County for their own competition.
Wes Linda of Finksburg finished sixth in the11-14 age group of the BASS Masters/BP CastingKids competition. The competition introduces the youngsters to casting -- aiming and throwing a plastic lure with rod and reel.
Unlike the bass fishers' competition, though, this contest was held on dry land.
The object is to hit a bull's-eye target at groundlevel from three distances -- a flip cast from 10 feet, a pitch castfrom 20 feet and an overhead cast from 30 feet.
Wes, 14, scored 80 of a possible 120 points in the Aug. 21 event.
The winner was Christian Crew of Betterton, Kent County.
Each winner earned a trophy, while all finalists received engraved plaques.
"Casting competition is exciting because I want to be a pro fisherman some day," Wes said. "And you can't be a pro if you can't cast accurately."
The competition is sponsored by Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society and BP, an oil and gasoline producer.
Next summer, 10 competitors will compete in the first BASS Masters/BP CastingKids National Championships, featuring $20,000 in scholarship money.
The county hunting enthusiasts who asked for permission to hunt at Patapsco Valley State Park near Sykesville will be getting their wish this fall.
The Department of Natural Resources' State Forest and Park Service will allow alimited amount of bow hunting in an 800-acre portion of the park in Carroll County this fall.
Hunting in the park will be by permit only and limited to 10 hunters per day. Hunters will be selected by lottery.
The Carroll County Sportsmen's Association has requested thepark be opened to limited hunting and equestrian enthusiasts expressed some concern about hunting in the park, but members aid they were not overly worried about bow hunting.
Signs will be posted on the most-used trails advising people of the bow hunters.
Permits will be issued for dates from Nov.
1 to Dec. 7 by lottery. Hunters can enter the lottery starting Sept. 19 by submitting a 3-by-5-inch card with the applicant's name, address, daytime phone number, hunting license number and as many as three requested dates, in order of preference.
Cards must be mailed or hand delivered to Patapsco Valley State Park Headquarters, 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, Md., 21043. Attention: Managed Hunt Program.
Each card must be accompanied by a copy of the hunter's license and stamps, and up to two hunters may apply by placing both names on one entry.
Each name can be entered only once, and the lottery will be 10 a.m. Oct. 12 at the park headquarters.
Any permits still available after the lottery will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (except state holidays).
Cost of operating this hunting area is coming from the Maryland Bow Fund, which gets its money from state sportsmen's license fees.
Information: (301) 461-5005 or TTY (301) 974-3683.
Piney Run Park near Eldersburg will have its final sailing class of the season 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sept. 18.
The basic skills of sailing will be taught, including rigging, launching, sailing with and against the wind and safety.
This is a class for beginners, and small Sunfish-type boats will be used.
To better serve the students, only eight people will be accepted for the class, allowing for one-on-one instruction.
Piney Run Park will supply the boats and life jackets.
Students should wear sunglasses with a strap, sun protection, clothes and footwear thatwon't be ruined by water, and a bagged lunch.
Cost of the course is $40.
Information or registration: JoAnn Hunter, 795-6474 or 795-3274.
Two dates for night fishing -- tonight and Sept. 18 --have been announced by the staff of Piney Run Park.
These will bethe final two nights of fishing for the season.
Hours are 8 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.
Maryland state boating and fishing regulations apply and all boats must be equipped with running lights and a lantern.
Rental boats are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but the renter must provide lights.
Cost is the regular park admission fee plus an extra $2 per person.
Registration is available theday of the program.