Maryland black bear lottery now open
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for this year’s black bear hunting lottery. Successful applicants will receive a permit valid for the four-day hunting season, taking place Oct. 24-27 in Allegany, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington counties. The department will issue 750 hunting permits (up from 500 permits in 2015) that can be used anywhere within the hunting zone.
The annual bear hunt is an important management tool used to slow the growth of Maryland’s black bear population as it disperses eastward into more suburban communities and counties.
“This hunt remains well-regulated, scientifically sound and sustainable,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “Expanding the area open to bear hunting will help us achieve our goal of limiting the increase in our bear population while guaranteeing a secure future for this species in Maryland.”
Hunters may apply in one of the following ways: online, by phone at 855-855-3906 (weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), by visiting a service center, or at one of over 250 Sport License Agents across the state.
All entries must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 31 and accompanied by a $15 nonrefundable application fee. Only one application per person will be accepted, with duplicates resulting in disqualification and forfeiture of all fees.
The Black Bear Damage Reimbursement Fund is also open for voluntary contributions by hunters when they apply for their permits. Donated monies will be used to directly reimburse Maryland farmers who have suffered agricultural damage caused by black bears. Since the fund was started 20 years ago, it has paid out more than $125,000 in eligible claims to farmers.
*** Kids fishing at
Long Wharf The Dorchester County Chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association will host a kids fishing derby from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, August 6 at Long Wharf Park in Cambridge. The event is for ages 5-12 and all children must be accompanied by a guardian.
Registration is required by Wednesday, August 3 by emailing your name and phone number to email@example.com with the subject line “Kids Fishing Derby,” or call Bob at 443-225-6440.
Bait and tackle will be provided, but feel free to bring your own rod and reel. The chapter will provide water and hot dogs for all registered kids. Anglers will receive a packaged lure and a certificate of participation. First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for the largest rockfish, white perch, catfish, spot, and croaker.
Sponsors for the derby are the City of Cambridge, Walmart, Island Tackle, R&D Boat Supply, and ES Hubbard.
*** Waterfowling event The Maryland Waterfowlers Association will host its 2016 Meet, Greet and Swap at the Talbot Rod and Gun Club on Chapel Road in Easton from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday August 13. The event is open to the public and free of charge, so it’s a great opportunity to get better acquainted with the organization and to buy, swap, and/or sell some outdoor sporting gear.
The event is being held in conjunction with DNR hunter safety classes held at the club that day. To help introduce new hunters to waterfowl hunting, MDWFA
will provide youth hunters with calls and calling and shooting lessons after they complete their last phase of the hunter safety program.
Tables are available for attendees to sell their hunting, fishing, and shooting gear under the club’s pavilion. For information and to reserve a table, contact Steve Myers at mdl12skeet@aol. com.
*** Fishing report Chumming for striped bass in the upper Chesapeake Bay continues to be a big draw for boats from ports as far south as the lower bay. Swan Point, Love Point, and the western side of the shipping channel from above the mouth of the Magothy River to Sandy Point Light have been getting the most attention. The 30- to 35-foot edge has been the sweet spot with a falling tide providing the best action.
Trolling deep with umbrella rigs and single lures has been an effective alternative to chumming as has jigging when fish can be found suspended along channel edges or near structure. Live-lining white perch is also a very effective tactic where fish can be spotted suspended near channel edges. The Bay Bridge structure and rock piles are holding striped bass and jigging or livelining white perch there can really pay off.
In the middle bay, striped bass are being found along channel edges in about 35 feet of water on the outside edge of Hackett’s and outside Poplar Island to Buoy 83. Breaking fish are becoming a more common sight as bluefish join up with stripers to harass schools of menhaden and bay anchovies along channel edges. Casting into
the breaking fish or jigging underneath has been providing some fun action.
Farther south in the bay, fishing for cobia is still holding center stage. Anglers are chumming near the Target Ship, the Mud Leads, or the Middle Grounds and catching a mix of bluefish, a striped bass now and then, and sometimes a cobia.
There also has been a rarely seen visitor to Maryland’s portion of the bay and that is the greater amberjack. Juvenile amberjack in the 26- to 30-inch range have been caught as far north as the mouth of the Choptank by chumming, trolling, and casting to breaking fish.
Recreational crabbing continues to be good in all three regions of the bay with the best crabbing occurring in the middle and lower bay regions. The larger crabs tend to be deep, often in 10 feet of water or more.
On the coast, surf casters are catching a mix of kingfish, small bluefish, and flounder. The best action tends to be early in the morning and late evening. Bluefish and Spanish mackerel are being caught by trolling spoons near some of the inshore shoal areas like the Bass Grounds and Little Gull Shoals. Flounder are also present in these areas as well as the wreck and reef sites where they help add to the mix for those fishing for sea bass.
Chunking for yellowfin tuna has become very popular recently for anglers anchored up at Massey’s Canyon. *** Duck blind know-it-all Monks Mound, a large earthwork construction near St. Louis built by an ancient civilization, consists of more than 2.16 billion pounds of non-local soil types. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org