*** Waterway funding The DNR has awarded $10.5 million in Waterway Improvement Fund grants to improve boating access and navigation in state waters.
The funding will go toward 49 projects in 18 counties from Allegany to Worcester.
The fund is primarily derived from a five-percent vessel excise tax on boat purchases and titling.
Mid-Shore projects receiving funding are:
Caroline: Choptank Marina, Preston, improvements to existing pier, pump-out dock, and fuel relocation.
Dorchester: Cambridge Municipal Marina, bathhouse renovations; Elliott Island Marina, Vienna, construct stone jetty; Tar Bay, Church Creek, dredging Tar Bay, local cost share for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ channel; Vienna Waterfront Park, extension of North and South Piers to provide additional slips.
Kent: Chestertown Marina, replace bulkheads and piers; Turners Creek Public Landing, Kennedyville, boat ramp improvements including new timber bulkhead, new concrete ramp, and parking lot resurfacing.
Queen Anne’s: Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Chester, purchase of fire/ rescue boat motors and equipment; Kent Narrows, maintenance dredge the north side, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ channel; Matapeake Terminal Gas Dock, Stevensville, replacement of gas dock and fuel system.
Talbot: Back Creek Park, St. Michaels, construction of waterman’s pier and small boat access, including electric and water connection for facility; Dogwood Harbor, Tilghman, maintenance dredging of harbor and inlet; Townwide, Oxford, maintenance and repairs to public boating facilities, including installation of floating dock.
*** Record white catfish A St. Mary’s County man has set a new state fishing record for white catfish. The fish was recognized as a game fish a few years ago, but until now nobody had broken the seven-pound minimum weight to be eligible for state records.
Jacob Vosburgh, 20, of Lexington Park, caught the fish recorded at 8.27 pounds on June 1 in the lower Potomac River. The white catfish was 23 inches in length.
Using bloodworms as bait and a Carolina sinking rig, Vosburgh caught several small fish that morning but decided to be a little more patient and see what else was biting.
“Even before we took it out of the water, just judging by the size of its head we knew it was state record,” Vosburgh said.
* * * Fishing report In the upper Chesapeake Bay, most of the striped bass fishing action is taking place at Swan, Love, and Podickory Points as well as the Muds, where boats are anchoring up and chumming. The throwback ratio is high with two- and three-year-old striped bass dominating the chum slicks. Larger fish can often be caught in the back of the chum slick close to the bottom. A good tide is important.
Trolling is a good option and usually offers a better grade of fish. Chartreuse bucktails and sassy shads have been a favorite as have surgical tube lures. All are pulled behind inline weights to get them down to where the fish are suspended deep along channel edges. Jigging is another option, especially when suspended fish can be found near structure such as channel edges, the sewer pipe above the Bay Bridge, or the Bay Bridge pylons and rock piles.
Fishing for white perch in the upper bay has been very good in the region’s tidal rivers and creeks. Casting small jigs, spinnerbaits, or fishing with bait has been producing fine catches of perch. Channel catfish are also widespread in the upper bay region and can provide a lot of fun.
In the mid-bay, anglers are finding good chumming action at the outside 30-foot edge of Hackett’s Bar. Many anglers are catching fish in the mid-20-inch class. Locations such as the Hill, the Diamonds, and anywhere fish are suspended along channel edges are good places to set up a slick.
Breaking fish can be seen at times along steep channel edges where bait in the form of bay anchovies tends to be swept in the currents. Topwater lures are a fun way to fish the fury, but most are finding smaller striped bass on the surface and larger ones deeper with jigs.
Farther south, chumming is a good option and Buoys 70 and 72A, the Middle Grounds, and Point No Point. A mix of striped bass and bluefish are being attracted to the chum slicks.
The shallow-water striped bass fisher y can be exciting for anglers casting topwater lures or swim shads in Shore creeks and tidal marshes. From Hooper’s Island south to Pocomoke Sound there is excellent fishing for speckled trout.
Recreational crabbing has been excellent in the middle and lower bay tidal creeks and fair to good in the upper bay.
*** Duck blind know-it-all Green herons use bait to catch fish. Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at firstname.lastname@example.org