Boast becomes reality with state-record striper

On The Outdoors

May 27, 1999|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Dean Barrick of Westminster is a regular at Old Reisterstown Bait and Tackle, a part-time taxidermist who likes to talk fishing and has fished the shorelines and waters of Liberty Reservoir for 30 years.

"Each time before he leaves, he says, `Next time you see me, I'll have a state record,' " said Steve Morea, who runs the popular store. "He says it every time he comes in."

On Sunday, Barrick caught his record, a 44-pound, 8-ounce striped bass that measured 45.5 inches long and 35 inches around.

The previous state record for a freshwater striped bass was set in December 1997 by John Reedy of Catonsville, who caught a 41-pound, 9-ounce striper at Liberty.

"Something must have been lined up just right somewhere [in the universe]," said Barrick, who makes his living installing utility sewer lines and drains with Gray and Son. "Sunday was just a really great day."

Barrick is a Sunday fisherman, taking one day a week away from his wife and two children to try to fathom the mysteries of Liberty Reservoir, which has turned up multiple striper records the past few years.

"I've fished it on and off for 30 years, since I was a kid," said Barrick, 41. "I've fished from the shoreline and from boats and I've got out of it for a while. But last year I had a chance to buy a nice boat, and I've been figuring it out again."

On Sunday, Barrick spent the entire day fishing Liberty, off-loading and on-loading groups of friends, and the fishing was good all day, he said.

He hooked the big fish at 6 p.m. and boated it at about 6: 30 p.m. Barrick was using a jumbo shiner for bait and caught the record in the canyon area above Nicodemus bridge.

"It wasn't the longest -- I've caught 47- and 46-inchers -- but this one was just so fat," said Barrick, who operates Going Fishing Taxidermy out of his home.

"I usually don't get around to mounting my own fish, because I don't have time. I'm going to make the time to mount this one."

Freshwater Fisheries chief Bob Lunsford verified the catch.

Fishing updates

Upper Chesapeake: Rockfish of 28 inches or more have been scarce and chummers have been sorting through large numbers of smaller fish before finding a keeper. On June 1, the size limits change and the entire upper bay opens for one fish at 18 inches or more and one fish of 28 inches or more. On the lower Susquehanna, white perch to 10 inches are hitting shad darts and bloodworms, smallmouth bass are taking crankbaits and catfish are hitting cut bait. Walleye, too, are active. In the Elk River, catfish are hot, and largemouth bass have been taking crankbaits, spinnerbaits and plastics on the edges of Susquehanna Flats, the Sassafras River and in the Seneca Creek and Dundee Creek areas.

Middle Chesapeake: Rockfish in this area, too, are mostly under the 28-inch minimum, but chummers working the humps off the mouth of the West River have had occasional success, and Summer Gooses, Diamonds and Stone Rock should also be productive. Bluefish from 1 to 3 pounds are scattered from Cove Point to Chesapeake Beach. Schools of white perch appear to be moving onto points and oyster bars along the Western Shore from Hackett's to Thomas Point Light.

Lower Chesapeake: Rockfish action has fallen off here, too, as big stripers have moved through the area. There are plenty of rockfish in the 20- to 26-inch range, however, for anglers who hit the start of the early summer season on June 1. Bottom fishing has picked up significantly, with the eastern side of the channel holding croaker to 17 inches from Hooper Island Light to the Target Ship. Also good numbers of sea trout in that area. Tangier Sound also has good croaker and sea trout fishing, especially in the Island Rock and Great Rock areas. Flounder along the eastern edges of the main channel. Croaker and snapper blues at the Point Lookout pier. Black drum apparently are moving in, with netters releasing 30 off Lower Hoopers Island late last week.

Ocean City: The first mako shark of the season was caught last week in 300 fathoms between Baltimore and Poorman's canyons. Bluefish to 13 pounds at the Jackspot, and blue sharks won't be far behind. Tautog and sea bass on the near-shore wrecks. Stripers to 28 pounds have been reported from the Route 50 bridge and the surf, along with blues to 9 pounds. Smaller blues scattered in the back bays, and sea trout from the bridge and inlet piers. Flounder action has been mediocre.

Potomac: Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent from D.C. waters to well south of Mattawoman Creek, with early topwater action providing lots of excitement. The upper Potomac remains low, even after recent rains, and smallmouth action has been consistent on grubs and tube lures.

Loch Raven Reservoir: White perch and crappie congregating off cove mouths and bass in 6- to 12-foot depths adjacent to rocky points and bars and grass beds.

Gunpowder River: River is 58 degrees and clear. Sulphurs in the evening and caddis from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.

Pub Date: 5/27/99

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