Filling fish box easy work on the bay

OUTDOORS

August 14, 1994|By LONNY WEAVER

Dick Broden and I launched his boat at Sandy Point for a few hours of carefree fish finding Tuesday afternoon. Fishing from one end of the Chesapeake to the other is as good as I have seen it in some years.

Last week, for example, while fishing with Captain Eddie Davis in the area known as the Middle Grounds, we filled the fish box with speckled trout weighing 3 to 6 pounds, hardhead averaging 3 pounds, jumbo spot, tasty blowfish and schools of breaking snapper blues.

The bottom fishing minutes out of Annapolis, Chesapeake Beach and points north, south and east is fabulous.

Broden and I ran down to Blackwalnut Point, which is the southern-most tip of Tilghman Island and in no time put a couple of dinners worth of jumbo spot and hardheads in the cooler. Near the Stone Rock we got into snapper blues and trout averaging 4 pounds. Up by Poplar Island we caught and released more than a dozen rockfish.

Broden suggested trolling small spoons in the off-chance of picking up a Spanish mackerel or two on the run back toward the Bay Bridges. We tied small metal planers ahead of the spoons and trolled at about 7 knots, which is nearly twice as fast as you would pull a lure if the target species were blues or rockfish. The planers kept the spoons at about 10 feet and insured a continuous lure action.

Spanish mackerel have been south of Chesapeake Beach for a little more than a week. We got into them late Tuesday south of Bloody Point and in the area of the mouth of Eastern Bay.

Rockfish season set

The fall striped bass season will open Sept. 24 and will continue at least until Nov. 14 and possibly longer. Fishing will be permitted from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and the minimum size is 18 inches. Sports anglers are permitted to keep a single legal-sized rockfish daily while those fishing aboard a charter boat are allowed to keep two.

Beginning Jan. 1, striped bass will be reclassified to a "fully recovered fishery."

Pete Jensen, the Department of Natural Resources' Director of Fisheries, said we can then expect a 120- to 140-day season, plus the usual monthlong (possibly two months) spring trophy season.

Also, as of Jan. 1, everyone will be allowed the same daily fish possession (probably two per person per day).

Dove season dates set

The dates for the early mourning dove season are Sept. 1 to Oct. 22. Keeping with tradition, hunting hours are noon to sunset, and the daily bag is a dozen.

Now is the time to begin lining up dove hunting spots. If you are having difficulty getting permission to hunt private land, here are some nearby Wildlife Management Areas offering dove hunting: Hugg-Thomas (410) 356-9272, Chapel Point State Park (301) 743-5161, McKee-Beshers (301) 258-7308, Cheltenham and Nottingham, both at (301) 372-8128.

Duck hunting looks bright

Duck populations are in the best condition in 25 years, reports the DNR's Director of Wildlife Josh Sandt.

Nationwide, according to U.S. Fish & Wildlife estimates, mallard numbers are up 20 percent, pintails 45 percent, blue and green-wing teal populations are up significantly and gadwall are at a record high. Canvasback numbers are so good that Maryland will see a Dec. 13 to Jan. 7 season with a one-duck-a-day bag.

Public hearings are scheduled to discuss the proposed Maryland waterfowl hunting seasons -- duck, Oct. 14-15 (closed to black ducks & canvasbacks); Nov. 24-25 (canvasback closed); Dec. 13 to Jan. 7. Daily duck limit is four.

Canada goose numbers visiting the Maryland area are expected to be the same or slightly under last year's when hunters bagged 60,000.

Hearings are set for Aug. 23 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 515 Lock Haven Road, Edgewater; Aug. 24 at Havre de Grace High School, 700 Congress Ave., Havre de Grace; Aug. 29 at Knight's Inn, 2831 Ocean Gateway, Cambridge. All hearings begin at 7 p.m.

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