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12-Year-Old Silver Spring Boy Wins Grand Prize At Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale

Diamond Jim Anglers Split $25,000 Cash
2012 Fishing Challenge to Celebrate the Life & Times of Lefty Kreh

Annapolis, MD (September 10, 2011) — Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John Griffin and fishing legend Lefty Kreh presented approximately $70,000 in cash, prizes and merchandise to lucky anglers this morning at the 2011 Maryland Fishing Challenge. Nearly 2,000 people, including sponsors, anglers and their guests, attended the 7th annual contest's closing ceremony at Sandy Point State Park.

"Fishing is an integral part of Maryland's heritage and a great way for families to bond by spending time together outdoors," said DNR Secretary John Griffin. ""I would like to congratulate the winners of the 2011 Challenge, and encourage all of my fellow anglers to take advantage of our State's phenomenal fishing opportunities in time to qualify in 2012."

Since Labor Day 2010, more than 1,300 anglers qualified to participate in today's grand prize drawing, 11 of whom also qualified for the Diamond Jim component of the challenge. Youth winners from 20 fishing rodeos across the State also won exciting guided fishing trips.

"This contest would simply not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, who share our mission to introduce our young people to the joys of fishing and inspire future generations of stewards along the way, " said Griffin.

Walking away with today's grand prize of boat, motor and trailer from Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, was Robert Hamilton, 12 of Silver Spring, Md. Hamilton's qualifying caught two citation award qualifying white marlin and a blue fish in Ocean City.

"It's amazing," said Hamilton. "I can't wait to tell everyone at school that I won a boat!"

Dickie Russell of Valley Lee, Md., John Brittan Jr. of Hagerstown, Md. And Joe Sanbower of New Windsor, Md. Won thousands of dollars in prizes from Bill's Outdoor Center. Kenny Reasin of won an all expenses paid fishing trip to the Bimini Game Club on Bimini Island in the Bahamas provided by the World Fishing. All contestants received a commemorative shirt, courtesy of Under Armour. Marty's Sporting Goods in Edgewater, Angler's Sport Center and Kent Island Kayaks also contributed prizes for the drawings.

Of the lucky anglers who caught specially tagged rockfish this summer, 4 were determined to be Diamond Jim imposters during June and July and the remaining 7 learned their fate at the event. After all corresponding envelopes were opened – and no authentic Diamond Jim was discovered – the 11 lucky anglers split the contest's cash prize of $25,000. Taking home $2,272.73 each were: Jeffrey Fennell of Prince George's County, Md.; Justin Kerstetter of Spotsylvania, Md.; Emidio Ciccanti of Baltimore, Md.; Nick Szokoly of Cockeysville, Md.; Glenn Gross of Baltimore; Rick Ashley of Edgewater; Mike Little of Great Cacapon, W. Va.; Thom Davis of Keedysville, Md.; Dan Turner of Ellicott City, Md.; Jonalyn Denlinger of Severna Park, Md.; David Huffman of Jersey Shore, Pa.

Diamond Jim

"I did not know anything about Diamond Jim until I caught the fish," said Fennell, who caught a 23" tagged rockfish. "It's a beautiful thing to get young people to come out and fish."

Participating for the first time in the Challenge event was renowned author and fishing legend, Lefty Kreh. In honor of Kreh's 75-year career of promoting recreational fishing, conservation and stewardship, the 2012 Maryland Fishing Challenge, which kicked off September 6, will celebrate his life and times.

"Fishing is important for a number of reasons," said Kreh. "It's the best way to share time and make lasting memories with family. It's also an exciting sport because you never know what you're gonna catch. I've been fishing for 80 years and I'm still learning new things every day."

The youth component of the Maryland Fishing Challenge celebrated 20 lucky young anglers who advanced from DNR-sponsored fishing rodeos this summer. The generous Maryland fishing groups and individuals who sponsored youth trips this year were: Mid-Atlantic Council of Trout Unlimited, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, Bass Federation Nation, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland, Bill's Outdoor Center, Skip Zinck, Captain Monty Hawkins, Captain Mike Benjamin, Captain Richie Gaines and Captain Tom Hughes.

"Catch a fish" is one of the Maryland Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights, issued by Governor Martin O'Malley under the Partnership for Children in Nature, an initiative to ensure all young people have the opportunity to connect with their natural world and grow to become informed and responsible stewards.

