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Articles by Dennis doyle

Big rockfish make foul-weather fishing worth while

Getting in on the early-winter rockfish bite can be quite unpleasant. Except for the lucky anglers with big, enclosed boats that can safely and comfortably ply our cold, windswept Bay, most anglers this time of year must simply deal with November’s increasingly nasty weather. 

 

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For pheasant, there’s no better place than South Dakota

The South Dakota countryside exudes a kind of magic this time of year. It’s generated by a particularly celebrated game bird, the ringneck pheasant.

Fish Are Biting

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If you’re thinking of giving a Chesapeake flavor to your Thanksgiving Feast this year, consider two of my favorite outdoor dishes with a Tidewater twist.

 

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Recreational Outreach Project gives a day on the Bay to those who serve

Veterans and their families are invited to go fishing with Maryland Department of Natural Resources on 35 fall fishing charters now thru Dec. 15, when rockfish season closes.

“We are very pleased to give something back to our veterans, who so courageously serve on our behalf — in this case, a day of fishing on our beautiful Chesapeake Bay,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley of the new Recreational Outreach Project for Veterans. 

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Encounters under the full moon

An angler’s skunk may stink only metaphorically, but it can be every bit as unpleasant as an encounter with the actual Pepe Le Pew. I’m talking about a day spent fishing without catching a fish. 

 

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Saved by an old bait sporting a new name

It was extremely frustrating. There were rockfish working the rip in front of me, but they wouldn’t hit my lures. I could see their occasional feeding boils marking the surface, and it was obvious that they were eating — and at least a few of the feeders were good sized.

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If you’re on the water, the fish may come to you

The sun was getting low in an overcast sky, night was rapidly falling — and still there were no fish. Conditions were perfect off the shallow-water point, the tide was up, there was good current, a chilly wind was lying down nicely — and only one other boat was present. But no fish. 

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Vertical jigging snares many a pair

 

Three weeks of big wind and steady rain got me thinking about a trip this time of month last year. Back then, it was calm and lovely, and we were drifting a bit south of one of the Bay Bridge rock piles in 30 feet of water. I had just lowered my rod tip to let the flashing lure at the end of my line flutter back down to the bottom. 

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If at first you don’t succeed … try something different

Sundown was only a half-hour away as I steered my skiff toward another deserted shoreline. Well out, I switched over to my electric trolling motor and eased into casting range. My target was a rip forming over the nearest of a number of mostly submerged stone jetties jutting sharply out from the shoreline. 

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Despite heavy winds, I landed a largemouth bass, a bluegill and a pickerel

Most folks know that a grand slam is baseball’s term for a home run with the bases loaded. Angling has its own slam. A Chesapeake Bay slam is landing a rockfish, bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the same day. The freshwater version is typically a largemouth bass, a pickerel and a bluegill. 

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