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Sporting Life by Dennis Doyle

Trophy rockfish big but few as ­season opens

      Slim Pickens was a noted Hollywood western character actor of the 1980s. Unfortunately, his name defines the results of the opening day of trophy rockfish season in Maryland. Hundreds of boats, thousands of anglers, a beautiful, sunny day, light winds, calm seas. Very few fish.

This year brings prime opportunity to catch a giant fish

      Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter …       Those words, sung long ago by the Beatles in their popular anthem of hope, Here Comes the Sun, couldn’t be more appropriate than right now. Warmer temperatures have arrived at last, and the trophy rockfish season opens Saturday, April 21. Alleluia!

Rockfish regulation clarification

      Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources has withdrawn its proposed emergency rockfish regulation modifications for the 2018 May season, citing confusion caused by the proposed new J-hook requirements. That leaves the current regulations in effect until further notice.       My understanding is that to avoid that confusion, DNR will do three things:

It doesn’t matter what happens the rest of the day

      It was a tense moment. After a number of postponements for high winds, hail, rain and freezing temperatures, my son Harrison and I were fishing the Pocomoke River. Bundled up in layers of foul-weather clothes, our fingers already numb from the 30-degree air, we had finally met up with the stellar Eastern Shore guide Kevin Josenhans for our first sortie of the new season.
February 26, 1926 - March 14, 2018
     Lefty Kreh was the consummate angler, having dedicated most of his life to salt- and freshwater fly fishing and to promoting his and all aspects of the sport. In the process, he became Maryland’s and America’s international fly-fishing personality. 

My foul-weather do-it-yourself project is still a work in progress

      The wind was still howling through the trees when my rod-building components arrived. Venturing outside to retrieve the box, I noted that Mother Nature hadn’t realized it was mid-March. I pulled my coat tighter against my chest.
How to make the rod you need
      There are essentially two types of light-tackle sport-fishing reels — spinning and casting. The spin reel has a fixed-line spool mechanism positioned along the rod’s axis and mounted below the rod. Line is evenly wound onto the reel spool by an armature that circles the spool. Lures and baits are cast out by disengaging the armature, allowing the line to be pulled off of the cylindrical spool with little or no resistance as the lure is thrown. Virtually tangle-free and easy to use, the spin reel is the most popular type in use.

Sublimate with these book-and-movie combos

      As evening approached, the wind outside was violent, relentless and threatening, not to mention preventing my sporting pursuit. Arming myself with a flashlight in case a falling tree took out our power, I readied an adult beverage, placed it on a nearby table and picked up my always reliable antidote to such a nuisance.

Expect new regulations on size and hooks in 2018 rockfish season

       A couple of critical changes are coming to the 2018 recreational rockfish regulations on the Chesapeake. Relax, for the news is good. These changes will have a positive impact on sportfishing in the Bay.       Baring any complication, these modifications would go into effect May 16 or soon thereafter.

Change species

       I had arrived on this narrow section of the river just after dawn, my breath clearly visible in the still chill morning air. With fingers trembling from the cold, I lip-hooked a small minnow on the shad dart positioned about 18 inches below a small, weighted, orange casting bobber. Yellow perch were on my mind.