At the finale, which took place for the second year as part of the Maryland Seafood Festival, The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation presented Natural Resources Police with a $4,741 check, the proceeds from the sale of Maryland's lifetime hunting license.

"The Maryland Legislative Sportsmen's Foundation is a loyal supporter of NRP and DNR as a whole," said NRP Superintendent Col. George F. Johnson IV. "We certainly have a home for these funds."

Three batches of nearly 200 specially tagged striped bass – one genuine Diamond Jim and 199 imposters – were released into the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries this summer. Diamond Jim's value increased each month: from $10,000 in June to $20,000 in July and $25,000 in August. The nearly 600 599 Diamond Jim imposters were worth at least $500 each for the duration of the contest.

Through the citation component, 71 species of fish, including large and smallmouth bass, trout, walleye, musky and panfish in the freshwaters of Maryland; rockfish (striped bass), bluefish, drum, sea trout and perch in the Chesapeake Bay; and tuna, marlin, flounder, kingfish and sea bass caught in Maryland waters off the Atlantic Coast, were eligible for the grand prizes.

For more information on the Maryland Fishing Challenge including a list of winners, click on the logo below
Maryland Fishing Challenge Featuring Diamond Jim

Headed off down a different trail after memorable adventures

By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun

We've come to the end of the trail, you and I. It's been more than 11 years since I laced them up and asked you to come with me on a hike.

I can tell you now, but you probably guessed it: I didn't know where I was going. Not a clue.

The outdoors has always been a part of my life no matter whether I was in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New Hampshire or Maryland, where I arrived almost 24 years ago, a brand new wife.

It's funny that I landed here. Opal and Ernest Starner, a steelworker at Sparrows Point, raised two girls, Nancy and Betty, in row houses on Conkling Street, then Hudson Street, then a house "in the county" on Fait Avenue, No. 7302. Nancy graduated from Kenwood High, went to work as a secretary at the Esso refinery and met Al. They fell in love over duckpin bowling and dinners at Bud Paulino's, got married and had two daughters of their own. I'm the older one.

I learned to dip crabs and shuck oysters at an early age. There's a picture of me eating crabs at No. 7302, a copy of the Evening Sun spread on the table beneath the pile. I learned to fish for bass on the Susquehanna River and for flounder on New Jersey's Long Beach Island.

I grew up, moved away, then further away, then further away before coming back.

My family was thrilled in 1988, when I got a job at the Sunpapers -- the Starners took both Morning and Evening. I was thrilled when one job led to another and to another and then to the one I really wanted: outdoors writer, and by my count, 602 columns without missing a single week.

It's not Ripken-esque, but what is?

  • A scientist urging me to stick my head in a bucket of killer bees while working on a story about pain ("Don't exhale," he cautioned, "carbon dioxide makes them crazy.") I did stick my head in and I didn't exhale.
  • Being allowed to spend a weekend with brave women fighting cancer that ravaged their bodies, but not their spirits, and witnessing the wondrous healing quality of fly-fishing at a Casting for Recovery event.
  • Overnight camping in the I-95 median in Howard County to see what wildlife survived in there.
  • Writing Maryland's first snakehead story in 2002. And then writing a bunch more after the media world discovered a scummy pond in Crofton filled with the voracious aliens from Asia.
  • Finding the state's farthest geographic reaches -- north, south, east, west, high and low -- in a week-long driving and GPS adventure.
  • Fishing across Maryland in 24 hours -- west to east, sunup to sunup -- to prove the rich diversity of opportunities.
  • Being at the 2004 black bear hunt, the state's first in more than a half century.
  • Discovering that a Maryland Park Service ranger was the inspiration for a Mark Trail character.
  • Being one of the first mates at the Donna Judge Kids Derby and watching youngsters with cancer or those who lost a parent or sibling to the disease light up when their lines went tight and their reels buzzed with a fish on.
  • Watching crazy, middle-aged men in minus-10 degrees waddle around in wooden snowshoes and shoot muzzleloaders at targets at Vermont's Primitive Biathlon.
  • Getting outdoors wisdom directly from Lefty Kreh and Bill Burton.

    The memories are keepers, one and all.

    And the people? Too numerous to mention. You lent me books and mittens, taught me knots, showed me secret fishing holes. You know who you are. Thanks.

    I'm moving to our Metro desk for a new assignment, so you'll still be able to find my name in the pages of The Baltimore Sun.

    But as a life-long Outdoors Girl, I'll bet I see a bunch of you soon.

