Ju­nior Tur­key Hunt pre­cedes statewide open­ing April 18

Record Observer - - Sports -

Young hunters and their men­tors can kick off the spring tur­key sea­son by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the statewide Ju­nior Tur­key Hunt Day on April 15, which just hap­pens to be open­ing day of rock­fish sea­son as well.

The reg­u­lar spring tur­key sea­son for all hunters will run from April 18 through May 23 statewide. “Wild tur­keys are gen­er­ally abun­dant through­out most of Mary­land so we pre­dict another en­joy­able tur­key hunt­ing sea­son,” said Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice Di­rec­tor Paul Peditto. “The spring tur­key sea­son is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to in­tro­duce youth or other begin­ners to the sport. Hunt­ing pres­sure is lower and gob­bling ac­tiv­ity is higher at this time of year.”

Ju­nior Tur­key Hunt Days al­low li­censed youths age 16 and un­der to hunt wild tur­keys, when ac­com­pa­nied by an un­armed adult (21 and older), who holds a valid Mary­land hunt­ing li­cense. Adults may not pos­sess a bow, cross­bow, air gun, or firearm while ac­com­pa­ny­ing a youth.

The daily bag limit for the spring sea­son is one bearded tur­key with a sea­son bag limit of two bearded tur­keys. Hunt­ing hours are:

April 15-16 (Ju­nior Tur­key Hunt): Half-hour be­fore sun­rise to sun­set; youth hunt­ing is al­lowed April 16 in se­lect coun­ties. Those coun­ties in­clude Caro­line (pri­vate lands only) and Dorch­ester (pri­vate and pub­lic lands).

April 18-May 9: Half-hour be­fore sun­rise to noon; and

May 10-23: Half-hour be­fore sun­rise to sun­set.

* * * First State expo

Delaware’s state fair­grounds in Har­ring­ton will host its first Del­marva Out­doors Expo, April 2830. The event will fea­ture demon­stra­tions and com­pe­ti­tions.

A dock-dog com­pe­ti­tion will be held all three days with dogs com­pet­ing for dis­tance, height, and re­trieval speed. Retriever dog demon­stra­tions will be led by Will Kern­odle of the First State Retriever Club with help from Bob and Teresa Tebbens of the Turtle­creek Re­triev­ers of Green­wood.

A 3D archery dis­play and com­pe­ti­tion by CJ Winks archery is open to any­one who would like to com­pete. Par­tic­i­pants will need to bring their own bows and ar­rows for the com­pe­ti­tion. This will be a three-day com­pe­ti­tion with qual­i­fy­ing rounds the first two days and fi­nal rounds on Sun­day.

Ven­dors, a yard sale, food trucks, give­aways, door prizes, pre­sen­ta­tions, and ad­di­tional demon­stra­tions will be on site all three days. The cost is $5 a day or $10 for a week­end pass, which will only be avail­able on­line prior to the event.

Expo hours are Fri­day 4 to 9 p.m., Satur­day, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sun­day, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A lot more in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on­line (del­mar­vaout­door­sexpo.com) and on the Face­book page.

* * * Fish­ing re­port The tidal rivers of the Ch­e­sa­peake are still hold­ing white perch in the up­per reaches of the trib­u­taries. Many of the larger white perch have al­ready spawned and can be found hold­ing in some of the deeper holes slightly down river of the spawn­ing ar­eas. Spawn­ing ar­eas are still hold­ing a lot of pres­pawn white perch in the 4to 6-inch range which seem to have ar­rived late. Shad darts and small jigs are good choices for lures and it doesn’t hurt to tip them with a piece of cut min­now, nightcrawler, or Fish­bites. You can of­ten find a mix of chain pick­erel, crap­pie, and sun­fish when fish­ing these ar­eas.

The much an­tic­i­pated Tro­phy Striped bass sea­son opens April 15. The min­i­mum size this year is 35 inches and the bag limit is one fish per per­son per day. Ac­cord­ing to Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources bi­ol­o­gists, the real ac­tion for post-spawn stripers will not re­ally kick in un­til about the last week­end of April. The striped bass are at the spawn­ing reaches of the Po­tomac, Patux­ent, Nan­ti­coke, and Chop­tank Rivers and are still ar­riv­ing at the Susque­hanna Flats/ River area.

On open­ing day, it might be a good idea for any­one trolling to stick to the steep ship­ping chan­nel edges in the mid­dle and lower bay re­gions. Bloody Point Light, Thomas Point, and close to the Buoy 84 and 84A should be good places to troll. The False Chan­nel edges and the steep edge out in front of the Lit­tle Chop­tank down to the in­side edge of the CP Buoy should also be good places to in­ter­cept post-spawn striped bass ex­it­ing the Chop­tank. Of­ten the largest fe­male striped bass are the first to spawn, so you might find that fish of a life­time.

Chilly bot­tom wa­ter tem­per­a­tures will cause large striped bass to be cruis­ing close to the sur­face as they use the strong cur­rents near the chan­nel edges. Striped bass do not like en­gine noise, so the mass of boats ex­pected on open­ing day will likely drive them down quickly. If you can get out early, day­break is a good time to be out there.

Us­ing planer boards and send­ing flat lines way back likely will be the best op­tion. Large para­chutes and buck­tails in white or char­treuse are the most pop­u­lar col­ors, both dressed with large sassy shads.

On the fresh­wa­ter scene, fish­ing for crap­pie has been ex­cel­lent in many ar­eas. The crap­pie are schooled up near sunken struc­ture such as fallen tree tops. The tidal rivers of­fer good crap­pie fish­ing, as do lakes such as Wye Mills, Tuck­a­hoe, and Smithville. Large­mouth bass fish­ing in the tidal rivers has been good and the Wi­comico, Po­comoke, and up­per Nan­ti­coke are great places to fish.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all On June 24, 1784, in Bal­ti­more, 13-year old Ed­ward Warren went air­borne in the first suc­cess­ful manned bal­loon launch in the United States. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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