KNAUSS

Record Observer - - Sports -

* * * 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.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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