2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge
Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge began 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.
Specially tagged striped bass, one of which is Diamond Jim and now worth $25,000 if caught by midnight on August 31, 2009 have been released at locations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. 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/
“Summer’s almost gone, where will we be when the summer’s gone”? Some may remember these lyrics from an old Doors song. Where will we be? Fishing I suspect; many of us have had about enough of this heat and it’s almost gone. September will be here soon and as waters cool in the marine and freshwater areas, fish will become more active. One thing anglers shouldn’t do is let the summer migrants that are visiting us now in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean pass one by. At the moment there is some outstanding fishing for Spanish mackerel, croakers, spot and flounder in the Chesapeake Bay plus some exciting catch and release fishing for large red drum. Bluefish are chewing their way through the food chain and there certainly are plenty of them around to entertain fishermen.
Freshwater fish such as largemouth and smallmouth bass are staying cool and collected throughout the state and fishermen are enjoying the best fishing during the cool early morning and evening hours. Daniel Neuland holds up a nice smallmouth bass he caught and released while enjoying the cool and peaceful waters of the upper Potomac River.
Trout fishermen in the western region of the state still have a good chance to catch some of the large 4lb rainbow trout that were recently stocked in selected waters. The western regions waters are still running cool and robust even through the heat of the summer so these trout will be around for quite sometime or at least until some lucky angler catches one.
Summertime is often a time to explore some of the smaller things in life that may be overlooked at times. Certainly cool fresh water, cool shade and peaceful surroundings are at the top of the list for summer time fishermen. Many of us disregard the lowly sunfish when they attack presentations meant for stately trout, smallmouth bass or even largemouth bass at times. Most of us have graduated to higher forms of fishing and sometimes fail to remember these feisty little guys that often were the first fish we ever caught and continued to cut our teeth on when catching seemed more important than anything else. It somehow seems appropriate to pay homage to the sunfish and we all can attest to the fact, that if they grew to be several pounds in size no one with less than a heavy tuna outfit would ever land one. Tom Waldrop sent us this montage of some of the sunfish species that grace our state waters, plus a black crappie and warmouth.
In the last several weeks several saltwater state records have been broken. Before the 876lb mako shark and the 642 thresher shark there was 1.41lb rock bass caught; that any freshwater fishermen will attest to is one tough character; sort of the Jack Russell Terrier of the freshwater world. We had our first Grander blue marlin ever caught out of a Maryland port then another shark record and even a new state record cobia. To top it all off; last week Don Parantoni caught what is perhaps our smallest state record fish to date but no less a champion in his class; which I guess would be welter weight, sort of like the mouse that roared. A 9.76- ounce warmouth caught in Cash Lake at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. A warmouth is a member of the sunfish family and a pretty smartly dressed character in his own right.
Flounder fishing in the back bay areas of Ocean City continues to be good this week; fishermen are enjoying a summer mix of species along the beaches and sea bass, tautog and flounder are being caught near the wreck and reef sites. Offshore fishermen are catching a mix of white marlin, dolphin and yellowfin tuna this week.
Quote of the Week:
“The fish don’t know if it’s Sunday or Wednesday,” the old man said. “It’s all the same to a fish. So long as we are not catching fish for sale, which constitutes work, I reckon we are leaving the Sabbath intact according to the formal rules.”
Robert Ruark, The Old Man and the Boy
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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