Queen Anne’s County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting two fishing derbies for youth this summer. Prizes will be given in two age brackets (5-10, 11-16) for largest fish, smallest fish, and most fish. Pre-registration is not required but is strongly recommended. A limited number of rods/reels and tackle box supplies will be provided and shirts will be provided for the first 25 participants.
The first derby is from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13 at Unicorn Lake, and the second one is from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, August 17 at Conquest Beach. The cost of each derby is $8.
QAC Parks and Rec is also teaming up with the Maryland DNR to host two Hooked on Fishing clinics for ages 8-15. The 2-hour programs include casting practice, angler ethics, catch-and-release, safety, fish identification, and fishing time for all participants. Equipment and bait will be provided. Registration spaces are limited and onsite registration will not be offered. The cost is $5 per child. The clinics will be held from 8-10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 24 at Conquest Beach and from 9-11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 21 at Unicorn Lake.
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center in Grasonville will host its third annual Little Bobbers Fishing Derby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 3. The derby, for ages 3-10 accompanied by a parent, will take advantage of CBEC’s on-site ponds. There is no cost thanks to sponsors. Pre-registration online is required. The event will be capped at 100 participants. All children will receive a goody bag, lunch, snacks, T-shirt, and a chance to win awards and prizes. Awards will be given for each age group for the biggest largemouth bass and bluegill species.
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Duck stamps debut
Hunters, birders, and stamp collectors can now purchase the 2019-2020 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp — commonly known as the Duck Stamp. The new Federal Duck Stamp and its younger sibling, the Junior Duck Stamp, debuted June 28 at a special event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Bass Pro Shops flagship store in Springfield, Missouri.
Painted by artist Scot Storm of Freeport, Minnesota, the new Duck Stamp will raise millions of dollars for habitat conservation to benefit wildlife and the American people. The Junior Duck Stamp raises funds to support youth conservation education and this year features a harlequin duck painted by Nicole Jeon, 16, of Scarsdale, New York.
The new stamps are available for purchase online, at many sporting goods and retail stores, and some post offices and national wildlife refuges. A current Federal Duck Stamp is also good for free admission to any refuge that charges an entry fee.
The 2019 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest to select the 2020-2021 stamp will be held September 27 and 28 at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel.
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Swan Point, Triple Buoys, Podickory Point, Love Point, and Bay Bridge structure are providing plenty of action for anglers targeting striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay. The bass are holding shallow, often in less than 15 feet of water. Some anglers are chumming or chunking, which also tends to attract catfish. Some are simply drifting fresh cut menhaden or soft crab baits to the areas where striped bass are suspended near structure. Most are anchoring but others are using bow-mounted electric motors.
Jigging also continues to produce fish. A falling tide is best and with the hot weather the bite is often over by mid-morning or when the tide goes slack. Skirted jigs with 6-inch plastic bodies in pearl or chartreuse-white combinations have been good color choices. Trolling can also be a good option to find scattered striped bass holding along channel edges.
Dense schools of white perch can be located near Swan Point and some of the shoal areas in the upper bay. A close watch on a depth finder will reveal these schools holding over hard bottom areas. Bottom rigs baited with pieces of bloodworm will get you into the action.
In the mid-Chesapeake, the outside edge of Hacketts and the Gum Thickets area off Kent Island have been offering some action as has the Eastern Bay area, Thomas Point and Bloody Point. Jigging at these locations has been good as well as chumming or chunking. Some are also live-lining white perch and spot with good results.The early morning hours have been offering some action at Thomas Point and the rocks off Poplar Island. Casting swimshads or topwater lures or jigging have all been productive ways to fish. The early-morning shallow-water bite in tidal rivers such as the Choptank has been slow for legal-sized striped bass.
The best crabbing success is occurring in the lower bay, with moderate success in the middle bay. Many legal-sized crabs are showing signs of shedding so there may be a whole new class of large or jumbo sized crabs entering the fishery. Doublers are also a common sight this week.
Many of the trout management waters of western Maryland and a few tailwater areas in the central region are providing some classic summer trout fishing. Many of the stocked put-and-take streams still have trout for those willing to search for them.
On the Atlantic Coast, surf anglers are catching a mix of kingfish, small bluefish, and blowfish. Bloodworms and Fishbites are the favored baits for kingfish, with finger mullet for the bluefish and bloodworms, clams, or squid for the blowfish. Those casting out large chunks of fresh menhaden or mullet are catching and releasing a few inshore sharks and cownose rays.
Offshore anglers are catching a catching a mix of bluefish, bonito, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, skipjack tuna, and small dolphin—fish. Sea bass fishing has been generally good with most anglers coming back to the dock with double-digit catches and a mix of flounder from the wreck and reef sites. Farther offshore, boats have been spreading out among the canyons to troll, mostly with skirted ballyhoo. Catches include yellowfin tuna, large dolphin-fish, a few blue and white marlin, and bigeye tuna.
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Duck blind know-it-all
Of military heritage, the .30-06 was the culmination of an effort to outdo the 7x57mm Mauser that was used against U.S. troops during the Spanish-American War.