News from the DNR Office of Communications

Annapolis Angler Catches Diamond Jim Imposter at Bay Bridge

Nearly 600 Imposters, $25,000 Diamond Jim Still on the Loose

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (August 18, 2010) — The second Diamond Jim imposter of the 2010 Maryland Fishing challenge has been caught by Leo James Jr. of Annapolis, Md. James was fishing with his father-in-law at the Bay Bridges August 17 at 1 p.m. when he hooked the 24-inch striped bass, tagged on June 29. The Diamond Jim imposter, worth $500 in prize money, was one of nearly 600 rockfish tagged so far this summer. The actual Diamond Jim is currently worth $25,000.

“I want to congratulate Mr. James as a winner in the 2010 Maryland Fishing Challenge,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This annual tournament is one more reason for all Marylanders and visitors to our great State to get out on the water and enjoy fishing and our beautiful natural resources.”

Over the summer, three batches of specially tagged striped bass – one authentic Diamond Jim and the rest imposters – have been released into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The current Diamond Jim – which was released July 29 – is worth $25,000. Also still on the loose are as many as 599 imposters worth $500 each.

The Maryland Fishing Challenge, Featuring Diamond Jim is a free, year-round tournament sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, 27 recreational fishing organizations and generous donors across the State. The purpose of the event is to promote Maryland’s excellent fishing opportunities and the importance of children in the outdoors as an essential key to future environmental stewardship.

The 2010 Maryland Fishing Challenge ends at midnight on Labor Day with a grand awards celebration at Sandy Point State Park to follow in conjunction with the 43rd Annual Maryland Seafood Festival on September 11, 2010. Qualified anglers can vie for grand prizes including a Tracker boat package, a 7-day dream excursion to the island of Tobago courtesy of the World Fishing Network. Other prizes include thousands of dollars in fishing gear, merchandise from Under Armour and fishing trips from Bill’s Outdoor Center.

Through the citation component, more than 60 species of fish are eligible for the grand prizes, including large and smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, musky and panfish in the freshwaters of Maryland; rockfish (striped bass), bluefish, drum, sea trout and perch in the Chesapeake Bay; and tuna, marlin, flounder, kingfish and sea bass caught in Maryland waters off the Atlantic Coast. 

Anglers under age 16 who take part in any of the 50 fishing rodeos across the state and win their event are invited to the finale and guaranteed a “fishing trip of a lifetime,” sponsored by supporting Fishing Challenge partners and sponsors.

“Catch a fish” is one of the Maryland Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, issued by Governor Martin O’Malley in April 2009. The bill is part of the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, an initiative to ensure all Maryland young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards.


   August 18, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at