MSSA tuna tournament lim­its boat length to 38 feet

Record Observer - - Sports -

The resched­uled Mary­land Salt­wa­ter Sport­fish­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s 27th an­nual Tuna-Ment Tournament will take place Fri­day through Sun­day, June 24-26. The tournament is de­signed for recre­ational an­glers of rel­a­tively mod­est means, so the max­i­mum boat length for par­tic­i­pants is 38 feet. Teams will fish two of three days.

Teams land­ing the first-, sec­ond- and third-heav­i­est tu­nas will be awarded prize money.

Op­tional added-en­try skill level cal­cut­tas, or TWT (Tour­na­ments within Tournament), of­fer the chance to win ad­di­tional prize money for reel­ing in the sin­gle­heav­i­est tuna as well as for stringer weight (two or three fish). Cal­cut­tas range from $100-$500.

Fi­nal reg­is­tra­tion and a cap­tains’ meet­ing will take place 6-8 p.m. at All­tackle off Route 50 and Golf Course Road in West Ocean City on Thurs­day, June 23. The cost to en­ter the tournament is $275 for MSSA mem­bers, $300 for non­mem­bers.

Weigh-ins will take place from 4:30-8 p.m. each day. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit mssa.net or call 410-255-5535. You can reg­is­ter on­line as well.

* * * Dorch­ester fish­ing The folks of the Dorch­ester Chap­ter of MSSA will host their in-house sum­mer fish­ing tournament on Thurs­day July 21. The en­try fee is $10. The club will kick in $75 for each species. All en­try fees and an ex­tra $300 will be awarded in prizes. The four el­i­gi­ble species will be rock­fish, white perch, croaker, and cat­fish. Winners will be de­ter­mined by length with prizes awarded for first and sec­ond place.

Fish­ing starts the day of the tournament at 5 am. Check-in is be­tween 6 and 7 p.m. at the Elks Club prior to the chap­ter’s July meet­ing. Con­tact Chuck Prahl (410-228-0251) if you’d like to par­tic­i­pate.

The chap­ter is in need of vol­un­teers to strip and re­assem­ble reef ball forms on Thurs­day, June 30,

at the con­crete plant on Rt. 16 just south of the Cam­bridge Wal­mart. Con­tact Tom Wilk­i­son (410-4043426) if you’d like to help.

*** Fish­ing re­port There were some great days for fish­ing this week. I hope you were able to get out and en­joy the cool weather. I found time to visit the lo­cal mill pond to toss a small Betts pop­per and had con­stant hits by feisty bluegills and a fe­ro­cious strike by a 2 lb. large­mouth lin­ger­ing in some very skinny wa­ter. It cooked up nice with some crushed Ritz crack­ers and lemon pep­per sea­son­ing. Yes, you can keep them now.

The tidal rivers in the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay re­gion are hold­ing healthy pop­u­la­tions of white perch. In the early morn­ings and late evenings work­ing shore­line struc­ture with ul­tra-light tackle and small bee­tle-spins or spinners can pro­vide a lot of fun and some nice perch for the ta­ble.

Out in the bay, chum­ming con­tin­ues to en­tice rock­fish at the Love Point and Swan Point ar­eas. An­glers are spot­ting fish on their depth fin­ders be­fore set­ting up a chum slick. Larger stripers tend to hold far­ther back in the chum slick. Trolling is another op­tion with suc­cess com­ing from along the chan­nel edges by those able to get their lures down to about 25 feet along the 35- to 40-foot edges. Um­brella rigs are work­ing now be­hind in­line weights with buck­tail or Storm shad trail­ers. Tan­dem-rigged buck­tails off plan­ers will get down to the fish as will sin­gle spoons.

Ver­ti­cal jig­ging is a fun, pro­duc­tive op­tion when fish­ing for stripers, and struc­ture such as sub­merged rocks and bridge piers are good places to cast near and to jig. Soft plas­tics are a fa­vorite, but buck­tails work well as well.

Boats are also set­ting up on the out­side edge of Hack­etts, near the Hill, the Clay Banks, and the Di­a­monds. A good tide is needed and most are set­ting up on fish they find sus­pended off the bot­tom with their depth fin­ders.

Bal­last stone piles should not to be over­looked; if you find a bump out at the mouth of the Chop­tank, for ex­am­ple, mark it be­cause they are great spots for hold­ing fish.

Shal­low wa­ter fish­ing for stripers con­tin­ues to be pro­duc­tive in many ar­eas de­spite some cloudy wa­ter con­di­tions. In many ar­eas the grass is fairly thick, so top­wa­ter lures such as pop­pers or skip­ping bugs is the way to go and cer­tainly pro­vides the great­est en­ter­tain­ment.

Per­haps the most ex­cit­ing fish­ing go­ing on in the lower Ch­e­sa­peake right now is the wel­comed ar­rival of sub­stan­tial num­bers of croak­ers. Most are in the 10- to 12-inch size range and should be headed this way.

Recre­ational crab­bing con­tin­ues to be good in the most all of the tidal rivers in the mid­dle and lower bay re­gions. Some crab­bers are now us­ing chicken necks since the cow-nosed rays have moved into the Mary­land por­tion of the bay in force.

On the coast, surf fish­ing has been good for a mix of blue­fish and a few large striped bass and a whole lot of skates and sting rays. Cut men­haden has been one of the more pop­u­lar baits, but fin­ger mul­let and sand fleas are also be­ing used. Blood­worms are a good choice for tar­get­ing king­fish.

Out­side the in­let the boats head­ing out to the wreck and reef sites are still find­ing good sea bass fish­ing but limit catches are not as com­mon. Floun­der are now be­ing caught and help add to the mix. Far­ther off­shore the boats trolling at the canyons are find­ing a mix of yel­lowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, and big­eye tuna. * * * Duck blind know-it-all The LeCompte Wildlife Man­age­ment Area in Dorch­ester County was named in honor of Ed­win Lee LeCompte (18741947), Game War­den for the State of Mary­land from 1916 to 1945.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF STEVEN ESKEW

The Is­land Fury 10U girls’ soft­ball team took first place at the Queen of Di­a­monds Soft­ball Tourney. The lo­cal girls are mak­ing a big state­ment in the USSSA league, where there are hun­dreds of teams in their di­vi­sion.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Colonel Richard­son’s Jake Ze­bron fires a strike against St. Michaels on May 10. Ze­bron went 6-1 and hit .443, earn­ing Al­lMid-Shore Player of the Year hon­ors.

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