The Maryland Fishing Challenge continues through this month and until September 1st. Fishermen are encouraged to register any fish they catch that meets the minimum size criteria at a Citation Center to be in the drawing for a number of prizes which include a new 4x4 Tundra pickup truck, a boat, motor and trailer outfit and thousands of dollars in prizes.
On July 31, 2008, 21 specially tagged striped bass will be released at locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. One of the 21 will be Diamond Jim, a fish worth $25,000 cash courtesy of Boater’s World and a $5,000 diamond from Smyth Jewelers, if caught by midnight on August 31. The other tagged striped bass, Diamond Jim imposters, will each be worth $500 in Boater’s World gift certificates.
Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the 2008 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Saturday, April 12 and runs through Labor Day, September 1. Any angler who catches a citation-qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes. To date, over 1,100 anglers have qualified to win grand prizes, including a 2008 Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota, a boat and trailer package from Bass Pro Shops and $5,000 in gear from Bill’s Outdoor Center.
What a delight the weather has been these past few days, fishermen had to dodge a few thunderstorms in some areas but the cool temperatures have been a real plus. Many parents took the opportunity to take their children fishing this past weekend. In some cases it was just the idea of sharing some time with mom or dad while being out on the water or shore bound at a favorite fishing hole. It usually doesn’t matter if it’s poking sticks in the water while waiting for some activity from a bobber or just the impatience of youth wanting to reel in the line constantly. As fishing parents we’ve all been there and enjoyed every second of it. The pictures below tell two different stories but have a common thread; which is exposing kids to the great outdoors. Little Haley-Jo Thaxton proudly holds up a sizable carp that she caught all by herself while fishing with her mom at a park pond in Hagerstown. Haley–Jo was fishing in a children’s fishing derby and it is the first fish she has ever caught; congratulations. Ryley Rae McQueeney has no reservations about bear hugging a striped bass that her dad caught while fishing together. Ryley Rae apparently loves to go out on the boat with her dad and yells “On Fish” when the reels start to sing. These two little girls are very lucky to have parents willing to introduce them to fishing and the rewards will no doubt be great in the coming years.
Upper bay fishermen have been experiencing plenty of action for a mix of striped bass and bluefish from Poole’s Island south to the Bay Bridge. Fishermen have been chumming at popular locations such as Swan Point and Love Point; they’ve also been trolling along channel edges and near lumps with good results for a mix of bluefish and striped bass. Fishermen report spotting breaking fish in the region; mostly towards the evening hours and near lumps such as Belvedere Shoals. Fishermen have been casting to the surface fish or jigging underneath. Live lining spot and white perch also continue to be popular and effective in the upper bay region. David Drutz caught this nice striped bass while live lining a spot at Love Point.
Fishermen in the middle bay region have been fishing for striped bass by live lining spot near sharp channel edges as well as trolling and jigging. Fishermen have been encountering mixed schools of striped bass and bluefish chasing bait on the surface or in the depths below. When these fish are found the action tends to fast and furious whether one is trolling or light tackle jigging. Bottom fishermen are finding croakers on many of the shoal areas well after dark and are catching them to a lesser extent during the day in the deeper waters of the channels. White perch are abundant on many of the shoal areas such as Holland Point and most of the tidal rivers also have abundant white perch populations.
Lower bay fishermen are enjoying good fishing for striped bass by live lining spot at channel edges or by trolling, chumming or light tackle jigging. Mixed schools of bluefish and striped bass have been seen breaking water all over the region in the main part of the bay this past week. A few fishermen who have been cautiously approaching some of these breaking fish have been surprised to find more than they bargained for on the end of their line. Butch Chambers stopped the boat near a surface disturbance with friends and cast a soft plastic jig and wound up with this beautiful red drum which was carefully returned to the bay once a picture was taken to record this momentous event.
Bottom fishing in the lower bay/Tangier Sound region continues to be very good although the croaker have been holding deep during the day and have not been moving up into the adjoining shoal areas until late at night. Spot fishing in lower Tangier Sound and the Patuxent River remains good and flounder are being caught at places such as Cornfield Harbor and channel edges in Tangier Sound. The Spanish mackerel fishing remains very localized at present from Smith Point to Point-No-Point.
Freshwater fishermen in the western region of the state are finding good summer time trout fishing in a number of locations and good smallmouth bass fishing in the upper Potomac River. Largemouth bass fishing tends to dominate the freshwater fishing scene in most other regions of the state with bluegills and channel catfish being popular fishing targets this time of the year also.
Fishermen in the Ocean City area continue to experience good flounder fishing in the back bay areas and surf fishermen are catching a mix of small summer species in the surf. The offshore fishing tends to center around plentiful chicken dolphin and a mix of white marlin, large dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna from the canyon regions. The boats headed out to the wreck sites are catching sea bass and increasing numbers of large flounder such as this one seen by underwater photographer Michael Eversmier.
Quote of the Week:
So if escapism is a reason for angling-then the escape is to reality. The sense of freedom that we enjoy in the outdoors is, after all, a normal reaction to a more rational environment.
Click here for information concerning harmful algae blooms
Click here to view recent bay satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm.
A Couple of Closing Notes...
Don't hesitate to e-mail your recent
fishing/crabbing photos and trip information. Send your photos via E-mail by the
following Monday in order to be included in the next update. The file should be
in .jpg format with the longest side sized at 600 pixels. Please try to keep the file
size small, under one megabyte. The photo should clearly depict the angler(s), fish, and ethical
handling practices. For information on ethical angling practices please
reference the Catch and Release information located at URL:
Include the following information:
Weight/length of catch
If anyone in your picture is under 18
years of age, we must have a
signed by that person and a parent/guardian before we can post your picture. By sending any photos or art to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources you are giving DNR permission to use the image(s) online and in print. You are also giving DNR permission to distribute the photo for non-commercial purposes to other media, print, digital and television for their use. You are not giving up your copyright, but are allowing the photo(s) to be used for educational and news purposes.
Send your photos and information to
Until next week,
MD DNR Fisheries Service
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