Yellow perch are on move to fishing hole near you
Forget some of the bad reports about yellow perch. In many of the waters where they're legal, they are beginning to run well. The fish are moving into Allen's Fresh in Charles County, and some also are moving into the Patuxent near Weysons Corners. Add the Potomac, and a few are moving into the Pocomoke. In the reservoirs, they are close enough to shore to be taken by bank fishermen.
A few have been caught in Tuckahoe Creek, which has been reopened this year along with the Patuxent and the Wye. As usual, small minnows on shad darts are the preferred bait.
In all tidewaters and upper tributaries of the Chesapeake the creel limit is five a day. In most tidewaters, the minimum size is 8 1/2 inches, though make that 9 in the Patuxent, Wye and Tuckahoe. Also, through March 15, anyone fishing for yellow perch must use barbless hooks to enhance survival of throwbacks.
To make a hook barbless, with pliers, simply press the barb back against the curve.
Remaining closed are the watersheds of the Chester, Choptank (except the Tuckahoe), Magothy, Miles, Nanticoke, Patapsco, Severn, South and West rivers.
* Tomorrow/Saturday: Coast Navigation seminar series (EPIRBS, electrical systems, position finding, radar, and epoxies), 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow; 8:30 to 6 Saturday.
* Saturday: Where Have All the Bluebirds Gone? Presentation 1 p.m., Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Upper Marlboro. Bluebird walk at 1:30. Call 1-301-888-1410.
* Saturday/Sunday: Maple Syrup Demonstration, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Cunningham Falls State Park. Same program next weekend. Call 1-301-271-7574.
* Saturday/Sunday: Trap shoots; Anne Arundel Fish and Game Club, Annapolis, 10 a.m. both days; Cedar Gun Club, Darlington, also 10 a.m. both days. Call John Stevens, 679-4199.
* Saturday/Sunday: Hike to Sugar Bush to collect maple syrup, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Oregon Ridge Nature Center. Call 887-1815.
* Saturday/Sunday: Crusader Yachts open house and free boat show, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7078 Bembe Beach Road, Annapolis. Solo circumnavigator and OSTAR racer Francis Stokes will talk on short-handed racing and designers W.I.B. Crealock and Gary Mull will talk on offshore cruising yachts and modern design technology. Call 269-0939.
DTC * Sunday: Fishermen's Flea Market, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Reisterstown Moose Lodge, 1101 Westminster Pike. Admission, $1.50. Call 356-4543, or 833-4209.
* Sunday: MSSA Fishermen's Flea Market, boats and tackle, 9 a.m. until all are sold, Commodore Hall, 1909 Old Eastern Ave., Essex. Admission 50 cents. Call 335-4938.
* Sunday: Discovery Program/Habitat Games, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Lothian. Call Liz McClunin, 1-301-741-9330.
* Sunday: Easy Mountain Club of Maryland hike along Susquehanna River. Call 366-4931.
* Monday: Supporters of the General Assembly bill to designate the rockfish a gamefish free of commercial fishing pressure will gather at Navy Stadium, Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, at 6:30 p.m. to commence a march on the State House at 7. Baltimore County Sen. Mike Collins, who sponsored House Bill 565 on behalf of Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, and some co-sponsors will address the crowd. Call 768-8666.
* Wednesday: Two MCM hikes: One at Liberty Reservoir, meets at 10 a.m., Ames parking lot, 8415 Liberty Road; the other at Patapsco State Park, call 744-7943.
* Wednesday: Maryland Fly Anglers Fly Tying Round Table, also board meeting, 7:30 p.m., Ridge Garden Apartments Community Hall. Open to public. Call 768-8666.
Planning ahead ...
* March 15: Virginia's popular Douthat State Park campgrounds near Clifton Forge will open for the season to accommodate opening day trout fishermen. Jon boat rentals available for trout fishing on the lake. Call 1-703-862-7200.
* March 18: Deadline to apply for permits for Delaware's first wild turkey season, April 23 through May 13. Most hunting will be done on private lands and permission is required. For information on the application process, call 1-302-739-5297. Maryland's season will be April 18 through May 16.
Names and places ...
* Combine whale watching with mackerel fishing is the advice of Robin Sparrow, who took 27 mackerel aboard the headboat Miss Ocean City yesterday about eight miles off Ocean City. "But the biggest thrill," reported Sparrow, "was the six whales we saw closer to shore." Capt. John Bunting said whales are abundant; more than he has seen in ages.
* Sea trout will get a bit of relief from commercial fishing pressure under a joint proposal by Delaware and New Jersey to implement measures to cut the commercial catch by 25 percent from the three-year average, according to Delaware DNR secretary Edwin H. Cook. Representatives from both states will meet with the public tonight at 7:30 in the DNR Auditorium, Richardson and Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover.
* Franky Holland of Conoicheague BASS Masters is the Maryland BASS Federation's Junior Mister Bass.
* Chesapeake Bay Yacht Clubs Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association urge boaters to write their congressmen to support the Jobs Preservation Act of 1991 (HR 951) to protect marine industry jobs by repealing the luxury excise tax on boats.
Frank Herbert of Stevensville is the new president of Dorchester County Hunting Retriever Club. Tom Carey of Church Creek is vice president; Jane Herbert of Stevensville, secretary; and Dr. Jack Scanlon of Kensington, treasurer. For information on the club, call Herbert at 1-301-643-5203.
Question box ...
* Jack Wolfe wants to know where he can get mackerel rigs.
Our answer: Few tackle shops carry them, but they are available for a couple dollars on headboats, and are furnished on rod and reel headboat rentals.
The standard mackerel rig is a 30- to 36-inch heavy leader of
40-pound test or more to which is attached at 10-inch intervals hard plastic Norwegian worms of 2 to 3 inches in length. At the bottom of the rig to give it jigging weight, add either a sinker of about 8 ounces, or better still, add a heavy Diamond jig.
I prefer the jig because it, too, usually catches macks. If you prefer, you can fish with just the jig -- but you will catch only one fish on each attempt when working a school. With the worms added you might take two to four each time. Some fishermen use longer leader and fish a half dozen worms, but they make the rig cumbersome to handle.
* NOTE: To have an item or question included in the Outdoor Journal, write Bill Burton, The Evening Sun Sports Dept., 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001.
@6* POTOMAC: Largemouth bass'n good in Washington area.
NANTICOKE: Great yellow perch fishing in the Seaford, Del., sector, where Maryland restrictions do not apply.
* OCEAN CITY: Mackerel head boats running daily, so are the macks.
* PONDS: Largemouth bass getting hungry, but in freshwaters they have to go back.