Record tripletail

Don Whittington of Bivalve, Wicomico County, with his 11-pound tripletail, a new addition to Maryland’s state record species list.

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources is currently conducting a scoping process to gather suggestions and ideas from the public about how to solve fishery problems or needs.

The goal of scoping is to identify issues, potential impacts and reasonable alternatives associated with the issues so management actions can be developed.

Feedback is requested by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, for the following species and issues:

Blue Crabs — Clarifications; Gear — Fyke Nets; Horseshoe Crabs; Out of State Finfish Suppliers; Oysters and Shellfish Aquaculture — PSFA Declassification Penalties — Recreational; Scup; Striped Bass — Recreational Fishery; Submerged Aquatic Vegetation; and Tautog.

Complete information on how to submit comments is available on the DNR’s Fishing Regulations web page, under “Regulation Links” listed on the left-side menu.

The department is considering these changes to striped bass management:

1. Putting the rules (hook requirements, sizes, and seasons) for the recreational fishery that were in place only for 2018 and 2019 into place for future years.

2. Changing the start of the recreational and charter boat spring season (trophy season) to May 1. The current start date is the third Saturday in April.

3. Prohibiting catch and release or targeting striped bass from March 1 through April 30.

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Turkey time

in W. Maryland

Fall turkey hunting season is underway and will continue through Nov. 3 in Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties, with a bag limit of one turkey per hunter.

The 2019 Wild Turkey Observation Survey Summary shows turkey reproduction in western Maryland was at its highest level in three years. Turkey hunters should make note of local food sources when scouting. Turkeys will feed heavily on acorns in areas where they are abundant. When acorns are scarce, turkeys will frequent fields more often and tend to be easier to locate.

Although not required, fall turkey hunters are encouraged to wear fluorescent orange or pink clothing when other hunting seasons are open.

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Fishing report

Fishing for white perch presents many opportunities in the tidal rivers and shoals of the upper Chesapeake Bay. The perch are holding in deeper water near piers and old submerged structure. Anglers are having success using bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworms or grass shrimp. This is a great time of the year to find some larger perch for the frying pan.

Striped bass are spread throughout the region. The mouths of the tidal rivers offer good fishing for anglers casting topwater lures in shallow areas during the early morning or late evening hours. Jigging along channel edges or under breaking fish can lure larger fish, and trolling is also a good option. Most of the breaking fish seen in the upper bay tend to be small striped bass in the 12-inch to 15-inch range. Early morning and late evening hours tend to offer the best action.

Love and Swan points continue to hold stripers along with the Podickory Point channel edge. A few anglers are still live-lining spot, but that resource is beginning to thin out as cooler water temperatures settle in; small white perch can work just as well. Kent Narrows should not be overlooked and the Bay Bridge structure is also holding some striped bass.

In the mid-Chesapeake, large numbers of small rockfish are chasing schools of bay anchovies, which are moving out of the region’s tidal rivers. Sometimes larger stripers can be found lurking underneath, holding close to the bottom. Jigging with large soft plastics is a good tactic to target the larger fish.

Trolling can be an option with larger lures cutting cut down on the number of small striped bass. Most of the larger fish are close to the bottom, so heavy inline weights are helpful.

Speckled trout are showing up on both sides of the bay and are a welcomed addition to light-tackle fishing. Casting topwater lures and shads has enticed them along marsh edges, prominent points, creek mouths, and hard-bottom shoal areas. Most of the trout being caught are ranging from about 15 to 20 inches in length.

Largemouth bass are moving into deeper transition areas, often in 10 to 16 feet of water in tidal rivers. Drop-off edges and structure is where they are holding and waiting for crayfish and baitfish moving from the shallower areas to deeper water where they’ll spend the winter months. Small crankbaits, grubs, and blade lures in the deeper areas work well. Casting crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rat-L-Traps from shallower waters toward the drop-offs is also a great tactic.

On the Atlantic Coast, stormy weather during September and October has brought some aquatic species from southern waters to the coast of Ocean City. Don Whittington of Bivalve, Wicomico County, was fishing near some offshore lobster pot buoys recently when he caught an 11-pound tripletail, a new addition to our state record species list.

Surf anglers are still catching kingfish on pieces of bloodworms on bottom rigs. Northern puffers or blowfish are moving through the region and can be caught on pieces of clam or squid. Small bluefish are being caught on finger mullet or cut mullet. A few striped bass are being caught on cut bait.

Whenever conditions allow boats to head out to the wreck and reef sites, sea bass fishing has been very good with limit catches common. Flounder are becoming a larger portion of the mix and triggerfish are still being caught.

Anglers fishing the offshore canyons are finding a mix of species. Wahoo, swordfish, and yellowfin tuna have been brought back to the docks recently. Many are also working the lobster pot buoys to target the last of the chicken dolphin holding there.

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Duck blind know-it-all

Every single part of a pumpkin is edible.

Follow me on Twitter @csknauss / email me at cknauss@stardem.com

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