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Regulars (Sporting Life by Dennis Doyle)

Top-water fishing’s all about how you play the lure

The quiet waterscape flowing around us was only dimly illuminated by the first blush of a calm and breaking day as my son and I made our casts. Drifting slowly in our skiff on the fresh start of a gentle ebb, we were moving about 100 feet out and parallel to a long, weathered bulkhead, footed by heavy, barnacled stone piled along its base.

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All our canine companions evolved from the hunter

Watching my German shorthair pointer, Sophie, enter an autumn game field never fails to send a quiver of anticipation through my being. She operates with certainty in an arena where I can only guess at what is about to transpire. A hunting dog is grace, speed, focus and intensity....

To play with them, you need to know the rules

The Chesapeake had at last become quiet. The Bay’s summertime revelers — with their boats, jet skis and water toys — had fled home hours ago. Even the gulls were finally mute, settling into their roosts for the evening. But as deep darkness descended, my fishing partner, Christian, and I sat motionless at anchor in my small skiff positioned about 100 feet from a heavy rock jetty.

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That’s when the fisherwomen bring home the fish

As we entered the Atlantic and the big ocean swells effortlessly lifted our 85-foot head boat, Thelma Dale IV, I recalled the words of one of my favorite authors, Tom McGuane: “I fish all the time when I’m at home, so when I go on vacation, I make sure to get in plenty of fishing.” That has always been my guiding philosophy.

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This rockfish took me for a Chesapeake train ride

It had been way too many days since I had caught a rockfish, and I was ready. But late that afternoon, the light was beginning to fail, and my surface plug had gone untouched cast after cast.

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This rockfish took me for a Chesapeake train ride

 

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Female blue crabs need our protection

It’s beginning to look like business as usual with the Chesapeake’s most treasured natural resource, the blue crab. Maryland is on course to resume the destructive harvest of female crabs, sooks, with its first official act upon the arrival of news that the crab population has at last begun to rebound.

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A gathering of these thick-bodied fish will fill your cooler and make a memorable dinner

 

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Forgetting that maxim, this dummy went home hungry

Fish are Biting

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