- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Attention all true blue-water anglers: get on an offshore boat and try for a delicious tuna, but don’t be upset if a horde of Atlantic Ocean bluefish makes it to the bait and lures before the tuna do. Closer to home, there’s plenty of chumming action for striper anglers in the Chesapeake Bay. Striped bass (a k a rockfish) are seen in large numbers from the Summer Gooses to the South River and a dozen other middle bay hangouts. If it’s the lowest parts of the Chesapeake you prefer, you should be happy to hear that the flounder finally have decided to cooperate. They’re being hooked on cut baits or live minnows from the Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the 36A and 42 buoys. And Spanish mackerel are flitting about almost anywhere between Cape Charles and Cape Henry at the mouth of the Bay. Tidal river bass fanatics should know that the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society will conduct its annual Maryland Invitational tournament out of the Potomac’s Mattawoman tributary starting today and ending Saturday afternoon. The public can come to Smallwood State Park in Charles County to watch the weighing of the bass. Also this week, two items must be remembered by Marylanders who crab and fish. Minimum sizes for hardshell crabs have increased from the earlier 5 inches (from spike to spike) to 51/4 inches. Don’t get caught with undersized crabs — it could be costly. Meanwhile, bass fishermen who visit the Eastern Shore’s Pocomoke River cannot keep any largemouth bass from now until Aug.31. You can’t even keep them confined in an aerated tank for later release. The DNR is protecting the bass for a good reason. Dissolved oxygen amounts in this beautiful river are very low when the summer heat strikes, so it’s catch and release for a month-and-a-half. Starting Sept.1 you could keep some, but who would want to, asks one fishing guide who visits there. “The largemouth bass in the Pocomoke appear to be a sub-species,” he says. “They’re pygmy bass — that’s how small most of them are.” • If you want to reach us via e-mail it’s [email protected].

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