Fifty thousand dollars is at stake in the Maryland Fishing Challenge.
Catch a Maryland fish, and you may also catch some of the money.
The big bucks — $25,000 — are riding on Diamond Jim. Jim’s a rockfish whose identity changes throughout summer. Each month, Maryland Department of Natural Resources fishers catch, tag and release one genuine Jim plus hundreds of imposters.
Catch one, and you’re guaranteed $500. Catch Jim, and your prize soars. June’s Jim was worth $10,000.
That’s the fish fisherman Ray Caden hopes is the real Jim. On June 28, Caden caught a 2013-tagged Diamond Jim rockfish while fishing with Captain Shawn Brumley out of Deale on the charter boat Lucky Strike (firstname.lastname@example.org). DNR Facebook updates indicate this 19-incher is the first 2013-tagged rockfish caught this year. It could be Jim.
If Caden’s catch isn’t quite so lucky, July’s Jim is swimming free with a tag worth $20,000. If July’s Jim isn’t caught, the value of August’s Jim rises to $25,000.
If no Jim is caught, the prize money is divided among all the anglers who’ve caught a tagged rockfish.
Caden won’t find out how lucky his strike was until the Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale on September 7. That day, anglers who’ve caught tagged fish get the chance to win big door prizes.