    Tight lines and happy trails.

    The Epic Drum Day- Sept. 25th, 2010- 9 Drum in 9 hours!

    The following photo collage depicts the best day of Red Drum fishing I have ever heard of coming from one angler fishing the mid-atlantic surf. If you have your copy of the 2010 Maryland Fisherman's Annual and turn to page 7 you will see a an article entitled "What's Hot- Surf Fishing a Conversation with Die Hards. I suggest you study this article and if you don't have this years MFA you should order one now by clicking HERE. One of the Die Hards interviewed for this segment was Joe Rawl who shall now be known as The Drum Doctor after this day's catch.

    If you study this in more detail and look at the times you will see the longest amount of time Joe had to wait between fish was 190 minutes and these were some very nice fish; 49", 49", 46", 46", 45", 44", 43", 41", 38" plus two lost in the surf, Unbelievable!

    There are those who go surf fishing,and then there are those who fish the surf. And those who fish the surf are easy to identify. These are folks who take having fun very,very seriously, and they are almost always the ones that you hear about catching big fish in the surf.- 2010 Maryland Fisherman's Annual

    Clock running out on fate of menhaden

    Regulators have done little to protect bay population

    By Candus Thomson- The Baltimore Sun

    Ten ugly truths to ponder as you take part in the spring striped bass fishing season — enjoy it while it lasts.

    Fact: In 2001, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved management objectives and benchmarks to protect the Atlantic menhaden, a small fish that lives in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast that filters water and is a major food source for striped bass and other important fish and bird species.

    Fact: Nine years later, the regulatory group has done a lot of posturing and not much protecting.

    Fact: The most recent menhaden stock assessment indicates the mortality rate is flirting with the threshold of overfishing and has crossed the line at least three, but likely four, times in the past decade.

    Fact: Not once since 1980 have regulators managed to hit the mortality target, or goal. Not even the 1988 Orioles could match that 0-29 record.

    Fact: Scientists acknowledge that despite more than $5 million in research grants and an increase in the amount of information they have on the menhaden population along the Eastern Seaboard, they still can't offer an assessment for the Chesapeake Bay and don't know when they might accomplish the task.

    Fact: The number of eggs produced each year is well above the target, but the number of egg-producing fish has declined substantially since 1980. Fishing mortality is low in sexually immature menhaden (1-3 years old), but the mortality rate in older fish is well above the ASMFC benchmark.

    Fact: Maryland, the spawning ground and nursery for 75 percent of East Coast striped bass, does not allow commercial menhaden fishing in its portion of the bay. In Virginia, menhaden are the only saltwater fish regulated by state lawmakers. The Virginia Marine Resources Commission handles everything else. Two bills filed last session to eliminate the exception died quickly.

    Fact: In November, the ASMFC caved in to Virginia and extended a five-year cap on commercial menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay by not one year, but three. The extension was granted a year before it was set to expire and just months before the stock assessment was due.

    Fact: As Virginia's attorney general, Bob McDonnell — now governor — wrote a 2006 opinion saying the ASMFC had no legal standing to cap the harvest of menhaden by the commercial fleet of Omega Protein based in that state and that Virginia was not bound to comply with it. Omega, the only player in the bay, gave McDonnell a total of $29,744 in campaign money and $62,000 to key state lawmakers.

    Fact: Monday is the first day Omega Protein's steamer fleet — directed by spotter planes — is allowed by Virginia to begin netting entire schools of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay to be processed into heart-healthy fish oil pills.

    Pitiful. So now what?

    The ASMFC is meeting this week in Northern Virginia, and Wednesday afternoon it will take up the menhaden issue for the one billionth time. If the commission follows its well-worn script, anything Maryland proposes will be opposed by Virginia while the rest of the "regulators" la-di-da their way to cocktail hour.

    In ASMFC talk, that would be Option 1, status quo. Will that be straight up or on the rocks, Mr. Commissioner?

    Clearly, someone will have to force the issue.

    Recreational fishing groups, such as the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association and Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, have promised to be there.

    "We're seeing a significant decline in the health of striped bass. They are getting sick, and they are malnourished. A well-fed striped bass is more resistant to disease," said MSSA executive director Dave Smith, who believes ASMFC is dragging its feet.

    "They're moving too slowly. They're not making decisions. They're deferring to Virginia too much," said Smith, ticking off the problems. "All we want is for them to hit their stock target levels. Why have them if you're not going to even try honoring them?"

