Angler vs. tiger muskie: a rugged March tradition

This Just In...

March 07, 1997|By DAN RODRICKS

There's a new tradition developing in Maryland: tiger muskie fishing in March. Yes, sir. This is the month men in camo coveralls take strong fishing rods with 25-pound test line to the Potomac River to hunt for these sharp-toothed, prehistoric-looking, hunter-chewer fish. They're long, large, sleek and aggressive. If Steven Segal were a fish, he'd be a tiger muskie. Does that give you an image?

In March, tiger muskies move into the mouths of the streams and rivers that feed the Potomac. They find a comfortable territory and eat like mad. (Tiger muskies don't breed. They just eat.)

The tiger is a cross between the northern pike and the true muskellunge. The state began stocking them in the mid -and upper Potomac in 1989. At stocking, most measure 8 to 10 inches. In three years, they reach 30 inches. (The legal minimum for keeping a tiger muskie, by the way, is 36 inches; the daily creel limit is one, assuming you can find a creel big enough to put 'em in. I recommend a borrowed shopping cart instead.)

A state record for tiger muskie just came in. Kevin Conner of Martinsburg, W.Va., took one last month from the Potomac near Clear Spring. It was - are y'all ready for this? - 47 inches long. It weighed 29 pounds, 4.75 ounces. That's one fine torpedo of a fish. Conner caught it with a plastic worm-leadhead jig combination. The previous record - and I'm only mentioning this because I like the guy's name - was held by Richard "Yogi" Sword. Yogi Sword caught a 46-inch, 27-pounder last March near Clear Spring.

Listen now, with tiger muskie growing to this size, I'd be careful about indulging in water sports in the upper Potomac. I don't want to scare anyone, but if you take the kids wading this summer, please, do a [See Rodricks, 5b] head count before leaving the river.

The singer's wife's clothes

The partners in Repeat Performance, a consignment shop on Reisterstown Road in the heart of Pikesville, get a kick directing browsers to "Celebrity Corner," a rack near the cash register that holds dressy clothing that once belonged to Mrs. Neil Sedaka. Cereal Mom, irregular TJI correspondent, discovered castoffs from the wife of the singer-songwriter who gave us "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," "Laughter in the Rain" and "Diary." CM reports a short red skirt with layers of ruffles, a turquoise and purple pantsuit, a red double-breasted silk-and-wool cocktail dress and strapless peach dress with matching jacket, all (size 6 or 8) from the songster's wife, Leba. They're on the rack because consignment part-owner Sydell Gould is a distant relative of Mrs. Sedaka. Relations persuaded the celeb's better half to send her hand-me-downs to Pikesville's Miracle Mile. (Apparently the clothing was rescued as it was about to be thrown out of Casa Sedaka.) These days, Mrs. Gould awaits a shipment nearly each week from Los Angeles, Connecticut or New York. Look for the "spring shipment" in a couple of weeks. It's expected to contain Coach bags, more cocktail dresses and Mrs. Sedaka's lingerie. (Here I am, a columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper, and I actually just wrote the words "Mrs. Sedaka's lingerie." I feel like the "Car Talk" guys on public radio; they're always saying, for no apparent reason, "Sonja Henie's tutu." God help us.)

Circus plans up in the air

A mysterious courier yesterday delivered a message from Airiana the Human Arrow, circus aerialist and poster fantasy girl from Ringling Bros. (The circus, due in Baltimore next week, has been stalled in Cincinnati because of Ohio River floodwaters.) Someone relayed Airiana my offer of a salad bar lunch in Wednesday's column. "A salad bar? I don't know. My schedule is so complicated," said a telegraphed message attached to a red cardboard heart lanced with Cupid's arrow. "I'm waterlogged in Cincinnati. The shows have been canceled and I'm not logging any air time. And I don't know how all this moisture will affect my cross bow. I'm looking forward to Baltimore and being airborne ++ again. Can I airdrop some tickets for you? I'd love to see you from the air."

The metaphors excite me as a man and a journalist. Stay tuned.

A gem of a bill? No

This Just In from Naptown: Chick and Ruth's is now serving espresso, cappuccino and mochachino. Is nothing sacred? I love the legislatives. First, they want to declare milk - whole, low-fat and skim - the official state beverage. Now, some of our steamed centaurs and honorable designates want to have an official state gem - golden topaz. They're actually having a hearing about it today. I think we should declare the filing of silly bills as the state's "official waste of time"!

Song of grief

Frederick Ebanks Jr., father of the children killed in the Lakewood Avenue rowhouse fire early Monday, told a friend he wanted to sing at the funeral this morning. The Rev. Anthony Johnson, pastor of Mount Hebron Baptist Church on North Avenue, said he prayed with Ebanks the other night and took him to a service at Winston Avenue Baptist Church. "He stood and said he wanted to sing a song for his children, and he did," Johnson said. "He sang, 'It's So Hard to Say Goodbye.' He prayed to have courage to sing at his children's funeral. I don't know if he will. He said he really had tried to save the children. He told me, 'You taught me many things, but you never taught me how to deal with this.' And I said, 'No matter how religious you are, how strong you are, there's no way you can possibly prepare for a thing like this.' "

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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