- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Shark news is hot and if a current rash of shark attacks in the U.S. is a barometer of future incidents we'll have plenty to write about in days to come. However, not all shark stories are about nasty bites and horrifying encounters. Some shark meetings are of a fishing nature. The mail from one young angler who recently had a shark adventure is far more welcome than that of a Florida boy who suffered a severed arm that, happily, was reattached.
A delightful letter, addressed to the Times' outdoors writer, said, "My name is Andrew Jones. I live in Waldorf, Md., and I am 14 years of age."
In the enthusiasm that is the exclusive province of teen-agers everywhere, it continued: "About 35 miles out on the Atlantic of Ocean City my father and I were faced with our scariest fear, looking at a live shark."
Andrew, his dad, Don Vaught, and several friends went sharking with a charter fishing captain out of the Maryland resort city. The captain informed his charges that before any sharks could be hooked they'd first have to catch the bait, which turned out to be bluefish.
Andrew and the rest did just that and chunks of bluefish soon were pierced onto large hooks, the odor spreading far and wide, awakening the olfactory senses of fine-nosed ocean sharks.
Before 1 p.m. no one did well with the sharks and Andrew, who hoped he'd tie into a mako a shark species whose flesh is highly regarded by seafood epicures, suddenly got what he'd been hoping for.
"I hooked it about 225 yards out and I reeled it in in 7.5 minutes," wrote Andrew. "When everything died down, the captain told me the shark should have given me more trouble and at least a two-hour fight. The mate on the boat nicknamed me the Mako Man."
Young Andrew now is a confirmed sharkaholic. His 125-pound mako probably won't be his last.
Excitement at the Maryland DNR Hunters and anglers in Maryland are buzzing about Gov. Parris Glendening's abrupt firing of the state's Secretary of Natural Resources, Sarah Taylor-Rogers, who had been on the job only two years.
Even old-time DNR employees, who believed they were on the inside of happenings at the DNR headquarters in Annapolis, were taken by surprise. Taylor-Rogers is believed to have incurred the wrath of the governor when she lobbied to extend the crabbing season for commercial fishermen. But others who know her say she was too much in favor of hunting to suit the Governor, a man who is widely perceived to be an animal rights advocate.
That worries Maryland hunters who now must learn to live with an unknown (to them) appointee, Charles Fox, who was an assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and most recently a policy adviser for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Fox is to take the reins of the DNR on September 5.
What concerns some recreational fishermen about the Fox appointment is the fact that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation some years ago came out strongly against bestowing gamefish status upon the striped bass. It would have closed down all commercial striped bass nettings. To this day, sport anglers feel the CBF is not a friend of sport fishermen and Fox, of course, will be thought of as a CBF ideologue.
This basser didn't read the paper Shayne Berlo sent us a rather caustic note, complaining that we forgot to even mention the fact that the BASS Masters Classic was under way weekend before last. Berlo went on and on about our newspaper ignoring this great event, but he apparently had been checking out the Other Paper across town. Why? The OP had nothing about the bass fishing championship held on the waters of the Louisiana Delta, Aug. 2-4, which was won by Michigan's Kevin VanDam.
Had he checked The Washington Times sports section, however, he'd have seen pre-tournament stories July 4 and 25, followed by morning-after-weigh-in coverage and separate listings of the top 10 daily finishers August 3-5. Heck, we even ran the official BASS Classic logo on each of those days.

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