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Learn to work a chum slick

Our fish box contained three fat and healthy rockfish from 27 inches down to 24 inches. We had released a half-dozen smaller fish — and we had been fishing for only two hours. With one more fish to fill our limit, we were being pretty selective about who was good enough to keep. Ed Robinson and I had decided that it had to be over 30 inches, just to make it a challenge. Anything under would be unhooked and thrown back.
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Poems for our mothers

What to say to your mother (or wife) on Mother’s Day? If your own words fail you, the anonymously crafted greeting card message will save you. If only you were a poet, you would have the right words.        What would those words be?
    That’s what Bay Weekly asked eight Chesapeake poets this Mother’s Day.
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Memories of boats little and big

On a robust early morning in 1958, I jumped into Chesapeake Country. We lived in Baltimore, but my father had bought a summer place in Chelsea Beach on Mill Creek. For the second year, I woke to hear the birds chattering away.
    This day, I planned to take our 12-foot runabout across the Magothy River to see my friend at her uncle’s large log cabin.
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Here’s how to keep your tree fresh, green and safe

A freshly cut Christmas tree that is properly cared for is a fire-safe Christmas tree.
    Every year, many house fires are caused by Christmas trees. Avoid such a tragedy by following a few simple rules.
    The freshest cut Christmas tree is the one you cut yourself. Thus the advantage of tree farms where you can make selecting and cutting your Christmas tree a family affair.
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Wellingtons, ties and ­double-barrel shotguns

We finally heard the sounds of the unseen men and dogs driving the game birds toward us, shouting and beating the thick brush off in the distance. In the midst of nine hunters strung out in a rough line some 200 yards right and left, I fingered the safety on my borrowed over-under 12-bore and tensed.
    A few others working the hunt near the crest of the hill now began to wave large white flags to encourage the approaching game birds higher and faster.
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Could a new lure out­perform a tried-and-true white perch favorite?

The Super Rooster Tail in the Clown Coach Dog pattern has been the king of white perch shallow-water spinner baits for Bay anglers for the last decade.
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Effort and thoroughness catch fish

The northwest wind pushed up some unpleasant seas, forcing us to shift our efforts from the Eastern Shore to the calmer waters on the leeward, western side of the Bay Bridge. That turned out to be good fortune.
    That side of the structure abuts Sandy Point State Park and gets a tremendous amount of fishing pressure.
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Sometimes stubborn hope pays off

Almost the whole of the week had been lost to high winds and rain. With the marine forecast calling for five-knot winds at dawn and only a 30 percent possibility of light, scattered showers, I rose early and was ready to go at 6am.
    Winds were still gusting out of the northeast at over 20 knots, showing no signs of abatement. Then came the rain, not just the predicted light shower but a torrent.
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Lessons in tackle, bait and reading the water

    Live-lining is one of the best light-tackle techniques for rockfish throughout the Bay this time of year. You’ll need a medium- to medium-heavy-action rod and the means to keep small baitfish alive while you are on the water.
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July brings the first of three Super Moons

     As twilight settles to darkness, look to the southwest for ruddy Mars beside the ice-blue of Spica until they set around midnight. Mars is the brighter of the two. They will be their closest Sunday, with less than 1.5 degrees separating them. After that, Mars keeps on trucking, setting course for a conjunction with Saturn on August 4.
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