You are now free to catch a striped bass any­where

Record Observer - - Sports -

An­glers want­ing to get in on this year’s striped bass fish­ing in Mary­land now have more ar­eas to fish.

The of­fi­cial open­ing of the sum­mer/fall striped bass sea­son with no ex­clu­sions on where an­glers can catch the state fish be­gan Thurs­day, June 1.

All ar­eas of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, in­clud­ing ti­dal rivers and trib­u­taries, are now fair game.

“Even though many of the larger striped bass have al­ready left the bay head­ing to cooler wa­ters fur­ther north, many of the smaller rock­fish re­main abun­dant in the bay and its trib­u­taries,” said DNR Fish­ing and Boat­ing Ser vices Direc­tor David Blazer.

Li­censed an­glers are per­mit­ted to catch two striped bass be­tween 20-28 inches per day, or one fish be­tween 20-28 inches and one fish larger than 28 inches.

I was able to catch a few in the Cor­sica River on Fri­day. I was mostly try­ing to get a few perch for the fry­ing pan us­ing a mini Rat-L-Trap, but quite a few stripers couldn’t re­sist the lure ei­ther. The largest de­cent look­ing rock­fish was around 15 inches. A 24-incher had le­sions all over it, pretty dis­gust­ing.

The DNR would like an­glers to as­sist ef­forts in mon­i­tor­ing our striped bass pop­u­la­tion. Any­one who catches a tagged fish should fol­low the in­struc­tions on the printed tag or call 800-688-3467. You’re asked to record the tag num­ber, capture date, fish­ing lo­ca­tion, and to­tal length. * * * Record turkey har­vest Hunters re­ported har­vest­ing 4,175 wild tur­keys dur­ing the 2017 reg­u­lar spring and ju­nior hunt turkey sea­sons in our state.

This year’s har­vest was 8 per­cent higher than 2016 (3,874) and marked the third con­sec­u­tive record har­vest in the state. It is also well above the 10-year av­er­age of 3,303.

“The high har­vest can be at­trib­uted to a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors, in­clud­ing grow­ing turkey pop­u­la­tions and ex­panded Sun­day hunt­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said Wildlife and Her­itage Ser­vice Direc­tor Paul Peditto.

Gar­rett County re­ported the high­est har­vest this year with 429 tur­keys, fol­lowed by Wash­ing­ton County with 426. Round­ing out the top five coun­ties were Fred­er­ick (332), Charles (320) and Dorch­ester (303). Wild turkey pop­u­la­tions are at all-time highs in some ar­eas, with record har­vests re­ported in eight coun­ties this year.

Caro­line County hunters har­vested 149 tur­keys, Kent County 174, Queen Anne’s 160, and Tal­bot 94.

Hunters in 10 coun­ties were able to hunt on Sun­days this year, re­sult­ing in a har­vest of 337 tur­keys.

Youth hunters kicked-off the spring turkey sea­son with the Ju­nior Turkey Hunt April 15 statewide and April 16 in se­lect coun­ties, re­port­ing 230 wild tur­keys har vested. The sea­son ended May 23.

* * * Fish­ing re­port Out on the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay, striped bass are bit­ing drifted live eels around the deeper chan­nel spots around Pooles Is­land. Chum­mers are find­ing ac­tion at Swan Point. Trollers are find­ing a few fish along the 30-foot chan­nel con­tours by pulling um­brella rigs with buck­tail or swim-shad trail­ers. Love Point and Pod­ick­ory Point con­tinue to be good places to tar­get. Rock­fish can also be found at the Sewer Pipe and Bay Bridge py­lons by slow trolling close to the bot­tom, by jig­ging, and chum­ming.

The mid­dle bay re­gion is of­fer­ing some of the bet­ter striped bass fish­ing these

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Jim­mie John­son cel­e­brates his 11th ca­reer vic­tory at Dover In­ter­na­tional Speed­way on Sun­day in vic­tory lane.

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