A good day for fish­ing on the banks of the Chop­tank

Record Observer - - Sports - CHRIS KNAUSS

The weather Satur­day for the resched­uled Greens­boro Fish­ing Derby was pretty ideal, mostly over­cast and a bit muggy, but rain-free and not much wind.

Young an­glers and their fam­i­lies caught a va­ri­ety of fish dur­ing the free event on the banks of the up­per Chop­tank River. Rods and reels and earth­worms were provided for the fish­ing along with a lunch and an awards cer­e­mony fol­low­ing the ac­tion on the wa­ter.

Mi­randa McQuay scored the big­gest catch of the day, an 18½-inch cat­fish. She caught the cat­fish on a piece of an eel she had caught ear­lier along with bluegill and sun­fish.

Satur­day was the first free fish­ing day of the year in Mary­land when no li­cense or trout stamp is re­quired. The other days are June 11 and July 4. An­glers un­der the age of 16 don’t need a li­cense on any day.

Next Satur­day, June 11, Eastern Neck Na­tional Wildlife Refuge, near Rock Hall, will host a youth fish­ing derby at Head­quar­ters Pond from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is for ages 5 to 15. Loaner rods and reels will be avail­able, along with bait and food, and staff will be on hand to help.

*** Tuck­a­hoe 3D shoots The Tuck­a­hoe Bow­men’s reg­u­lar Sun­day 3D shoots are un­der­way with the next shoot sched­uled for Fa­ther’s Day, June 19. All bow classes are wel­come. Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 8 a.m. and the course opens at 9.

The course is on the grounds of Tuck­a­hoe State Park and fea­tures 3D tar­gets placed through­out a wood­land set­ting.

For more in­for­ma­tion, email to tuck­a­hoe­bow­men@hot­mail.com.

*** Fish­ing re­port Striped bass fish­ing in the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and the tidal rivers is now open to the stan­dard sum­mer/fall reg­u­la­tions: bag limit of two fish, min­i­mum size of 20 inches, only one of which can be equal to or greater than 28 inches.

Chum­ming for rock­fish has been pretty good on the ebb tide, but with a high per­cent­age of sub-le­gal fish. The 2011-year class is com­ing on strong and many an­glers are catch­ing their two-fish limit in short or­der.

An­glers are also trolling a mixed spread of um­brella rigs and tan­dem rigs behind plan­ers or in­line weights to get lures down to where the fish are hold­ing along chan­nel edges. Medi­um­sized buck­tails, Storm swim shad-type plas­tic baits, and spoons are good choices for trolling.

Jig­ging has been pro­duc­tive when con­cen­tra­tions of

fish can be found sus­pended near struc­ture.

Plenty of white perch can be caught in tidal rivers. They are a fine fish for kids to tar­get, or older folks, for a leisure day of bot­tom fish­ing or cast­ing small spin­ners. Chan­nel cat­fish and striped bass can also be part of the mix.

Eastern Bay and the mid­dle re­gions of tidal rivers such as the Chop­tank are of fer­ing stripers for those fish­ing shore­line struc­ture or steep chan­nel edges. Top­wa­ter lures on spin­ning tackle or skip­ping bugs, stream­ers, and Clousers on a fly rod are good choices. Struc­ture such as rip rap, prom­i­nent points, and old piers are great places to tar­get in the early morn­ing or evening hours.

Out in the main part of the bay, chum­ming at the Bay Bridge, Hack­etts, Gum Thick­ets, the Hill, Thomas Point, and the Clay Banks is be­com­ing pop­u­lar. The chan­nel edges out­side the chum­ming fleet lo­ca­tions and the west­ern edge of the ship­ping chan­nel have been good places to troll.

Some black drum are bit­ing on the Sharps Is­land and James Is­land Flats.

Recre­ational crab­bing has been good in many of the mid­dle and lower bay tidal rivers. In some ar­eas, fe­male and small crabs tend to be chew­ing up baits and now cow-nosed rays are join­ing the buf­fet as un­in­vited guests.

On the fresh­wa­ter scene, large­mouth bass fish­ing has been good as most fish are now in a post-spawn phase of ac­tiv­ity and feed­ing ag­gres­sively to build up body stores af­ter the ar­du­ous process of spawn­ing. Jigs, small crankbaits, and stick worms worked close to struc­ture will of­ten get them to bite.

On the coast, wa­ter tem­per­a­tures in the Ocean City area are reach­ing the 70-de­gree mark, which brings in a large va­ri­ety of fish. In the surf, large rock­fish are still be­ing caught along with blue­fish, black drum, and king­fish. Floun­der fish­ing is im­prov­ing in the back bays. Off­shore, sea bass fish­ing has been very good with limit catches and the canyon fish­ery has taken off with ex­cel­lent catches in the vicin­ity of the Nor­folk Canyon. * * * Duck blind know-it-all Most peo­ple have a pace (two steps) of 4.5 to 5 feet. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY CHRIS KNAUSS

Greens­boro Parks Board Chair Elouzia Knight presents Mi­randa McQuay with a plaque for catch­ing the largest fish at the Greens­boro Fish­ing Derby, Satur­day morn­ing on the up­per Chop­tank River.

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