Governor Martin O’Malley presented prizes valued at more than $50,000 to lucky anglers this morning at the 2008 Maryland Fishing Challenge finale. More than 1,100 enthusiastic anglers and their families attended the contest’s fourth annual closing event held on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park.
“Maryland anglers make a tremendous contribution to our state’s economy and play a significant role in the stewardship of our waterways and our aquatic life,” said Governor O’Malley. “The increased participation by children in this year’s contest brings hope not only to the future of this beloved pastime, but to the future of our natural resources.”
New life was brought to this year’s contest, as participation increased from last year’s 224 qualifying entrants to 1,345 anglers from 24 U.S. states, Canada, and Brazil this year. New this year, a youth challenge qualified children, who participated in five community fishing derbies held across the state, to win unique guided fishing trips.
Walking away with the two grand prizes selected by random drawing were Fred Menage of Edgewater, Md. and Edir Sauerbronn Dos Santos of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Menage’s catch of a 40.25-inch striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay just below the Thomas Point Lighthouse won him a 2008 Toyota TUNDRA from Central Maryland Toyota. Menage, aged 69, weighed his fish in at 24 lbs. at Marty’s Tackle in Mayo. Md.
“It was beautiful and delicious,” said Menage, describing his catch. “I’ve been fishing my whole life and this one turned out to be my lucky fish. It’s unbelievable and so very exciting that I won this Toyota truck. It will be the first truck I’ve ever owned.”
Dos Santos’ first catch ever in the Chesapeake Bay, a 42-inch striped bass caught aboard the Beach Comber out of Chesapeake Beach, Md. landed him a TRACKER boat, trailer and motor package from Bass Pro Shops. Dos Santos was represented by his son-in-law Eric Hoffman of Dundalk, Md. today, who was also aboard for the lucky catch.
“Fishing is a great family activity that enables us all to get out on the water for some good, safe fun,” said Hoffman. “Each of us caught great sized fish that day during our families’ fishing trip aboard a local charterboat. We are looking forward to going out more on this gorgeous new boat.”
Additional finalists, Hunter Betz, an 11-year old angler from York, Pa., Mike Currie of Leonardtown, Md. and James Harrison of Annapolis, Md. won Bill’s Outdoor Center prize packages worth $1,500 each, and a $2,500 Boater’s World gift card, respectively. A TAG Heuer Formula 1 watch valued at more than $800 was also awarded by Smyth Jewelers to Nathaniel Rowe of Hagerstown, Md.
Lucky young anglers from across the state were awarded guided fishing trips:
The guided youth fishing trips were donated by:
- Neil Villaneuve of Rosedale, Md.
- Jessica Sheets of Jessup, Md.
- Christian Connally of Bowie, Md.
- Jacob Toomey of Pittsville, Md.
- Layne Dittmar of Baltimore, Md.
- Lacie Thomas of Baltimore, Md.
- Nyja Morris of Clinton, Md.
- Paul Anderson of Bowie, Md.
- Morgan Rose of Salisbury, Md.
- Nicole Bertazon of Halethorpe, Md.
- Donald Jones, Jr. of Baltimore, Md.
- Val Lynch of the Ocean City Marlin Club (for four kids and four mentors)
- Maryland Charter Boat Association, Inc. (for three kids and three mentors)
- Bill’s Outdoor Center on Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland (for 2 kids and 2 mentors)
- Ed Liccionne and David Sutherland of the Maryland Legislative Sportsman’s Foundation
- Avid fly fisherman and co-author of the Guide to Maryland Trout Fishing Larry Coburn of Laurel, Md.
- ESPN featured guide, Captain “Walleye” Pete Dahlberg of St. Leonard, Md.
- Steve Linhard of Annapolis, Md.
- Ed Keller’s of Hagerstown, Md.’s Potomac Guide Service
- Andy Andrewjeski off Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland
The other day I had the opportunity to fly over the lower Susquehanna River and down the upper bay before the airliner made it’s turn over Annapolis for the final approach to BWI Airport. I had a pretty good view and one thing that struck me was that I couldn’t see anyone out there fishing in a boat. Admittedly it was mid-day on a Monday and it is after Labor Day but wow; to see a big flock of sea gulls below me carrying on with no boats in sight made me think about looking for a parachute. Acres of breaking fish and diving birds and no one fishing on them; just doesn’t seem right. In contrast Sandy Hurd took this picture as she and her husband were motoring out of the Sandy Point Boat Basin on Sunday morning. How unfortunate that going to work and earning a living gets in the way of fishing opportunities.
The fishing opportunities are there in the upper bay region as they are in the middle and lower regions. The upper bay fishermen still have a plentiful supply of small spot in the shallower waters and lots of hungry striped bass along the deep channel edges eager to chow down on them. Fishermen are casting and jigging to breaking fish that are comprised of small bluefish and larger striped bass. Trolling small umbrella rigs, spoons and bucktails has also been a good way to catch bluefish and striped bass also.
Middle bay region fishermen are seeing Spanish mackerel, bluefish and striped bass chasing bay anchovies and small menhaden throughout the region. Casting and jigging has been an excellent way to catch the striped bass and bluefish as well as trolling bucktails and spoons. The Spanish mackerel are being caught primarily by trolling small spoons behind planers at higher speeds.
There are still a lot of small spot in the region and fishermen continue to have no problem catching enough for a session of live lining along the channel edges for striped bass despite hungry bluefish who also like to eat spot. Mike Mathwin holds up a beautiful pair of striped bass he caught while live lining spot outside of the Gum Thickets.
Cooler water temperatures are urging striped bass to cruise the shallower areas of the bay and tidal rivers and fishermen are beginning to enjoy some good shallow water action. There are also plenty of white perch in the lower tidal river shallows and some are beginning to school up on some of the oyster bars and shoals. Croaker fishing is starting to drop off as cooler water temperatures have these fish thinking about heading south. Flounder fishing on the other hand remains good in the middle bay region at various channel and point edges as well as shoals and flats. Craig “Abe” Abrahamian holds up a pair he and his buddy Brian Muldowney caught off of Tolley Point.
Freshwater fishermen are seeing cooler water temperatures drawing many freshwater fish such as largemouth and smallmouth bass out of their summer mode of behavior and becoming more active through the day. Fishermen will also see moon tides this week and the bottom of the ebb tide in many of the tidal rivers that hold largemouth bass should offer the best fishing opportunities.
Trout fishing in the western and central regions picks up this month as cooler water temperatures and better flows cause trout to become more active. The flows in the upper Potomac are improving and the heavy grass is beginning to break up making for better fishing. David Weaver sent in this picture of a upper Potomac smallmouth bass he released after showing it to his fishing buddy.
Coastal fishermen are experiencing good flounder fishing in the back bay areas of Ocean City and an influx of large croakers and small red drum at the inlet area has sparked the fishing up several notches. The boats heading out to the wreck sites have been enjoying excellent croaker fishing and fair to good fishing for sea bass and flounder. The few boats that have been heading offshore have been coming back with some impressive wahoo catches.
Quote of the Week:
Young anglers love new rivers the way they love the rest of their lives. Time doesn’t seem to be of the essence and somewhere in the system is what they are looking for.
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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