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Boatloads of blues waiting just outside Bay for waters to warm


Some nice blues finally are turning up in the middle Chesapeake Bay area. They have been big blues, too -- 10- and 15-pounders.

The ones that I am aware of were caught by last-ditch rock fishermen trolling crippled alewives beginning a little south of Chesapeake Beach and as far north as just below the Bay Bridges.

Captain Eddie Davis, who fishes out of Ridge, near Point Lookout, told me, "We could have caught a boatload of big blues last Sunday. These were 15- to 18-pounders that were working our chum line."

Blues are late this year and we still don't know if the Bay will be visited by them in abundance. Blame it on the crazy spring weather we've been having.

Huge schools of menhaden, a favorite bait fish for blues, and equally massive numbers of blues chasing them have been hanging around the entrance of the Chesapeake for weeks, waiting for the waters to warm. Whether they turn left or continue on up the coast like last year depends on Mother Nature.

Usually, blues arrive in the Bay in mid- to late April from the Atlantic and hang around feeding on menhaden or alewives until the middle of October or so, depending on the weather.

For two weeks now, blues have been caught in the area of Point Lookout, Cedar Point and the Middle Grounds. These are the spots that normally signal to us that some of the greatest fishing on the Bay is about to hit us.

When the water warms to 58 to 60 degrees, which is beginning to happen right now, blues will begin moving out of the deep, main channel of the Chesapeake and into shallows.

A lot of us have difficulty catching blues during this period because they are chasing behind the plentiful bait fish, so an artificial lure often comes up second best.

If the temperatures heat up the way they should, the water temperature in the Bay will rise to the low to mid-60s and that is when you should grab your favorite rod and hit the water.

This is the time to catch the really big trophy-sized blues. Especially good spots are at the mouth of the Patuxent and Honga rivers, the northwest shoreline of the Severn River, coves and inlets up near the Westinghouse plant and around the Bay Bridges.

Following on the tails of these big trophies will be schools of smaller blues in the 3- to 8-pound class that I dearly love to catch on light tackle, filet and slap on the grill.

The best spots, in my experiences, are off Tilghman Island on the Eastern Shore side of the Bay and a little south of the Patuxent River on this side, all the way down to the Virginia border.

My very favorite spot is off the Point Lookout and into the Middle Grounds and I usually fish it with one of the all-time great Chesapeake Bay characters, Davis.

By mid- to late June even smaller (and tastier) blues will be arriving in the area. Fish double hook rigs and you stand a good chance of scoring a triple -- a 10- or 14-incher on one hook and like-sized snapper on the other engulfed by a 10- to 15-pounder's razor-like teeth.

These schools will range way up the Bay and I understand that Harrison's Inner Harbor Chesapeake House Inn and Restaurant in Baltimore once again will be running fishing parties out of there after them.

Most blues probably are caught by trolling than by any other method, but I am the first to admit that even as effective as the method is, I find it difficult to imagine a more boring system. Favorite trolling lures are the Tony Accetta spoon, surgical hose, the Hopkins spoon, and currently the most popular, the crippled alewive.

Whenever I have a choice in the matter, I prefer drifting in a chum line with a medium-action spinning rod and reel loaded with 10- to 15-pound test mono line.

When there are breaking blues chasing bait fish, grab your light to medium rod, snap on a top-water plug, such as the Atom or any kind of silver or gold spoon (something with a lot of flash) and cast right into the school. Then prepare for the fight of your angling life.

Glen Burnie man breaks record

Marty Hullihen of Glen Burnie caught a 30-inch, 11-pound, 6-ounce walleye from Deep Creek Lake on May 15 that stands as the Maryland walleye record.

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