Maryland's spring trophy striped bass (rockfish) season has passed through the approval process, and now all that remains is for area anglers to get out on the bay, beginning May 1, and have a ball.
The season will continue through May 31, and you will be allowed three rockfish measuring not less than 34 inches.
To participate in the trophy season, anglers will need a current Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license plus a $2 striped bass permit stamp.
These stamps are available from the following Anne Arundel locations: Angler's Sporting Goods, Annapolis; Bart's Sport World, Glen Burnie; C & J's Hunting & Fishing, Lothian; Cobe Marine, Pasadena; Fish'N Barrel, Pasadena; Commercial Line & Bait, Edgewater; Marty's Sporting Goods, Edgewater; Mike's Sport Shop, Pasadena; Muddy Creek Liquors, Edgewater; On Target, Severn; Supply & Con. Warehouse, Annapolis; Sports Authority, Glen Burnie; Warren's Bait, Glen Burnie and at the Department of Natural Resource's Service Center, 580 Taylor Ave., Tawes State Office Building, Annapolis.
Along with your permit stamp, you will receive three numbered plastic lock tags and the numbers will be recorded on the stamp. Each tag must be affixed to the gill or lower jaw of the legal-size rockfish.
The DNR also is asking successful anglers to call (800) 999-2800 the day the fish is caught and report the date of the catch, the tag number, the length of the striped bass and the location of the catch.
Fishing is limited to the main portion of the Chesapeake Bay from the northern span of the Bay bridges, south to the Maryland-Virginia line, including Tangier and Pocomoke sounds.
No rockfishing is allowed in any rivers or north of the Bay bridges so that spawning areas will remain protected. You cannot gaff any rockfish, nor can you use whole eels throughout the season. Fishing hours will be limited to 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
White perch, crappie and bass are reported active in the lower sections of the Gunpowder River. Use bloodworms, nightcrawlers or grass shrimp on the bottom for the perch, plastic worms for bass.
Excellent white perch fishing is waiting for you on the upper Choptank. Red Bridges, New Bridge and Blackwater are especially hot. Use grass shrimp on shart darts. A good mackerel run is being exploited by the Ocean City Fishing Center's OC Princess.
The Potomac River should be in good shape this weekend. Hot largemouth action can be found in the lower portions of the river, including Occoquan River and Mattawoman Creek. White perch are reported at Chicamuxen and Namjemoy creeks.
L Use nightcrawlers, bloodworms or grass shrimp on the bottom.
Turkey hunt starts tomorrow
Maryland's spring turkey season kicks off tomorrow and will continue through May 16. Two bearded turkeys may be taken in 14 counties if you did not bag a bird during the fall season.
Steve Bittner, the DNR's turkey program manager predicts, "the highest kill to be in the four western counties. Although flock breakup appears to be later this year in that area, hunters should still find plenty of turkeys."
Last year Maryland hunters bagged 1,240 birds.
Anne Arundel hunters will not have to travel far from home for next spring's turkey hunt.
That's when Maryland will see its first statewide turkey season.