Con­tro­versy in Ocean City

Maryland Independent - - Sports - Jamie Drake

You might re­call that a cou­ple of weeks ago, there was a lit­tle ker­fuf­fle over the sale of “Blue Lives Mat­ter” T-shirts at the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, which took place Aug. 8 to 12.

Now there is an­other, and much big­ger, con­tro­versy afoot. This time it has noth­ing to do with T-shirts and ev­ery­thing to do with a $2.8 mil­lion pay­out for a 76.5-pound marlin caught by Phillip Heasely of Florida on Aug. 9.

It seems Heasely might not see that prize money af­ter all. In big fish­ing tour­na­ments, poly­graph tests are stan­dard rou­tine be­fore the awards cer­e­monies where the prize money is doled out.

The White Marlin Open rules state that lines can­not be in the wa­ter be­fore 8:30 a.m. on fish­ing days, but there are some ques­tions about the ship’s catch log, which were ex­am­ined and showed the win­ning marlin may have ac­tu­ally been caught 25 min­utes be­fore the tour­na­ment be­gan. Also, of­fi­cials said Heasely’s an­swers were de­cep­tive when he was asked if he reeled his catch in with­out as­sis­tance, per tour­na­ment rules.

Heasely and the en­tire crew of the Kal­lianassa were un­able to pass poly­graph tests, so the prize money has not been re­leased and the or­ga­niz­ers of the tour­na­ment are ask­ing a judge to de­cide whether the money will go to Heasely or be di­vided among 13 other win­ners from the tour­na­ment. South­ern Mary­land lakes and ponds — An­thony Han­cock, as­sis­tant man­ager of Gilbert Run Park in Dentsville, re­ports the fish­ing has been hit or miss the past few weeks. Bass are bit­ing best early and late in the day, but pa­tient an­glers can be re­warded dur­ing the day by fo­cus­ing on the bass hold­ing tight to grass or wood cover wait­ing to am­bush prey.

Slow fish­ing soft plas­tic Senko type lures and fi­nesse worms in nat­u­ral colors like pump­kin or wa­ter­melon has been re­li­able, al­though it pays to ex­per­i­ment. Spin­ner­baits fished slowly in deeper wa­ter, along with jigs and deep-div­ing crankbaits, will en­tice the big­ger bass hold­ing on deeper off­shore struc­ture.

Bluegill are cruis­ing the shal­lows ready to pounce on meal­worms, nightcrawlers and crick­ets. Usu­ally the big­gest bluegill and re­dear sun­fish hold in wa­ter depths of about five feet.

Patux­ent River — Ken Lamb at the Tackle Box in Lex­ing­ton Park (301-863-8151) re­ports croaker have been hard to find in the heat. They have slowed at the pier, but rock­fish have been caught there in the 24-inch size. Rock­fish are be­ing caught in the morn­ings and even­ings by trollers and cast­ers on the bars and oys­ter beds. Perch are in the rivers in good num­bers at depths of 30 feet or more. Cat­fish­ing is ex­cel­lent near Bene­dict.

Po­tomac River — Reel Bass Ad­ven­tures guide Andy An­drze­jew­ski (301-932-1509) said the bass fish­ing re­mains area spe­cific. Very few spots are

hold­ing good num­bers of bass and those places are no se­cret and there­fore re­ceive heavy fish­ing pres­sure. Take the time to find an iso­lated patch of grass with bait­fish ac­tiv­ity or a good pop­u­la­tion of craw­fish.

Start with top­wa­ters like grass frogs or pop­pers and fol­low up with swim jigs, chat­ter­baits and fi­nesse worms. It takes pa­tience as the ac­tion will not be fast and fu­ri­ous most days. Hard cover not choked with grasses hold bass as do the marsh run-offs in the creeks dur­ing the out­go­ing tide.

Life Out­doors Un­lim­ited guide Ken Pen­rod (240-447-2206) fished the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., sec­tor last week and re­ports the Key Bridge, Three Sis­ters, Kennedy Cen­ter and D.C. shore­line be­low

the Ana­cos­tia River to be good stops for small­mouth. He drove by the $100,000 dock and, as ex­pected, it was teem­ing with lo­cal an­glers.

Deep Creek Lake — This week­end is guar­an­teed to be a busy one. The best fish­ing con­tin­ues to be early in the morn­ing and late in the evening, which is the only time an­glers can get a break from the re­cre­ational boaters and flotilla of jet skiers from sunup to sun­down. Bass are hold­ing near struc­ture like sunken trees and float­ing docks. Chain pick­erel and north­ern pike are also present.

Lake Anna (Va.) — High Point Ma­rina (540-8955249) re­ports even with the heat, the fish are head­ing into shal­lower wa­ter and be­gin­ning to hang around stumps, docks and other struc­tures for most of the day. In the early morn­ing and late evening, top­wa­ter lures such as PopRs and

Chug Bugs should be your first choice. Medium-run­ning crankbaits, five-inch grubs and shakey head worms are also work­ing well.

Stripers are in the main lake from the power plant to the bridges. Top­wa­ter fish­ing in the early morn­ing has seen a lot of ac­tion on Zara Spooks, Redfins and Pay­check baits.

Ch­e­sa­peake Bay — Capt. Don Lay­ton of Jea­nies Catch Char­ters (301-7519114) re­ports he’s been chas­ing birds and break­ing fish from the power plant to Hooper’s Is­land and catch­ing lots of small rock and blues. There’s plenty of ac­tion, but not much in the box. There are re­ports of Span­ish mackarel be­ing trolled up at faster speeds.

Capt. Den­nis Flem­ing of Fishama­jig Guide Ser vice (240-538-1260) re­ports that the late sum­mer pat­tern of blues/ rock/Span­ish mackarel feed­ing on bay an­chovies is in full swing from Solomons to Smith Point, Va. Most an­glers are trolling, but Capt. Flem­ing has been hav­ing his clients throw­ing 1-ounce metal jigs and buck­tails to break­ing schools. Good binoc­u­lars are a must.

Lamb re­ports fast, high-jump­ing mack­erel are mixed with blues and stripers in the Tar­get Ship area in the south and all along the eastern shore from Punch Is­land to the False Chan­nel into the Lit­tle Chop­tank River. The Solomons boats are find­ing keeper-sized rock­fish un­der the birds and are catch­ing the two-per-per­son daily limit.

At­lantic Ocean — Bob Fos­ter at Oys­ter Bay Tackle in Ocean City (410-524-3433) re­ports fish­ing has picked up with snap­per blues in the surf. The king­fish bite re­mains good with a few spot and croaker mixed in.

Lots of floun­der in the bay but most of them are short, while the floun­der bite off­shore around the ar­ti­fi­cial wrecks and reefs con­tin­ues to be good with some sea bass mixed in. Try jig­ging a Spro buck­tail tipped with Gulp for the off­shore floun­der. A mix of yel­lowfin tuna, skip­jack tuna, dol­phin and wa­hoo have been caught at the 30-fathom fish­ing ar­eas.

Tip of the week

From Lamb: Spot are now in the Patux­ent as far as Sandy Point. These tasty sum­mer vis­i­tors are usu­ally here by the Fourth of July, but all the rain in June and other fac­tors have de­layed them un­til now. The head­boats out of Bunky’s Char­ter Boats in Solomons made ex­cel­lent catches over the week­end.

The spot may reach Kingston Hol­low and Hawk’s Nest by the time you read this. The Town Creek Pier is now re­opened af­ter a tiff with au­thor­i­ties over per­mits. Spot love that area and the pier should pro­duce good spot catches.

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