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PETER BAKER'S FISHING REPORT, JOURNAL

THE BALTIMORE SUN

FLOUNDER OPENER Maryland's flounder season along the Atlantic Coast and coastal bay and rivers opens Saturday. Minimum size limit is 14 inches and the creel limit is 10. The coastal season runs through Sept. 30.

In the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the flounder season does not open until June 1.

BLUEFISH TOURNAMENT Bluefish have reached the lower areas of Maryland's Chesapeake Bay waters just in time for the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association annual big money bluefish tournament.

During the past few years the large number of blues have not been present, but Capt. Bruce Scheible of Scheible's Fishing Center in Ridge, near Point Lookout, said that on Monday the "blues broke loose in the Triangle area."

By the weekend, boats from Chesapeake Beach south should be within easy running time of blues from 10 to 18 pounds.

Tonight is the last chance for anglers to enter the tournament, which will be held Saturday and Sunday.

The final captains' meeting will be held at Earleigh Heights Fire Hall on Route 2 Ritchie Highway in Pasadena at 6:30 p.m. All boat captains must be MSSA members. For more information, call (410) 768-8666.

THE FISHING REPORT

**** EXCELLENT*** GOOD** FAIR* POOR SALT WATER Ocean

Inshore *** 1/2 This past weekend, bluefish arrived in the inlet at Ocean City and the surf at North Ocean City and Assateague. Charles Nichols at the Ocean City Fishing Center said the blues have run between 5 and 10 pounds. Best baits have been cast metal spoons or cut mackerel or mullet fished on the bottom. Tautog fishing at the South Jetty in Ocean City continues to be good on sand fleas. Flounder season in Maryland's coastal waters opens Saturday.

Offshore *** Bluefish from eight to 12 pounds have been taken near the Lumps, the African Queen and the Jackspot while trolling silver spoons. Good numbers of sea bass up to six pounds, tautog and some ling cod off the wrecks.

Chesapeake Bay Lower bay *** Capt. Bruce Scheible of Scheible's Fishing Center Ridge near Point Lookout, said the bluefish "broke lose in the area on Monday." Blues up to 18 pounds were taken in the Triangle area, but the more likely catches are in the 10-pound range near the Middle Grounds. Trophy rockfish continue to be scattered, with Cedar Point, Point No Point and Point Lookout good bets. Try trolling large white bucktails with white trailers or white spoons along the edges of the deeper bay channels. Areas worth trying are the eastern edge of the Fish Hawk, the Targets, Deep Hole, the western drop near the Richland Point buoy and the western edges of the Middle Grounds. In Tangier and Pocomoke sounds, some catches of speckled sea trout, sea trout and red drum have been reported from the marsh edges along Cedar Island and the Manokin River.

Middle bay **** Trophy rockfish catches continue to be the best in this region. The steep drop above Poplar Island produced a 49-incher on Sunday on a fat, white spoon. Banjo-eye white bucktails and big white plastic grubs have been working well near Bloody Point, Tilghmen and the mouth of the Patuxent River. The Bay Bridge also is a good area, as are Gum Thicketts off Kent Island, the oyster bottom off the north end of Poplar Island, Brownie's Hill, the bayside of Stone Rock, the Clay Bank, the Gooses, the eastern edges of Cedar Point Rip and the gas docks above Cove Point.

Upper bay *** Rockfish season is closed above the Bay Bridge to protect spawning fish. In the tributaries, catfish, perch, herring and bass are good possibilities (see river reports).

Potomac River Upper tidal *** 1/2 Ken Penrod of Life Outdoors Unlimited says the area is about to break loose, although high tides have cluttered the river with debris. Columbia Island Marina and Washington Channel are good areas for largemouth bass. Wilson Bridge area is full of staging bass, but fishing has been slow. Piscataway Creek should be better as bass move into the shallows. Marshall Hall, Greenway Flats and mouth of Pomonkey Creek have been hot and cold for largemouth, but the grasses hold lots of stripers. Mattawoman Creek is potentially great, with Penrod taking six-plus and seven-plus pounders recently. Pay close attention to tide and wind direction. Arkindale Flats also has been good when there is limited boat traffic.

Other rivers Patapsco *** Catfish on cut herring seems to be the best bet.

Susquehanna River -- good -- Bass are moving from wood to emerging grasses, but river is still colder than usual. Spencer and Roberts islands have been producing smallmouth bass on the downriver sides. Largemouths to six ponds near the Route 95 bridge. White perch, catfish and herring also are good bets. Try grass shrimp for perch, cut herring for catfish and shad darts

for herring.

