Bluefish have been scattered around the Chesapeake Bay so far this spring, but on May 16-17, more than 328 were accounted for in the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association annual bluefish tournament.
According to Rich Novotny, executive director of the MSSA, 228 blues were weighed in at 11 stations around the bay, and more than 100 were released by the field of more than 4,000 fishermen.
Novotny said 962 boats were entered in the tournament.
James Dawson of Monkton enjoyed two great days of fishing, picking up the $15,000 prize for the largest blue and the $7,000 prize for the second largest fish. Dawson's two blues weighed 15.28 and 14.91 pounds.
Third place and $3,500 went to David Stevens of Arlington, Va., and fourth place and $2,000 went to Daniel Honemann of Timonium.
In the catch-and-release division of the tournament, John Hall of Lusby received $1,800 in merchandise prizes for releasing 37 blues.
Caitlin Paolucci of Hollywood won a $1,000 savings bond in the kids division with a blue that weighed 11.72 pounds.
Public hearings: In non-tidal waters of the state for 1993, the Department of Natural Resources is considering possible changes in put-and-take trout fishing areas, trophy trout areas, statewide creel limits for white and yellow perch, crappie, sunfish, catfish and striped bass.
Public meetings to discuss the possibilities will be held this week and next at the following locations (all meetings begin at 7 p.m.):
* Tuesday: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Prince George's County.
* Wednesday: Hereford Middle School, Baltimore County.
* June 9: Natural Resources Police meeting room, Queen Anne's County.
* June 10: Louis Ort Library, Frostburg State University, Allegany County.
* June 11: South High School, Washington County.
Santa Maria Cup: The field for the Santa Maria Cup match racing regatta, to be held on the Inner Harbor on June 11-14, has been increased from eight to 10 teams.
This year's field will include:
Nicky Bethwaite, Australia, Olympic sailor; Betsy Alison, Newport, R.I., three-time Rolex yachtswoman of the year; Titch Blachford, England, J-24 champion; Susie Minton, USNA, No. 1 ranked women's college sailor; Mary Brigden Snow, San Diego, top challenger in keelboats; Susan Madrigali, Ross, Calif., four-time women's national finalist; Hannah Swett, Jamestown, R.I., winning skipper of the Fastnet Race; Diane Burton, Annapolis, member of the U.S. sailing team; Judy Lugar, Nova Scotia, world 470 champion, member Canadian Olympic team; Dawn Riley, Detroit, crew on America's Cup winner America3.
Each skipper will bring three crew with her, and the winner of the regatta will be eligible to compete in the 1992 Knickerbocker Cup, the Canadian Women's Nations Cup, and the Cadillac Columbus Cup here Oct. 4-10.
MISCELLANEOUS: The first catches of mako shark and yellowfin tuna were reported last week off Ocean City, along with plenty of blues in the 10- to 15-pound range. . . . Sea trout have hit the inlet at Ocean City, too. . . . On the Chesapeake, fishing for speckled trout and sea trout has picked up in Tangier and Pocomoke sounds and the Honga River. Best catches have been at night, but deep holes off Crisfield have been producing during the day. . . . Sea bass fishing in Ocean City has been tremendous this spring, with many head-boat fishermen catching 3- and 4-pounders. Mixed in with the sea bass are ling cod, tautog and a few large bluefish. . . . Having trouble locating post-spawn bass on Conowingo Reservoir? Outdoor Life Unlimited, a regional guide service, recommends the following: From Borad Creek to the dam, use plastic worms in wood cover, and on the main lake, fish the old railroad bed with crankbaits. In the rocky cover above the power plant, try rattling lures and artificial grubs.