2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge Kickoff
Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge will begin Friday, May 29th and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2009. Any angler who catches a citation-qualifying fish will be eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes including a boat, motor and trailer from Bass Pro Shops and thousands of dollars in merchandise and fishing trips from Bill's Outdoor Center.
On May 28, 2009, 50 specially tagged striped bass will be released at locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. One of the 50 will be Diamond Jim, a fish worth $10,000 cash if caught by midnight on June 30, 2009. The other tagged striped bass, Diamond Jim imposters, will be worth $500 each if caught at any time during the contest.
Here is the link to the Fishing Challenge website; a world of information there. www.dnr.state.md.us/fishingchallenge/
There are some exciting fishing opportunities this week for Maryland fishermen from freshwater fishing in the western region of the state to the offshore canyon areas in the Atlantic Ocean off Ocean City and everything in between.
Chesapeake Bay fishermen are quickly switching to catching school sized striped bass that will be the mainstay of the fishery through the summer and fall. Striped bass are being caught this week by trolling, chumming, casting and jigging in all three regions of the Chesapeake. Bob Haase proudly shows off a fish caught by his visiting 4-year old grandson in Leeds Creek.
Croakers are offering very good fishing this week in the lower bay and Tangier Sound area this week as they begin to move in for the summer. Fishermen have been catching them this week in the mouths of the regions tidal rivers and along shoal edges. Middle bay fishermen are also now catching croakers all the way up to the Eastern Bay area as well as the Choptank River. Catches are spotty but the fishing will improve as the week progresses and water temperatures warm. The croakers big cousin the black drum arrived last week to the middle bay area and in particular to Stone Rock. The large black drum have moved into the Stone Rock area and fishermen are enjoying catching them on soft crab baits. Fishing should be good this week for bruisers such as this big one held up by Stephen Rogers before releasing it.
There is evidence in the form of sassy shads missing their tails that bluefish are beginning to move into the lower bay region and flounder fishing has been good in the Tangier Sound area this week. White perch are spreading out in the lower sections of the bay’s tidal rivers and creeks and are providing good fishing off docks, piers and small boats. Recreational crabbers did their best to provide crabs to family and friends for the holiday weekend. Most crabbers in the middle bay and lower bay regions did well with medium sized crabs that are heavy. Jim Livingston shows off a ˝ bushel he caught while running a string of collapsible crab traps in the West River.
Freshwater fishermen are enjoying good fishing for trout and smallmouth bass this week in the western region of the state. The upper Potomac River has calmed down at the moment and the smallmouth bass are in a very active feeding mode. Largemouth bass are busy feeding now that they are finished spawning in the central, southern and eastern regions of the state.
Summer freshwater fishing takes many forms for fishermen and perhaps one of the traditional main stays for adults and children is the feisty bluegill sunfish. He is found in all regions of the state and never fails to give a good account of himself when hooked. Kyle Klotz and Brett Oates are all smiles with this pair of bluegills caught on a simple bobber and worm rig.
Ocean City fishermen are finding good flounder fishing in the back bay areas this week as well as tautog, bluefish and striped bass at the inlet. Surf fishermen are catching a mix of bluefish, striped bass and black drum from the surf in between reeling in dogfish, skates, sting rays and the season’s first sand tiger sharks. Sea bass fishing remains good this week at the wreck sites and the first offshore species in the form of mako sharks, bluefin tuna and dolphin hit the dock this past weekend.
Quote of the Week:
….Bluegills….ounce for ounce, there is no better scrapper in fresh water.
If you submitted a photo and don't see your picture in the regular report please look in the photo gallery that we periodically run. Click here for this week's gallery!
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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