Choptank *** White perch and catfish at the fishing pier near Cambridge. In the Denton and Martinak State Park areas, catfish and bass action. Good bass fishing toward Greensboro as well. Try artificial grubs or worms to the wood on slack water and spinnerbaits over lily pad stems on moving tide.

Gunpowder *** Early and late largemouth bass are in the shallows where twitch baits will work well. In bright light, try worms in deeper water near wood cover.

Chester *** In the upper reaches of the river there are decent catches of catfish near Crumpton. In lower river, white pech have been active around Eastern Neck Island.

Wicomico *** Around Salisbury, crankbaits will work well on points and seawalls for largemouth bass. When water is low and moving, try larger docks and piers with plastic worms or grubs.

Northeast *** White perch near Turkey Point, catfish and bass activity in the area as well.

FRESHWATER LAKES AND RIVERS Upper Potomac River *** River is still above normal, but should falling toward good conditions. From Brunswick to White's Ferry, smallmouth bass from 12 to 15 inches have been providing good action on salty grubs fished close to wood cover. For river condition, call (301) 223-6377.

Deep Creek Lake *** 1/2 Most of the action continues to be on trout, with good action on 12- to 19-inch fish at the state park and near the bridges. Small spinners, spoons or two-inch minnows have worked well for the trout. Smallmouth to three pounds have been active on live minnows and crankbaits fished near docks. Also pickerel, walleye and bluegills.

Patapsco River *** Guide Philip Krista reports that bluegills fishing has been good as has rock bass action above Ellicott City. River is clear and temperature is in the mid 60s.

RESERVOIRS

Liberty *** Largemouth and smallmouth bass in shallow water early and late in the day and were hitting spinnerbaits. Locust Run, Morgan Run and Nicodemus Bridge areas were good for bass. Morgan Run and Oakland Point have been turning up some striped bass on chicken livers and deep crankbaits.

Loch Raven *** Largemouth bass taken in the backs of coves on white spinnerbaits and dark plastic worms. White perch and crappie taken from underwater structure on wax worms and shad darts. Catfish to 18 inches on chicken livers near the fishing center.

Conowingo *** Bass should be moving into the shallows early and late. Some crappie action in areas of Funk's Pond, Glen Cove and Conowingo Creek on shad darts and minnows.

Piney Run *** Largemouth bass from one to six pounds taken in the shallows on large shiners or plastic worms. Also crappie around beaver huts and some citation yellow perch taken close to shore on drifted minnows.

Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge *** Crappie and white perch have been holding near submerged trees along the shorelines, and largemouth bass have been entering the coves. Try small jigs and minnows for crappie, nightcrawlers for perch and spinnerbaits for bass.

TROUT

Hunting Creek -- Stream has been warm and muddy from water releases, but there have been hatches of stonefly, caddis, quill -- gordons, march browns and blue quills.

Savage River -- Upper river has been excellent. In the catch and release area below the dam, the river has been murkey at times after water releases. March browns, green drakes and may flies have been hatching.

Gunpowder -- Midge hatch near the dam and caddis hatch throughout the river. River is in good condition.

CALENDAR

Saturday: Sportsmen's banquet sponsored by Maryland Quail Unlimited and the Ruffed Grouse Society, Colony South Hotel, Clinton. Cash bar, dinner, auctions, raffles, door prizes.Saturday: MCM hike along Conestoga Trail from Holtwood Recreation Area to Martic Forge. For more information, call (410) 760-6041 or (410) 544-2850.

Saturday, Sunday: Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association bluefish tournament in Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For entry information, call (410) 768-8666.

Saturday, Sunday: Canoe trip from Rocks State Park to Susquehanna State Park. Sponsored by Department of Natural Resources. Tent and food provided. Fee required. For more information, call (410) 557-7994.

Saturday, Sunday: Hobie Cat regatta at Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park, noon to sunset. For more information, call (410) 592-2897.

Sunday: Ducks Unlimited Dick Fetzer Fun Shoot, Loch Raven Trap and Skeet Club, Dulaney Valley Road, 11 a.m. Quail walk, simulated teal and dove shoot. Optional five-man station shoot, prizes, silent auction. For more information, call (410) 785-2539.

Tuesday: DNR public meeting to discuss changes in non-tidal fishing regulations being considered for 1994, Sweadner Hall, Frederick Community College, Frederick, 7 p.m.Wednesday: DNR public meeting to discuss changes in non-tidal fishing regulations being considered for 1994, Natural Resources Police meeting room, Routes 309 and 404, Queen Anne, Queen Anne's County, 7 p.m.

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Note: To have an item included in the Outdoors Journal, write Outdoors Editor, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21278-0001.

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