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Articles by Dennis Doyle

Rockfish are biting, and you’ve got until December 15 to catch them

As December opened, we’d dropped anchor off the Hackett’s can in 35 feet of water. I set up the chum bag off our stern and had cut some pieces of fresh alewife, when suddenly everything started going right — and wrong — at the same time.
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If you’ve got the shotgun, Three Rivers has the targets

Pointing my shotgun downrange and just over the top right corner of the low, dark trap house, I called for the bird from my position on station No. 5. The frigid breeze that had been swirling about all morning had died, and the air was calm and still. Perfect conditions for shooting this game.
    The fluorescent-green clay shot out of the house at a hard right angle and lifted skyward.
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But the catching’s strenuous

From all indications, the last quarter of 2012 isn’t going to set any fishing records before rockfishing closes December 15. There have been very few days when being on the water was anything other than an ordeal.

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Enrich your Thanksgiving menu with fish, fowl and venison

The tradition of Thanksgiving dinner was first attributed to the Plymouth Bay Colony in what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. But the practice of a harvest or a thanksgiving dinner was widespread throughout the early colonies and especially around the Chesapeake.
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We may have a week of clean water before Conowingo’s mud plume

We were quite fortunate in avoiding the predicted calamity of Superstorm Sandy. New York and New Jersey did not share our good fortune. The northern winds that blew the whole of the three-day tempest emptied the Bay of water and protected us against the massive storm surge that flooded the coastal areas and created such devastation.
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Not by my math

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news. The 2012 rockfish spawn was a disaster: the lowest on record.
    Last year’s warm winter followed by unusually low rainfall and high water temperatures in the spring set the stage for a .90 Young of Year count. That number means almost no yearling rockfish survived from this year’s spawn.
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It’s easy when white perch practically jump into your cooler

I was going fishing. Not just any fishing mind you, but fishing of the most fundamental kind. No flies, lures, plugs, spinner baits, fancy casting, clever approaches or studied presentations. Just plain old-fashioned worm fishing with one rod, two hooks and a sinker.
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Sometimes it’s catching

It was a few minutes past sundown, but the failing light still burnished the water’s surface, making it glow like molten metal. What little wind there had been had died, leaving the water flat. Conditions were perfect for top-water fishing. But it was late. If the fish were going to show, they had better come soon.
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A lot can happen in a short time, but you may have to be patient

Our day had started out with high expectations. The plan was to get on the water by 7am, catch a supply of spot for live-lining, cruise a couple of places that had been producing in the recent past, mark some good rockfish, get a quick limit and be home by noon. Conditions were right: little wind, mostly overcast with mild, short-sleeve temperatures.
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Some two weeks ago, a member of the Coastal Conservation Association fishing off of Bloody Point snagged his line on what appeared to be an illegal gill net. When weather permitted (Sept. 20), Maryland Department of Natural Resources dispatched the 80-foot-long icebreaker and buoy-tender A.V. Sandusky to hoist the net’s bulk....