Water­fowl blind site li­cens­ing dates and lo­ca­tions an­nounced

Record Observer - - Sports -

When it’s nearly 100 de­grees out­side, it’s a great time to think about hunt­ing, and it’s al­most time for res­i­dent hunters to ap­ply for a 2017-18 water­fowl blind site li­cense.

Be­gin­ning Aug. 1, li­cense ap­pli­cants will be en­tered into a lottery for a chance to se­lect their blind sites in Mary­land. Each site li­cense is as­signed to a des­ig­nated lo­ca­tion in Mary­land wa­ters, where hunters can an­chor their boats to hunt water­fowl.

From 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. Aug. 1, ap­pli­ca­tions will be ac­cepted at statewide lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing the lo­cal sites listed be­low. Any­one ar­riv­ing af­ter 8 a.m. will not be el­i­gi­ble for the lottery.

The lottery will start at ap­prox­i­mately 8:30 a.m. Once se­lected, ap­pli­cants will have eight min­utes to choose their blinds, with a max­i­mum of two sites per day. Se­lec­tions will end at 4:30 p.m. and re­sume the fol­low­ing day.

On Aug. 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., li­cens­ing will be held at all re­gional ser­vice cen­ters. Be­gin­ning Aug. 3, these lo­ca­tions will fol­low reg­u­lar-busi­ness hours.

Cit­i­zens must present a 2016-17 or 2017-18 res­i­dent hunt­ing li­cense in or­der to par­tic­i­pate in the process (landown­ers or in­di­vid­u­als with writ­ten per­mis­sion of a landowner, who de­sire to li­cense their own prop­erty, are ex­empt from this re­quire­ment). Ap­pli­cants must also present a driver’s li­cense or other photo iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to ver­ify iden­tity and res­i­dency. In­di­vid­u­als un­der the age of 16 are ex­empt from this re­quire­ment. Landown­ers who would like to li­cense their prop­erty should bring a copy of the prop­erty in­for­ma­tion (avail­able on­line) and a tax map or other leg­i­ble map show­ing the ex­act lo­ca­tion of the shore­line to be li­censed.

Pre­view maps of shore­line li­censed by wa­ter­front landown­ers are avail­able on the De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources’ web­site and at these lo­cal sites:

Caro­line County: Lottery held at Caro­line County Pub­lic Li­brary, 100 Mar­ket Street, Denton. Pre­view maps avail­able there.

Tal­bot County: Lottery held at Eas­ton Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment, 315 Aurora Park Drive, Eas­ton. Pre­view maps avail­able at the Eas­ton Branch of Tal­bot County Li­brary (across from court­house).

On Aug. 2, and there­after, li­censes for Caro­line, Tal­bot, Kent, and Queen Anne’s coun­ties will be is­sued at the Eastern Re­gional Ser­vice Cen­ter, 120 Broad­way Ave., Room 207, Cen­tre­ville.

Dorch­ester County: Lottery held at LeCompte Wildlife Man­age­ment Area, 4220 Steele Neck Road, Vi­enna. Pre­view maps avail­able there. Please call ahead to con­firm the of­fice is staffed 410-376-3236.

* * * Fish­ing re­port Large num­bers of striped bass have moved into the up­per Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and chum­mers are catch­ing them at Swan Point, Love Point, and Pod­ick­ory Point. A good tac­tic is lo­cat­ing a school of fish sus­pended along chan­nel edges and then chum­ming on top of them. Adding a few small chunks and work­ing to get the chum down to the fish will pro­duce fish. The largest fish are be­ing caught on the bot­tom at the back end of the chum slicks.

Trolling re­mains a good op­tion if lures are far enough down to get where the fish are hold­ing. Buck­tails dressed with sassy shads or twister tails are a good op­tion as are sur­gi­cal tube lures and para­chutes be­hind in­line weights. Jig­ging can be pro­duc­tive when a good con­cen­tra­tion of fish are spot­ted sus­pended un­der break­ing fish or just hold­ing on a chan­nel edge.

White perch fish­ing on some of the knolls and shoal ar­eas out in the up­per bay have been good for an­glers fish­ing with bot­tom rigs and bait. The tidal rivers and places like Kent Nar­rows also of­fer fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for white perch.

In the mid-Ch­e­sa­peake, the out­side edge of the Hill, the Clay Banks, and the Di­a­monds are good places to look for stripers. Blue­fish should start to fil­ter into the mid­dle bay shortly and will pro­vide ad­di­tional fish­ing ac­tion. There is some bait in the form of bay an­chovies mov­ing about and two- and three-year-old rock­fish have been work­ing them over. Drop­ping down some live spot can pay off with some le­gal-size fish.

The shal­low wa­ter ac­tion at dawn con­tin­ues to of­fer some ex­cit­ing top­wa­ter fish­ing ac­tion. Prom­i­nent points, sub­merged break­wa­ters, and the rocks along Po­plar Is­land are good places to check.

Pop­pers and Zara Spooks are good choices with in­te­rior rat­tles a sound at­trac­tion.

Far­ther south, large red drum are be­com­ing more com­mon near the Tar­get Ship and Mid­dle Grounds. The shal­low wa­ter ac­tion for a mix of speck­led trout, striped bass, and blue­fish con­tin­ues to be good in the Tang­ier and Po­comoke Sound ar­eas along marsh edges and creeks. Cast­ing Gulp and Bass As­sas­sin soft plas­tics in white and pearl have been some of the best op­tions. Dur­ing the early morn­ing hours, Zara Spooks and pop­pers have been a good choice. Drift­ing soft crab baits or peeler crab is also a great way to tar­get speck­led trout.

The bot­tom fish­ing ac­tion in the lower bay has re­ally hit high gear in the past week or so with the ar­rival of large spot to add to an in­creas­ing num­bers of croaker.

At the ocean, summer is in full swing and a va­ri­ety of summer species are pre­sent­ing good fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. In the surf, a mix of king­fish, croaker, floun­der, and blow­fish are bit­ing. The king­fish pre­fer blood­worms, but squid will work well for croaker, floun­der, and blow­fish. Fish­ing with larger baits can en­tice st­ing rays and in­shore sharks.

The in­shore and off­shore wreck and reef sites have been of­fer­ing good sea bass fish­ing with a healthy ad­di­tion of floun­der to the mix. Chunk­ing at some of the 30-fathom-line hot spots, such as the Sausages, Hot Dog ,and Ham­bone has been good for a mix of yel­lowfin and bluefin tuna. Trolling is an­other op­tion with rigged bal­ly­hoo a pop­u­lar of­fer­ing. Dol­phin­fish, big­eye tuna, and white mar­lin round out the off­shore mix. *** Duck blind know-it-all Jel­ly­fish kill more people than sharks do each year. Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at ck­nauss@star­dem.com

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