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/
“Hot time in the summer” a lyric from an old song but very appropriate for Maryland fishermen this week. If you find yourself out during the heat of the day making the most of your fishing time; be sure to drink plenty of fluids, wear good sunglasses and protect yourself from the sun as best you can. Cool shade sounds like a pretty good idea this week or your can totally immerse yourself in the situation at hand such as Tom Waldrop did in Antietam Creek recently catching and releasing this citation size channel catfish.
Chesapeake Bay fishermen are finding an increasing influx of summer species to their catch list a very welcome addition this month. The hot weather has bay water temperatures into the low 80’s now and striped bass are generally holding deep and inactive during the mid-day heat. Flounder fishing is excellent as far up as the Bay Bridge, Spanish mackerel are being caught in the lower and middle bay regions and then there are the bluefish. Bluefish are now dominating all three regions of the bay and can not be avoided or brushed off by even the most ardent striped bass fishermen. Contrary to the striped bass, there is nothing subtle about a bluefish, he is a high speed eating machine and has murder and mayhem on his mind 24-hours a day. They offer us a different flavor in the Chesapeake Bay banquet although they are often maligned for their destructive nature to hapless bait fish and expensive or unforgiving fishing tackle. Give smoking them a try in a low temperature fish smoker or try a broiled or grilled skinless, boneless fillet and you’re in for a treat.
The hot weather has croakers and spot holding deep this week, large red drum are being caught by fishermen trolling large spoons while trolling smaller offerings for a mix of striped bass, bluefish and Spanish mackerel.
Recreational crabbing has been good in most areas this month and is a traditional family activity this time of the year. Taking kids crabbing is just a natural thing to do and a wonderful activity to introduce them to whether one is using collapsible traps or a trotline. Angelina Watts has graduated to being the “dipper” when running a trotline with her dad. Angelina holds up one whopper of a crab who is not called Jimmie but “Mr. Jim”.
Freshwater anglers continue to enjoy the recent stockings of large rainbow trout in several western region trout streams, rivers and lakes. Many of the trout are 4 lbs or larger and are often an unexpected treat for summer time trout fishermen. Largemouth bass fishing is holding to the typical summer pattern.
The back bay areas of Ocean City and Assateague Island are offering good fishing for flounder this week and surf fishermen are enjoying a mix of summer species as well as large sharks. Flounder, croakers and sea bass are being caught in the waters close to shore and a mix of offshore species in the canyon region's.
Quote of the Week:
The outdoor life pleased these old men because they believed any properly obsessed fly fisherman carried rivers and trout inside of him. Harry Middleton
Dedicated to the memories of Bill Burton.
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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