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Articles by Dennis doyle

Not by my math

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news. The 2012 rockfish spawn was a disaster: the lowest on record.
    Last year’s warm winter followed by unusually low rainfall and high water temperatures in the spring set the stage for a .90 Young of Year count. That number means almost no yearling rockfish survived from this year’s spawn.
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It’s easy when white perch practically jump into your cooler

I was going fishing. Not just any fishing mind you, but fishing of the most fundamental kind. No flies, lures, plugs, spinner baits, fancy casting, clever approaches or studied presentations. Just plain old-fashioned worm fishing with one rod, two hooks and a sinker.
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Sometimes it’s catching

It was a few minutes past sundown, but the failing light still burnished the water’s surface, making it glow like molten metal. What little wind there had been had died, leaving the water flat. Conditions were perfect for top-water fishing. But it was late. If the fish were going to show, they had better come soon.
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A lot can happen in a short time, but you may have to be patient

Our day had started out with high expectations. The plan was to get on the water by 7am, catch a supply of spot for live-lining, cruise a couple of places that had been producing in the recent past, mark some good rockfish, get a quick limit and be home by noon. Conditions were right: little wind, mostly overcast with mild, short-sleeve temperatures.
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Some two weeks ago, a member of the Coastal Conservation Association fishing off of Bloody Point snagged his line on what appeared to be an illegal gill net. When weather permitted (Sept. 20), Maryland Department of Natural Resources dispatched the 80-foot-long icebreaker and buoy-tender A.V. Sandusky to hoist the net’s bulk....

Sometimes, the fish cooperate

Light was failing fast, and so was I. My umpteenth cast of the evening landed just short of a ragged shoreline edged with marsh grass. The instant my four-inch top-water plug touched the water, I locked the spool down with my thumb and gave the lure a short twitch, creating a seductive gurgle to add to the splash landing. If a big rockfish had been nearby, I was certain it would have attacked the lure. It remained untouched.
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Maryland commercial fishermen owe DNR $3 million

When the watermen’s associations concurred with the legislation passed last May in House Bill 1372, they might not have realized the eventual financial impact it would have on their members. It has proven to be a $3 million whopper.
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Saltwater visitors add to the fun

The autumnal equinox is not yet upon us, but fishing patterns are already changing. September 22 marks the date when the length of day and night are briefly equal, 12 hours each of sunlight and dark.
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Casting into the shallows is my fishing favorite

The conditions were finally right. I was fishing along a tree-lined, rip-rapped shoreline that ran for hundreds of yards just outside the mouth of the Severn. Interrupted only by the occasional stone erosion jetty that eased out underwater every hundred yards or so, this area had proven a hot shallow-water rockfish hunting ground this time of year in the past, especially at first light.

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A big, powerful surprise

The rod tip dipped, then dipped again. Reaching out, my longtime friend Sandy Sempliner eased the rod from its holder. His reel spool then began to turn slowly. Thumbing it lightly, he tried to determine if extra tidal current was providing the force or if a crafty fish down below was making off with his bait.
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