Deer, trout, black drum, bears, and bob­bers in the news

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Sports -

Hunters get an­other chance to bag some veni­son when the win­ter por­tion of firearm deer hunt­ing sea­son opens Jan. 4 in Deer Man­age­ment Re­gion B, which in­cludes all of the state ex­cept our west­ern­most coun­ties. Hunters with a valid hunt­ing li­cense may use firearms to har­vest sika and white-tailed deer dur­ing this sea­son.

The sea­son is open Jan. 4 and 5 in all Re­gion B coun­ties and Jan. 6 on pri­vate lands only in Calvert, Caro­line, Car­roll, Charles, Fred­er­ick, Har­ford, Kent, Mont­gomery, Queen Anne’s, Som­er­set, St. Mary’s, Wash­ing­ton (Zone 1), and Worcester coun­ties. On Sunday, shoot­ing hours end at 10:30 a.m. in Kent and Mont­gomery coun­ties.

Please make sure you’ve con­sulted the Mary­land Guide to Hunt­ing and Trap­ping to keep un­dated on bag lim­its, reg­u­la­tions, and reg­is­tra­tion pro­ce­dures. And re­mem­ber that dur­ing firearms sea­son, Mar yland re­quires deer hunters and their com­pan­ions to wear day­light flu­o­res­cent or­ange or flu­o­res­cent pink in one of the fol­low­ing man­ners: a cap of solid flu­o­res­cent day­light or­ange or pink; a vest or jacket con­tain­ing back and front pan­els of at least 250 square inches of flu­o­res­cent day­light or­ange or pink; or an outer gar­ment of cam­ou­flage day­light flu­o­res­cent or­ange or pink worn above the waist and con­tain­ing at least 50 per­cent day­light flu­o­res­cent color. Make sure your tree stand is safe and be care­ful climb­ing up and down.

* * * Trout stock­ing be­gins The DNR has al­ready started pre­sea­son trout stock­ing at sev­eral pop­u­lar fish­ing lo­ca­tions in west­ern Mar yland in­clud­ing Lake Habeeb. The state’s hatch­eries are rais­ing more than a quar­ter mil­lion brown, golden, and rain­bow trout, which will be stocked in more than 130 lo­ca­tions across 14 coun­ties dur­ing the 2019 spring sea­son.

The stock­ing sched­ule and daily up­dates are avail­able on­line as well as the de­part­ment’s re­gional ser­vice cen­ters and li­cense agents. An­glers can also re­ceive stock­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions by email or call­ing 800-688-3467.

The stock­ing pro­gram is funded by the sale of non­ti­dal fish­ing li­censes, trout stamps, and fed­eral Sport Fish Restora­tion Pro­gram funds.

* * * Black drum com­ments

The DNR is ac­cept­ing com­ments on a pro­posal to re­open the com­mer­cial black drum fish­ery within the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay. Cur­rently, the com­mer­cial har­vest of black drum is pro­hib­ited in the bay and that should con­tinue. Com­ments will be ac­cepted through Jan. 22. Right now, it looks like the DNR is hell-bent on sat­is­fy­ing a few mem­bers of a spe­cial in­ter­est group to the detri­ment of thou­sands of recre­ational an­glers and the in­dus­tries that sup­port them.

Black drum are of­ten the largest fish an­glers will ever fight in Mary­land’s por­tion of the Ch­e­sa­peake. Be­sides be­ing an ex­cit­ing fish to catch, the fish­ery also spurs sales of hooks, lead­ers, rods and reels, baits, boat fuel, and char­ter trips.

* * * Dip into some paint The 23rd an­nual Mary­land Black Bear Con­ser­va­tion Stamp and 45th an­nual Mary­land Mi­gra­tory Game Bird Stamp de­sign con­tests are now un­der­way. These con­tests are open un­til March 8 and are open to any­one wish­ing to sub­mit a de­sign for con­sid­er­a­tion.

En­tries will be judged on March 16 in con­junc­tion with the an­nual Ea­gle Fes­ti­val at Black­wa­ter Na­tional Wildlife Refuge in Cam­bridge.

The Black Bear Con­ser­va­tion Stamp con­test is open to both res­i­dents and non­res­i­dents. Each con­tes­tant may sub­mit one en­try for a non­re­fund­able $10 fee. Pro­ceeds are used to com­pen­sate farm­ers who ex­pe­ri­ence agri­cul­tural dam­age caused by black bears.

New this year, the Mi­gra­tory Game Bird Stamp con­test is also open to both res­i­dents and non­res­i­dents. Each con­tes­tant may sub­mit up to three en­tries with a fee struc­ture of $15 for one, $20 for two, and $30 for three. Pro­ceeds help fund game bird and wa­ter­fowl re­search and projects.

All en­tries must be orig­i­nal works, nei­ther copied nor du­pli­cated from any pre­vi­ously pub­lished paint­ings, draw­ings, prints, or pho­to­graphs. To en­ter, con­tes­tants must mail their de­signs with re­quired fees and forms by March 8. Com­plete in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on­line or by con­tact­ing DNR ser­vice of­fices.

* * * Fish­ing re­port With colder Ch­e­sa­peake Bay tem­per­a­tures, warm wa­ter dis­charges will at­tract more fish and plas­tics on jigs will en­tice them to strike. On the fresh­wa­ter scene, pick­erel have been pro­vid­ing good ac­tion in ponds here on the Shore. Min­nows un­der bob­bers are usu­ally a great choice to land them as are spin­ner­baits such as those of­fered by Mepps.

Li­p­less crankbaits and stick­baits caus­ing some com­mo­tion will also draw pick­erel strikes. Among many places where they’re bit­ing, the up­per Chop­tank is a good place to try in three- to five-feet of wa­ter. Tuck­a­hoe State Park hosts pick­erel both in the pond and in the creek.

On the coast, an­glers have re­ported catch­ing a few large striped bass off the coast of Fen­wick Is­land, us­ing white and char­treuse Mo­jos, but ac­tion has been de­scribed as dis­mal through­out the re­gion. Stripers are still be­ing caught off the Jersey coast, so it’s pos­si­ble a run might come close to the coast any­time now. Head­boats are catch­ing sea bass and tau­tog when the weather co­op­er­ates.

* * * Duck blind know-it-all The record black drum caught in Mary­land waters was 103 pounds, 8 ounces, reeled in by Robert Mes­sik Jr. on Septem­ber 23, 1973 at Buoy 16.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss / email me at

ck­[email protected]­dem.com

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