Peter Baker's journal

OUTDOORS

March 11, 1993

PERCH FISHING

A week ago Tuesday, the yellow perch were scarce in the Hillsboro area of Tuckahoe Creek on the Eastern Shore. In the week and a half since, the moon has come full and the perch fishing has picked up.

Reports from the Patuxent and Blackwater rivers also show the run of yellow perch gathering momentum.

The best baits to use are grass shrimp or small minnows on small hooks beneath bobbers.

Try getting your bait into deeper areas on the slacker edges of the current. The perch are headed upstream to spawn and will be following the path of least resistance.

The Chester, Magothy, Miles, Nanticoke, Patapsco, Severn, South and West rivers remain closed for yellow perch.

The creel limit is five per day. The minimum size in most areas is 8.5 inches. In the Wye, Patuxent and Choptank rivers, the minimum size is 9 inches.

And if the yellow perch are starting to run well, the white perch will not be far behind.

HIGH TIDES

For the past few days, the tides have been unusually high or low in Maryland because the moon has been far closer to the earth than normal. Next month, from April 5-9, the same tidal phenomenon is possible, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

To avoid possible boat problems with extreme tide ranges, BOAT/U.S. suggests the following:

* Ease docking lines to the boat may rise and fall a greater distance. Add or move chafing gear to account for increased movement.

* If your boat is dry stored, be certain that it is positioned above the possible high tide line.

* If you are going boating during this period, take a close look at the charts before cutting shallow points or other underwater obstructions. An extreme low tide will make regular waters unfamiliar.

SHORT TAKES

With the boating season already started for the hardier among us, remember that the federal recreational vessel fee schedule has changed for this year.

Boats 21 feet or less do not have to pay the fee; boats between 21 feet, 1 inch and 26 feet, 11 inches must pay $35; those 27 feet to 39 feet, 11 inches must pay $50; 40 footers and up must pay $100. To order RVF decals and pay the fee, phone (800) 848-2100. . . . The 1994 Maryland Trout Stamp Design Contest opened March 1. The artwork that wins the contest will be used as the basis for the trout stamp that anglers 16 years or older must purchase to fish for trout in Maryland. Entries close July 16. Contest rules may be obtained by writing Frances R. McFaden, Maryland Trout Stamp Contest, Department of Natural Resources, Tawes State Office Building, Annapolis, Md., 21401.

CALENDAR

Today: Monthly meeting of the Patapsco Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Hashawa Environmental Center, Iroquois Building, Westminster, 7 p.m. Dr. Robert Bachman of DNR will speak on area trout fishing. The public is welcome.

Tomorrow: NRA Great American Hunters Tour at Bowie State University, 5 p.m. Seminar series with an emphasis on bow hunting and also dealing with hunter safety, ethics and responsibility. Speakers on tips and tactics for scouting, tracking and calling will be Mike Hanback, James Kroll and M.R. James. Pre-registration recommended. Call (800) 492-HUNT.

Saturday-Sunday: Crusader Yacht Sales open house and boat show at Port Annapolis Marina, 7078 Bembe Beach Road, Annapolis. Sailmakers, electronics dealers, boat dealers, financing and insurance and seminars by W.I.B. Crealock and Buddy Melges. Call (410) 269-0939.

Saturday: Maryland Bowhunters Society annual banquet, 6 p.m. at Snyder's Willow Grove Restaurant on Hammonds Ferry Road. Speaker is scheduled to be Paul Brunner on hunting whitetail deer.

Saturday: Mountain Club of Maryland hike in the St. Anthony's Wilderness. Call

Sunday: MCM hike at Catoctin Mountain Park.

Monday: Public meeting to discuss hunting seasons and bag limits proposed by DNR for 1993-1994, at South Hagerstown High School, 1101 South Potomac St., Hagerstown, 7 p.m.

Tuesday: Public meeting to discuss hunting seasons and bag limits proposed by DNR for 1993-1994, at North Carroll High School, 3801 Hampstead-Mexico Road, Hampstead, 7 p.m.

March 18: Public meeting to discuss hunting seasons and bag limits proposed by DNR for 1993-1994, at Talbot County Free Library, 100 West Dover St., Easton, 7 p.m.

March 19: Public meeting to discuss hunting seasons and bag limits proposed by DNR for 1993-1994, at Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Building, Route 231, Hughesville, 7 p.m.

*

(Items may be mailed to Outdoors Editor, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001. Please include time, date and location of events to be listed, as well as a short description of planned activities and a telephone number, including area code for more information. Outdoors Journal is published each Thursday and Sunday. Please mail listings four weeks before the event.)

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