    Indeed, by ASMFC's most recent calculations, menhaden were overfished in 1999, 2002 and 2006. Scientists and numbers crunchers believe overfishing occurred in 2008 as well.

    CCA-Maryland's Scott McGuire said the new stock assessment "is the first opportunity to demonstrate that there is a problem."

    We've got eyebrows fully raised," McGuire said. "Hopefully, it will push the issue forward."

    The agenda shows the ASMFC has carved out just two hours and 45 minutes from the four-day meeting for menhaden. After being briefed on the stock assessment, the commissioners have set aside 25 minutes to "consider whether a change in the management plan should be initiated" before 5:30 p.m. adjournment and happy hour.

    Maryland will need eight of the 17 ASMFC votes to begin revising the way it looks at menhaden, protects the spawning stock and brings the commercial harvest in line with the mortality target.

    It isn't just a bay issue anymore. Here's hoping the vote isn't a cliffhanger

    Flounder fishing season extended; 'keeper' size made bigger

    By Candus Thomson - Baltimore Sun reporter

    Bowing to public sentiment, state fisheries managers have agreed to give coastal anglers a longer summer flounder season this year in return for making the minimum size of a "keeper" fish slightly bigger.

    Under emergency regulations being proposed this week by the Department of Natural Resources, anglers on the coast and the Chesapeake Bay will be allowed to fish from April 17 to Nov. 22, keep three fish daily, with a minimum size of 19 inches. The proposal was unanimously endorsed Monday night by the Sport Fish Advisory Commission.

    Fisheries Service director Tom O'Connell said he and his staff had misread the sentiments of Ocean City anglers and fishing industry representatives when they had proposed a shorter season and a half-inch shorter minimum size. Biologists feared that with other fish species off limits or on a reduced season this year to protect dwindling numbers, anglers would turn to flounder and Maryland would exceed its annual quota set by federal regulators.

    "We've exceeded our harvest for several years and we're trying to get back on the right side of things," O'Connell said. "We're trying to make a prudent decision so we don't put ourselves in a bad situation next year."

    But at a February meeting, fisheries biologists and managers of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the regulatory board that sets many of the rules and quotas for many Eastern Seaboard species, approved both proposals.

    O'Connell cautioned that while DNR was backing the longer season, it reserved the right to end it before Nov. 22 if early monitoring data showed Maryland anglers were catching too many fish. Also, he said, the agency will be keeping tabs on catch information from northern states to see how the season is playing out. Maryland's flounder quota this year is 75,000 fish.

    Meanwhile, O'Connell said the commercial yellow perch season has been closed on the Chester River and the upper Chesapeake Bay after quotas in both areas were exceeded.

    Recreational and conservation groups have fought for years to ban or restrict commercial yellow perch fishing, saying nets stretched across bay tributaries where the fish spawn were reducing the population. In 2008, the General Assembly approved tighter restrictions on watermen, which took effect in January 2009. Watermen are required to obtain a yellow perch harvest permit and to tag and report their daily catch to provide greater accountability and improve harvest data.

    But despite those safeguards, catch numbers this year exceeded DNR's targets.

    In the upper bay, watermen were allowed to take 39,949 pounds of yellow perch, but landed 49,629 pounds. The Chester River quota of 7,800 pounds was exceeded by nearly 1,000 pounds.

    FOX 5 Investigates: Fish Oil

    By TISHA THOMPSON - myfoxdc
    Part 1 Part 2
    Fish oil supplements. They’re supposed to be a quick and easy way to improve your health. But a FOX 5 Investigation shows you how these little pills are causing a big controversy about the future of the Chesapeake Bay.
    Click for Complete Story

    Search may be last for Md. fish not seen in 2 decades

    The Maryland darter, which grows to 2 or 3 inches long, was last seen en masse in the mid-1960s and not at all since 1988. (Photo by David Neely, Courtesy of Maryland Department of Natural Resources / October 15, 2009)

    By Timothy B. Wheeler - Baltimore Sun reporter

    Last call for the Maryland darter. The elusive little fish, one of the rarest in the world, hasn't been seen in 21 years. Now, government and university biologists are teaming up for one more, perhaps final search for it in Harford County, where it's never been spotted more than sporadically since it was first noticed almost a century ago in a fast-flowing creek near Havre de Grace.

