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Recent temperatures haven't indicated it, but the photoperiod shows we've reached the fall fishing season.

The number of light-minuteseach day is called the photoperiod, one of Mother Nature's essentialtiming indicators. Birds, fish and even butterflies use the photoperiod to tell them when to begin migrating.

Each morning before I head for my landlubber's job, I turn the key in my Toyota somewhere around 6 a.m. and head for the Beltway.

Currently, the next action after starting the engine is turning on theheadlights. It wasn't too long ago that plenty of natural light was around at 6 a.m.


Today would be a good day to migrate to Ocean City for the fourth annual Shantytown Village Sunfest Boat Show.

The activities began yesterday and will run through Sunday. Hours are noon to 6 p.m., and admission is free.

More than 75 boats will be displayed, along with related items in the tent exhibits. Dealers from Maryland and Delaware will be exhibiting boats. Florida Boat Sales of Mountain Road in Pasadena will exhibit both 1991 and 1992 models.

The show is located at Shantytown Village, just off U.S. 50 at the Ocean City Bridge.

Information: (301) 289-8128.


It's not too late to frolic among the anglers in this weekend's BIG BUCK$ III Tournament out of the Rod 'N Reel dock in Chesapeake Beach.

The angler catching the heaviest overall bluefish or trout will receive $15,000. Daily prizes also are given.

Information: (301) 855-8351.


Let's assume you have paid your tournament entry fee, and youare collecting data on where to dip your hook. Based on prevailing data, I'd go south. Plenty of bluefish are in the Solomons area right now.

If you look at the winners of fall tournaments, you have to consider giving chumming a try. For some reason, the bigger fish are often caught on bait.

Fishing in the Deale/Chesapeake Beach/Tilghman Island area has been a little slow lately. It could be that we actually may have too much bait right now.

Up our way the action is spotty. Below the Bay Bridge, most of the action is on the various barssuch as Hacketts, Tolly's and Gum Thickets. Above the bridge, the action is still on bars such as Love Point and Swan Point. I think, too, that there are some fish where they hadn't ought to be. I wouldn't be surprised if bluefish are hiding somewhere off Bodkin Creek or wayup the Chester River.

I know that in the Magothy, a fair number of 8- to 12-inch bluefish are three or four miles from the bay. I knowone neighbor who has a peddle boat that gets at least a handful every morning as he trolls his shad darts on a spinning rod.

Most of the bluefish caught below the bridge now are running 4 to 6 pounds. Upper-bay fish are a little smaller and some days a little more plentiful.

And some white perch are around. September is always a tough month for me to find white perch, but last week one of my oldest customers booked me for a white perch trip. So, up the bay we went. We stopped at all of the normal hot spots, but the only thing hot was the weather.

One of the captains had recommended the state fishing reefnorth and west of Tolchester. I hate fishing reefs because they are usually notorious tackle snatchers, and this reef is no different. After a dozen rigs or so I just started tying on sinkers and hooks without my special hand-tied bottom rigs.

The perch were not overly plentiful, nor were they the larger specimens we had late June and early July, but they did qualify as perch and they were big enough to fillet. We will have some excellent perch fishing in early November if you can get past the rockfish.

Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appears everyFriday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.

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