Susquehanna tournament is good warm-up to Classic


The Maryland B.A.S.S. Chapter State Federation Inc. held its Mr. BASS tournament on the Susquehanna Flats early last month, and if the results can be parlayed into what might be expected in the upper bay and its tributaries this August, the world's most celebrated bass tournament could be an interesting affair.

The federation tournament is a two-day competition with a statewide field to determine the group's team captain for the 1991 Eastern Divisional. In this year's tournament there were 59 competitors.

The world's most celebrated bass tournament is the Bass Masters Classic, which will be fished out of Dundee Creek Marina on Aug. 22-24.

The federation tournament was based in Havre de Grace and fished May 4-5.

In two days of fishing, 87 bass were brought to the scales for total weight of 250.42 pounds, and an average weight per fish of about 2.9 pounds. The largest fish caught was 5.75 pounds.

The tournament winner, Steve Schanberger of the Baltimore Bass Chasers, checked in eight bass over two days for a total weight of 21.87 pounds.

So, if Schanberger's totals were carried through a third day of fishing, as allowed in the Classic, the total becomes 32.8 pounds -- less than two pounds below the total Rick Clunn caught on the James River last August to win the 1990 Classic, and a pound more than Hank Parker caught on the James the year before.

In fact, before Clunn's catch last year, the Classic winner has not weighed in more than Schanberger's theoretical total since 1985.

In the dog days of August, however, the fishing conditions should be more challenging.

The runner-up spot in the federation tournament went to Paul Koluch of the Upper Bay Bassmasters (six bass, 18.44 pounds).

The largest fish in the tournament was caught by Tony Riggio of Pretty Boy Bassmasters.

* State records were set or equaled in May for Northern pike and bluefish.

Tom Zombro of Hedgesville, W. Va., was fishing the Garrett County portion of Youghiogheny Reservoir on May 4 when he cast a spinning lure and landed a record 22-pound, 13-ounce northern. It was 42 inches long.

The Maryland bay record for blues was tied by Rick Talbott of Bozman, Md., May 9. He caught the 22-pound fish while trolling off Chesapeake Beach. Previous bay record blues were caught by John Davidson (1979) and Ronald Raffo (1986).

* June 8-9 are free fishing days in Maryland. All anglers those days will be exempted from having to purchase a license to fish in state waters.

* The DNR has completed work on two shooting benches for the handicapped at the Green Ridge Forest Range in Allegany County. The two positions at the range are available to members of the public who first acquire a permit from the forest headquarters and pay a $3 daily fee. Summer hours at the range are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call (301) 777-2345.

* The National Capital Skeet and Trap Club will hold its North-South tournament June 6-9, when top-ranked shooters from around the country come to compete in Darnestown.

The North-South, the largest tournament National Capital puts on, involves skeet competition with .410, 20-, 28- and 12-gauge shotguns in nine categories from juniors to seniors.

For more information, call (301) 948-2266.

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