    Named for the only state in which it's ever been found, this bottom-feeding member of the perch family has been seen in just three creeks off the lower Susquehanna River. No one has spied more than a handful of them at any one time since the 1960s. Repeated efforts to locate them in the past two decades have come up empty-handed.

    But biologists say they're going to give it one more go, and at least some believe there's a chance they'll still find it, using new gear and searching for in at least one new place - the lower Susquehanna itself.

    "It provides a little bit of hope that, hey, here's a new gear that's never been used before, let's pull it around in the river and see if by chance we pick it up," says Jay Kilian, a fisheries biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

    If it does turn up again, the find would be the biological equivalent of the Holy Grail, the rediscovery of something special that so many have searched for in vain - and all but written off as lost forever.

    The darter was first spotted in 1912 by a pair of biologists collecting fish in Swan Creek, and a year later officially identified as a new species, Etheostoma sellare. It wasn't seen again until 1962, when some graduate students found another in Gasheys Run, a tributary to Swan Creek. About the same time, a bunch were found in Deer Creek, near where it empties into the Susquehanna.

    Full Story

    Maryland outdoors writer Bill Burton dies at 82

    Iconic journalist was Evening Sun's outdoors editor for 37 years, connected with generations of nature enthusiasts through print, radio and TV; 'We've lost a great guy. He was a legend'
    By Candus Thomson - The Baltimore Sun

    Bill Burton, who fished with presidents, Baltimore Colts and Orioles, told generations of Maryland anglers where the big ones were biting and was commissioned an Admiral of the Chesapeake by one governor, died early Monday morning. He was 82 and the cause of death was cancer.

    A Pasadena resident, Burton was for 37 years the outdoors editor of the Evening Sun before taking a buyout in 1992. He continued to write for the Bay Weekly and The Capital in Annapolis until his second retirement in late June.

    "It's a sad day. We've lost a great guy. He was a legend," said Brooks Robinson, the Orioles Hall of Fame third baseman who fished and hunted with Burton for many years.

    A World War II veteran, Burton took up outdoors reporting and writing after doctors told him his injuries would restrict him to a desk job. A multimedia reporter decades before it came into vogue, he also did fishing reports on the radio and for WMAR-TV in addition to his Evening Sun duties. He was the editor of numerous regional hunting and fishing magazines and was a founding member of the Mason-Dixon Outdoors' Writers Association. In April, he was inducted into the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association Hall of Fame.

    "If you have something to do tomorrow, you probably won't die today," Burton once said in explaining his long career in print, radio and TV.

    Sen. Barbara Mikulski called Burton "a first-rate reporter ... adviser and friend. I leaned on him often for sage political and Bay advice.

    "Bill Burton has enriched the lives of so many," said Mikulski, who also fished with Burton every year. "He's been a one-man environmental movement, bringing joy and appreciation for the Bay to every reader who's picked up his column. To those lucky enough to call him a friend, he's brought endless mirth, mischief and wisdom. His legacy as an old-school journalist, environmentalist and sage Bay advocate will live on now and forever in Maryland lore."

    Last month, the Board of Public Works approved a proposal by Gov. Martin O'Malley and the Department of Natural Resources to rename the Choptank River Fishing Pier in Burton's honor. In 1986, Burton had used his column to lobby for saving the structure, which carried U.S. 50 over the river, after a new span opened.

    In a statement, O'Malley called Burton "an iconic figure in Maryland's outdoor history."

    "The Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park is a small but appropriate tribute to his life's work, and I'm pleased we were able to make the dedication while Bill was still with us," the governor said.

    Burton loved to tell people he was a native Vermonter, born while fellow Vermonter Calvin Coolidge was president. The Coolidge part was true. In fact he was born in Providence, R.I., and ran away from home after his father wouldn't let him join the Navy. Determined to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he stopped in Vermont to say goodbye to an aunt, who convinced him to stay in Vermont to finish high school before enlisting.

    He joined the Seabees and became an underwater demolition expert, serving in the Pacific Theater. While training for the invasion of Japan, the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, ending the war.

    After contracting rheumatic fever that damaged his heart valves, Burton received an honorable discharge. He returned home to Arlington, Vt., and attended Goddard College on the G.I. Bill. He became editor of the school paper and took a job with a Montpelier radio station to pay the bills.

    He wrote for Rhode Island's Woonsocket Call and Providence Journal, the Springfield Union in western Massachusetts, Vermont's Bennington Banner and then the North Adams Transcript in western Massachusetts, where he met Ernest Imhoff, who was later managing editor of the Evening Sun. Then it was off to Alaska to be police reporter and outdoors columnist for the Anchorage Times.

