Rockfish season to open along with the Bay Bridge Boat Show
Over 250 powerboats will be on display at this year’s Bay Bridge Boat Show, which runs Friday, April 15 through Sunday, April 17, making it a fine place to compare features, prices, and designs.
New fishing boats from some 30 manufacturers will be onsite along with brokerage boats. The show will also include trawlers and cruisers up to 75-feet long, pontoon boats, jet skis, jet boats, ski boats, bowriders, inflatables, kayaks, SUPs, and canoes. At least two dozen boats will be available to try on the water during the show at the Demo Dock.
Show-goers will also find all the gear that’s needed to stay afloat and to land a big one. You can shop from more than 100 on-land exhibits specializing in the latest equipment, electronics, and clothing. Nautical and fishing know-how will be available at seminars throughout the weekend, included with the price of admission.
Joe Cap and Bill O’Brien of Shore Tackle and Custom Rods will talk about flyfishing techniques and demonstrate how to cast a spinning rod. The folks of the Annapolis School of Seamanship and Chesapeake Bay magazine will conduct seminars such as Trouble Shooting Your Diesel Engine, Modern Navigation, Getting Your Captain’s License, and Outboard Engine Basics.
The weekend activities begin with an opening night BBQ Bash with music by Sean Hetrick and the Leftovers. You can relax by the pool bar or visit one of several beer stations. Kids activities include face painting and a moon bounce. Complete info and advanced tickets are available at annapolisboatshows.com.
*** Youth fishing derby Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries along the Chester River will host a Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to noon. Entry fees include event registration and lunch. Prizes will be awarded for different categories within each age group, ranging from age 6 and under up to age 18. The grand prize is a free week of camp. For more information, visit pocometh.org or call 410-556-6900.
*** Rockfish tournament The 5th annual Tidewater Easton Rotary Club Fishing Tournament will be Friday, May 6, headquartered at the Masthead at Pier St. Marina in Oxford. Prizes will be awarded for the top three largest striped bass. The cost is $150, which includes space on a charter boat, bait, tackle, T-shirt, and lunch. A portion of the fee benefits the community service work of the Rotary Club. For more information and to register contact Sandy Hale, email@example.com, 410-714-1005.
*** Fishing report Spawning populations of striped bass are now in all of the major spawning rivers and some spawning has occurred in the Nanticoke, Patuxent, Potomac, and Choptank rivers. Some cold nights are not providing good conditions for striped bass eggs and newly hatched larvae, but there are more striped bass waiting in the rivers and bay for optimum spawning water temperatures of 60 to 66 degrees.
Anglers are reminded that fishing, including catch-and-release, for striped bass is closed in spawning reaches. There are areas such as the Susquehanna Flats, areas in the main stem of the bay, and in the Potomac River where catch-and-release is allowed. Fishing maps are available online showing the different striped bass areas and dates as described in regulations.
Opening day of the spring rockfish season on the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay is Saturday, April 16.
White perch fishing has been getting good in most of our tidal rivers as the perch descend down the rivers after spawning. Generally, they can be found in some of the deeper holes in the middle and lower sections of the tidal rivers. Shad darts tipped with pieces of bloodworm or minnow or a simple bottom rig baited with the same will work well. Channel catfish are also a part of the mix when fishing close to the bottom.
Largemouth bass are beginning to show prespawn behavior in ponds, lakes, and tidal rivers. Male largemouth are exploring the shallow areas for spawning bed sites. Females tend to be holding in transition areas in slightly deeper water, but will venture into shallower areas mid-day for a little warmth. In the tidal rivers this movement is often triggered by a flood tide. Any kind of sunken structure in these transition areas is a good place to target with grubs and similar soft plastics or crankbaits.