Perch fishing will warm you up

OUTDOORS

March 20, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

"The perch run is on! I drove down to Allen's Fresh on Monday and really got into them. When can you get down here?" Danny Stevens excitedly asked over the phone.

Unfortunately, work interferred with pleasure and I wasn't able to join Crownsville's resident yellow perch fanatic until last weekend. We put in a little more than an hour a little upstream of Slavin's Boat Ramp on the Mattawoman Creek before our five allotted yellow perch individual limits were filled. Despite a decent run, five perch is a sad commentary of the state of what often passes for great fishing these days.

You don't need to be a graybeard to remember when thousands of anglers threw off their winter blues, grabbed their light tackle gear and lined the backs of such traditional yellow perch hot spots as Allen's Fresh, Chester River, South River and hundreds of lesser known waterways from one end of bay country to the other. Anne Arundel County was a particularly popular spot during these perch runs.

Today, sharpely depleted perch numbers have forced the closing of yellow perching on the Chester, the Magothy, Miles, Nanticoke, Patapsco, Severn, South and West rivers. You still can fish for them on the Patuxent, Wye and Choptank, but the tTC minimum size limit is 9 inches. Elsewhere, the minimum size limit is 8 1/2 inches.

Forty-five degrees is the magic water temperature responsible for triggering the perch spawning runs into tidal creeks and streams. In most of the waterways used by the spawning perch, the arrival is marked by the presence of long ribbon-like strings of gelatinous eggs which are deposited by the females on submerged and semi-submerged tree limbs, stones and banks.

Allen's Fresh is probably the best known yellow perch hot spot. It is located in Charles County. Follow Route 301 south of LaPlata and turn left onto Route 234. The first stone bridge marks the spot. A live minnow fished on a bottom rig is about the best bet that I know of for catching a limit of these tasty fish.

Turkey hunting clinic

A Spring Turkey Hunting Clinic, sponsored by our local Central Maryland Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, is set for Saturday at the Meyer Station Range in Odenton. The clinic is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and you are encouraged to bring your usual turkey-hunting shotgun for use in simulated field hunting conditions and for a session on shot-load patterning. Both indoor and outdoor classes will be part of the clinic. A reservation is necessary, since space is limited.

Call Chuck Lewis at (410) 255-4341 to reserve your spot or to obtain more information.

The Central Maryland Chapter of the NWTF also has firmed up the details on its popular Fundraising Banquet and Auction. The date to mark on your calendar is April 6 and the place to go is Blob's Park located at Route 175 and Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Jessup. Social hour will begin at 6 followed by dinner at 7:30 with the popular auction to follow. The cost is $35 per person or $50 a couple and that includes NWTF membership and subscription to Turkey Call magazine for a year. To order tickets or to obtain complete details, call Dane Lance at (410) 730-9780.

The spring turkey hunt will get under way in Allegany, Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Kent, Montgomery, Somerset, Queen Anne's, Washington, Wicomico and Worcester counties on April 18 and continue through May 16. Ed Golden, who manages Maryland's turkey flock is predicting a great spring hunt and assures me that next spring will see our first statewide spring turkey season.

Time to think tuna

This year's Ocean City Tuna Tournament will take place July 14-17 and again will be headquartered at the Ocean City Fishing Center. The tournament will offer a $50,000 prize to the first angler to break the International Game Fish Association's official bigeye world record of 375 1/2 pounds, which was set off Ocean City in 1977 by Cecil Browne.

Entry forms and complete details can be obtained by calling (410) 213-1121 or by writing Ocean City Tuna Tournament, P.O. Box 940, Ocean City, Md. 21842.

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