    Tiring of life in the frozen north, Burton worked his way back to civilization, stopping in Nebraska for a stint as managing editor of a semi-weekly, Plattsmouth Journal. It wasn't long until the Evening Sun came calling and Burton moved to Maryland.

    "All I had to do was write six columns a week, do a fishing report, go where I wanted -- within reason -- with all mileage and expenses paid," Burton explained while on a fishing trip two years ago. "Basically I was fishing and hunting for a living."

    In the mid 1960s, Evening Sun management convinced him to grow a beard "for a woodsier look," for television fishing reports and feature work, Burton recalled. The beard and his signature pipe remained for the rest of his life.

    "He had more friends than anyone I knew, and they didn't have to be hunters or fishermen," said Imhoff.

    With retirement from the Evening Sun came an invitation from President George H.W. Bush to go fishing. (His first presidential fishing trip was with Dwight Eisenhower on a trout stream near Gettysburg).

    Sitting on a low-slung bass boat in the Potomac River, Bush urged Burton to come out of retirement.

    He got a job teaching writing at Anne Arundel Community College and then went back to writing for other publications.

    "He worshiped at the altar of daily life and he took us there with him," said Bay Weekly publisher Sandra Olivetti Martin, who edited Burton's columns.

    Last fall, Burton wrote his own epitaph: "I've lived my life as I wanted, to the fullest, and have no regrets though time has worn me down."

    And then he signed off the way he always did: "Enough said."

    Burton is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lois; five daughters, Elizabeth Steere and Kathy Wientraub, both of Mapleville, R.I., Mary Snizek of Harrisville, R.I., Ellen Lyon of Pascoag, R.I. and Heather Boughey of Pasadena; a son, W. Joel Burton Jr. of San Francisco; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

    Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Aug. 22 at Jenkins Memorial Church, 133 Riviera Drive, Pasadena. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Gibson Island Country School Library, 5191 Mountain Road, Pasadena, 21122.

    Two New Maryland State Record Sharks Caught Off Ocean City

    642 lb. thresher shark Ocean City, MD – Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that anglers broke two state records in the 2009 Ocean City Shark Tournament. The first was a 642-pound thresher shark caught by Brent Applegit of Golden, Colo., and Jim Hughes of Ocean City, Md. caught the second, an 876-pound mako shark.

876 lb. mako shark

    Applegit's catch broke the previous record of 613 pounds set by Don Lorden in 2003. It was his first shark catch. He and his brother were spending the Father’s Day weekend with their dad, an Ocean Pines resident. Hughes landed his mako shark, and shattered the old record of 766 pounds set by Frank Gaither in 1984. The shark was so large that Hughes needed a larger boat to haul it back to the Ocean City docks.

    "These records are evidence of the great fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “You don’t need to catch sharks in the ocean, but everyone should enjoy a day of fishing in Maryland's waters."

    The 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge is a great opportunity to do just that, and more. Designed to promote recreational fishing in Maryland, recognize angler efforts and inspire environmental stewardship, the challenge began Friday, May 29th and runs through Labor Day, September 7, 2009. In May, DNR released specially tagged striped bass – one genuine Diamond Jim and 49 imposters – into the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Diamond Jim is worth $10,000 and his imposters $500. This Wednesday, July 1, fifty more tagged fish will be released at an event in Baltimore, and the new Diamond Jim will be worth $20,000, while the uncaught one will become another imposter. To learn more about the 2009 Maryland Fishing Challenge, visit

    New Maryland State Record Striped Bass

    Gary Smith with his record breaking Striper. Photo courtesy of Critter Gitter from StripersOnline SurfTalk Forums

    Gary Smith caught this 57 lb 4 oz, 30 inch girth and 53 inches long, record breaking striper off the Assateague surf early in the morning on Saturday May 6th.

    Piscatorial Quiz

    Test your piscatorial knowledge, do you know what these terms mean?


    Autumn on the Chesapeake - Rockfish, Weakfish and Bluefish
    Trolling for Tuna and Marlin
    Shad: the Forgotten Fishery

    Susquehanna River Rockfish/Striped bass
    Susquehana Stripers: Location,Location and Bait

    Susquehanna flats striped bass
    Monsters on The Flats: Havre De Grace, MD

    Fishing -
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