Last weekend, the newest and best of the sailing industry was gathered at the city docks in Annapolis. This weekend, the powerboat industry gets its shot with the U.S. Powerboat Show.
Among the newest developments in powerboating -- whether fishing, day tripping or cruising -- are power catamarans, and this year a number of these twin-hulled designs will be at the Annapolis show.
Among the notables scheduled to be at the show are Mares Performance Cat 38, Sea Cat 23 and 25-foot models, HydroCat 290, Kevlar Cat 19 and the Glacier Bay line.
The Mares 38 is long and fast, a racing hull that creates a ground effect when under way to trap air between the hulls and turns it into a cushion on which the boat rides.
The center-console HydroCat 290 is powered by twin 200-horsepower outboards and its manufacturer says it will reach speeds of more than 50 miles per hour.
The Sea Cats and Glacier Bay boats are proven performers inshore and offshore and, as do most catamaran designs, run faster and smoother than traditional single-hulled boats in most sea conditions.
According to show organizers, as many as 400 new boats will be on display in the water, and hundreds more will be based shoreside, along with dingies, personal watercraft, gear and accessories.
In addition to the catamarans, nearly a half-mile of floating docks will be filled with multi-boat displays from major manufacturers -- from day boats to trans-oceanic cruisers.
Several boats on display will offer a chance to go back to the future in traditional, picnic-boat designs built around state-of-the-art technology -- the Belkov Picnic Express modeled after the Hooper Island Draketail workboats, the Ted Hood WhisperJet 52, Mobjack 36 and the Hinckley 36 Picnic Boat.
The cool, wet weather might put a damper on fishing in some areas, but according to Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists, the cool-down probably won't have a long-term impact on what often has been fantastic fall fishing around the state.
"Water temperatures are well above their historical averages now, and the region's fishermen will be blessed with what appears to be a longer season for several species," biologist Martin L. Gary said, adding that bay surface temperatures have been about 70 degrees. " It will take a temperature drop of at least 10 degrees to budge the ravenous schools of marauding bluefish, which remain plentiful to at least the Bay Bridge."
In addition to bluefish, angling in several areas is good or excellent for rockfish, sea trout, perch and, in Pocomoke and Tangier sounds, spotted trout.
In fresh water, bass, pike, pickerel and panfish are feeding heavily and angling has been excellent.
In the upper Chesapeake Bay, larger rockfish continue to be spread out and smaller stripers are concentrated at Love Point, Hickory Thicketts and Hodges Bar. Best bet for larger rockfish has been in the shallows in the evening or along river-channel drop-offs in the tributaries, including the Patapsco and Chester rivers. Daytime trolling (bucktails) and casting (crankbaits or large poppers) in the evening are favored methods.
Some of the best striper angling in the upper bay is in the Susquehanna River, where the area between Logan's Wharf and Lapidum has been producing on diving baits and poppers.
In the middle bay, chummers at The Hill, Stone Rock, mouth of the West River, The Diamonds, The Flagpole and Gum Thicketts all have been doing well on rockfish. Trollers working the western edge of the shipping channel in 35- to 40-foot depths continue to do well from Parker's Creek to Randall's Cliffs.
DNR's pound net survey confirms the presence of numerous rockfish larger than 28 inches in the shallows off the main bay channel and in the Choptank and Patuxent rivers and Eastern Bay. Fishing is best from an hour before sunset to an hour after sunset.
Bluefish are tightly schooled in several areas and ravaging striper baits in chum lines. White perch fishing remains excellent from Hacketts to Tolley Point, and occasional sea trout to four pounds have been mixed in. Sea trout also can be found off the mouth of the South River and along the edges at the mouth of the Choptank.
In the lower bay, Buoy 72, Point No Point Light and the Northwest Middle Grounds have been good choices for rockfish, although often crowded. Alternative choices are the American Mariner, the 35-foot edges along either side of the channel and The Targets.
At Ocean City, flounder in the inlet area, snapper blues in the back bays and tautog at the jetties can be found. Offshore anglers fishing close in have been taking sea trout, croaker and occasional flounder.
In fresh water, upper Potomac water levels have been low, but smallmouth fishing has continued to be good for mostly smaller fish.
At Liberty Reservoir, stripers to 12 pounds have been taken from the upper reaches of the impoundment, crappie fishing is excellent around beaver huts and some walleye can be found in 10- to 15-foot depths.
The flats near the Warren Road bridge at Loch Raven are turning up northern pike to 12 pounds, while bass fishing is steady off points.
A few large pike have been caught at Deep Creek Lake on drifted shiners, and smallmouth fishing continues to be steady in 6- to 12-foot depths along rocky shorelines.
If you're going
What: 26th U.S. Powerboat Show, largest in-the-water fall show in the world Where: City docks and harbor, Annapolis
When: Trade/press/VIP day is today; public days are tomorrow through Sunday. The show opens at 10 a.m. daily
Admission: General admission is $12 for adults and $6 for all children 12 and under. VIP tickets are $25 each
Information: Call 410-268-8828
Pub Date: 10/16/97