* * * Crabbing begins Recreational fishing for the state’s most iconic aquatic species opened April 1 in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries as well as in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays, and their tributaries.
Crabbing in Mar yland waters can be done a variety of ways, with or without a license depending on the equipment used, amount of crabs harvested and location.
Recreational crabbing licenses are required for anyone who uses a trotline, collapsible crab traps, net rings, seines or eel pots; or who catches more than two dozen hard crabs (with a limit of one bushel) or more than one dozen soft crabs or male peelers (with a limit of two dozen). Crabbers using hand lines or dip nets or catching beneath those stated limits do not require a license.
An owner, lessee, or tenant of a private shoreline property may use up to two crab pots, appropriately registered, without a license. Crab pots used by waterfront property owners in Maryland must be fitted with a bycatchreduction or turtle-excluder device in every entry funnel and be marked with the owner’s name and address.
A recreational crabbing license is not required in the Atlantic Ocean, coastal bays, and their tributaries. Additionally, any passenger of a boat with a valid crabbing license doesn’t need an individual license to crab.
All recreational crabbers are prohibited from selling crabs or possessing egg-bearing (sponge) crabs or any female hard or peeler crabs.
* * * Fishing report Spring conditions throughout are presenting wonderful fishing opportunities as water temperatures steadily warm up and fish become more active.
White perch continue to bite in upper Chesapeake tidal rivers and creeks. Water temperatures are in the upper 40s in most areas. Post-spawn white perch are becoming a more common catch mixing in with the pre-spawn perch. Shad darts, small jigs, and bait such as minnows and worms have been popular choices.
Hickory shad are starting to show up in the upper reaches of tidal rivers such as the Choptank River and can offer some fun catch-and-release opportunities. Crappie are being found in the same areas and can add a substantial portion to the catch. Channel catfish are very common in the tidal rivers and can be caught on worms or cut bait.
Out on the bay, windy conditions have kept many anglers off the water lately, but calmer conditions will most likely soon bring out a few catch-and-release anglers. Most will be jigging or casting lures in order to enjoy the fight followed by a quick release.
Fishing for largemouth bass has been very good in ponds, reservoirs, and tidal waters and will improve as the bass respond to warmer water temperatures and actively feed. Water temperatures are generally in the mid-50s in most areas and largemouth bass are holding in transition areas leading up to the shallower spawning areas. They tend to be holding near sunken wood and emerging grass beds. Spinnerbaits are a great lure to use when trying to cover territory and when targeting sunken wood soft plastics are hard to beat.
The coastal waters in the Ocean City area are slowly beginning to warm up. Offshore fishing is focused mostly on tautog near the wreck and reef sites. The charter and head boats are reporting fair to good catches most days. Currently, nearshore water temperatures are about 43 degrees. Before long, tautog will begin to move into the inlet area and provide some shoreline fishing opportunities.
*** Duck blind know-it-all The Pyramids of Giza were built in the time of wooly mammoths.
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