Fishing set to heat up for winter

OUTDOORS

December 20, 1992|By GARY DIAMOND

Winter arrives early in Harford County, but despite the blustery weather, there's usually some type of fishing taking place close to home.

Within the next few weeks, freshwater angling should be red hot at Conowingo Lake's Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant, Broad Creek and Conowingo Creek.

If conditions are favorable, huge crappie, walleye, hybrid white bass and chunky bluegills should congregate at these locations.

If the lake's covered with a thin layer of skim ice, you always can try your luck dunking night crawlers for chunky brown trout at the base of Eden Mill Dam or casting live minnows for walleyes in the tailrace waters below Conowingo Dam.

At the very least, you'll have a good chance of hooking a couple of big chubs or suckers, thus staving off a severe case of cabin fever.

Unfortunately, there are times when the weather's just plain rotten, such as last week when nearly five days of bone-chilling wind, snow and rain made fishing impossible.

This is a good time, however, to shop for those last-minute gifts for that special person in your life who enjoys fishing, boating or hunting.

With 1993 just around the corner, most anglers need to purchase a new fishing license, trout stamp, Chesapeake Bay Stamp and boat stickers.

You'll find them all at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Regional Office in the District Court Building on Bond Street in Bel Air. All you need is the person's name, address, date of birth and Social Security number.

"If the customer doesn't know what type of outdoor activity the person's involved in, I suggest they buy a gift certificate," said Dave Anderson at Stonewall Sports in Joppa.

"If, for example, they know he or she fishes for smallmouth bass at Conowingo Lake, then we can outfit them with the right lures, rod, reel, tackle box and fill the reel with line. Each of these items makes a great Christmas gift and it's something different than the traditional socks, ties or clothing people soon forget about.

"Every time they hook a big smallmouth, it will be on the Christmas gift fishing rod. The main thing is knowing what equipment they already have and if you don't there's an even chance we'll know the person and be able to help the customer with their selection."

Ed Hunton at Hunton's Rugged Outdoors in Bel Air said, "A lot of our customers are looking for stocking stuffers, small items that relate to outdoor activities here in Harford County.

"If the person's a fly fisherman, the selection is endless with everything from fly-tying materials to a complete, matched fly fishing outfit."

Hunton says fly fishing in Harford County has become an extremely popular pastime, especially for anglers that enjoy fishing for hickory shad and blueback herring at Deer and Octorario Creeks.

Another sport that's growing in popularity in Harford County is hunting with primitive firearms.

With muzzleloader deer season opening this weekend and running until Jan. 2, the avid hunter in your family would be pretty excited if a new Hawken rifle was sitting under the tree.

Now all I need to do is have a gigantic yard sale and sell all of those socks, ties, gloves and shirts that I've been getting as Christmas presents for the past 30 years. Then I'll have enough money to spend the winter fishing in Key West.

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