Think mackerel run is over? Think againWhat...


Think mackerel run is over? Think again

What a scare. For a couple days, mackerel action slowed to prompt fears the run was over. Yesterday, it bounced back, and everyone aboard the Miss Ocean City had at least 150.

The run could continue for another week or 10 days. Meanwhile, headboats leave Fishermen's Wharf in Lewes daily, and Saturdays there are all-day trips to offshore wrecks for sea bass, tautog and ling cod. Call 1-302-645-8862.

Calendar ...

Tonight: The Striped Bass Advisory Board meets at 6 at Tawes State Office Building, Annapolis, to discuss recommendations for the fall rock season. Call 974-3365. For other rock developments, see Names and Places.

* Tomorrow: Beginning in early evening of Father and Son Fishing Seminar, including mothers, grandparents, daughters and such. Closes after lunch Saturday, at Harrison's Chesapeake House, Tilghman Island. Seminars on all aspects of bay fishing featuring charterboat skippers. Meals and lodging furnished. Call 1-301-886-2121.

* Tomorrow: The children of campers and anglers can enjoy Easter egg hunts at Rocky Gap State Park, call 1-301-777-2138: Point Lookout State Park, 1-301-872-5688; Smallwood State Park, Martinak State Park, 1-301-479-1619, and Elk Neck State Park, 1-301-287-5333.

* Saturday: More Easter egg hunts: Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, call 1-301-888-1410; Pocomoke River State Park, 1-301-2566.

* Saturday/Sunday: Ralph J. Luttrell Memorial Trap Shoot, 9 a.m. both days; National Capital Skeet and Trap Club, Seneca Creek State Park. Call John Stevens, 679-4199.

* Monday: Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge will start its spring schedule; open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call 1-804-336-6122.

Planning ahead ...

* April 5: Loch Raven Fishing Center opens.

* April 6/7: Solomons Charter Captains Association Chesapeake Sportfishing Seminar & Show, Holiday Inn, Solomons. $5. Call 1-301-326-2670.

* May 11/12: First basic fly casting course, Fenwick Fly Fishing School, Frederick, conducted by Jim Gilford, one of the best to cast a fly. Other basic courses June 15-16; July 20-21 and Aug. 10-11. Advanced fly fishing courses, July 13-14 and Aug. 17-18. Call 1-301-663-3966, or write Jim Gilford, 7003 Glen Court, Frederick, Md. 21702.

* May 28: Rumor had it that poor Delaware Bay sea trout fishing would wipe out the 13th World Championship Weakfish Tournament at Slaughter Beach, Del. Not true. The tournament will open this date; other fishing days are May 30 and June 1. Call 1-302-422-3344.

Ongoing ...

* State parks that opened yesterday for the season, camping included, are Deep Creek, phone 1-301-387-5563; Rocky Gap, 1-301-777-2138; Cunningham Falls, 1-301-271-7574; Greenbrier, 1-301-791-4767; Point Lookout, 1-301-872-5688; Assateague, 1-301-641-2120; Pocomoke River (Shad and Milburn landings), 1-301-632-2566; Martinak, 1-301-479-1619, and Elk Neck, 1-301-287-5333. For general state park and campground information, call Annapolis headquarters at 974-3776.

* Free wildlife plot seed plantings are now available statewide; each packet sufficient to seed 1/16 acre. For info on pickup sites, call 974-3195.

Names and places ...

* By a vote of six to five the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee (AELR) approved emergency legislation for a spring trophy rockfish season in the Chesapeake south of the Bay Bridge from May 11 through 27 with a minimum size of 36 inches -- and one fish by permit only during the entire season. The last hurdle is approval by the Policy Board of Atlantic Coast Marine Fisheries Commission, where no problem is anticipated.

Yesterday the Department of Natural Resources was working up final emergency regulations for AELR, which would allow only artificial baits during the spring rock season, though pork rind would be allowed on lures, so would chumming for blues. No eels. Also, being worked up is a non-emergency regulation to be proposed soon that would ban eel baits in the Chesapeake above the mouth of the Patuxent almost all year because eels are primarily used for rockfish, for which there is no season during much of the year.

However, eels would be allowed for cobia fishing, which is occasionally done at the wrecks off the mouth of the Potomac. Then, too, eels would be allowed during the fall rockfish season. Sound complicated? Stay tuned.

* Though this year's crab outlook is about the same as last year, next year could be better. DNR's crab project leader Jim Casey said "a lot of juveniles of about a half-inch have been observed -- and should be of legal size next year." The moderate winter has been a big help, according to Casey, who explained it means better survival, and not just of small crustaceans. Larger crabs don't tolerate drastic temperature changes as well as smaller ones. Among areas where larger crabs were observed was Eastern Bay.

* An oil rendition of a pair of shoveler ducks -- titled Almost Spring -- won the Maryland Waterfowl Stamp Design Contest for Towsonite David Turnbaugh, and will adorn the 1991-92 state duck stamp. All 94 entries in the contest will be on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 3 through 24 at the Pascal Center of Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold. Call 974-3017.

* 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.

Bill Burton's best bets

* CAPE CHARLES: Good tautog run.

* RAPPAHANNOCK: Hickory shad moving in.

* PONDS: Bass fishing improving. Use soft plastics ospinnerbaits.

* POTOMAC: Waters stained by rains, but Washington Channein D.C. has fairly good fishing.

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