Water worries don't dampen anglers' contest

September 14, 1997|By D. Quentin Wilber | D. Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Perry Mace said he was a little worried about catching a sick fish yesterday morning. He carried rubbing alcohol on his boat, just in case.

But as he pulled into Phillip's Landing near Laurel, Del., at 3 p.m., Mace seemed very pleased about his day on the Nanticoke River.

Mace was one of 94 anglers vying for a spot on the Delaware Bass Federation Team that will compete in a regional tournament next year. The qualifying rounds continue today in Laurel.

"They looked pretty good today, fought pretty good," said Mace, of Wilmington, Del. "A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work."

Those sentiments were echoed by nearly all the competitors, despite early concerns about catching fish with lesions.

With recent news reports about a microorganism killing fish on the Pocomoke River and recently at Kings Creek near Princess Anne, most bass anglers here said they were prepared to catch some fish with lesions and sores. But only one bass out of about 270 weighed by judges showed any signs of real illness.

Other fish were cut and bruised, leading some fishermen to believe those bass had lesions. But tournament officials said that they had seen marks like those many times before and that they meant nothing.

"In the 14 years I've been running tournaments, I really haven't seen much difference in the fish," said Jay Brittingham, the tournament's director. "It was a beautiful day to fish."

After tomorrow's round, the top 12 finishers will compete in the Eastern Regionals in New Hampshire next year, Brittingham said.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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