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Regulars (Sporting Life by Dennis Doyle)

I hunted 14 species of game birds; a lion hunted me

When a herd of zebras loomed up in the sweep of our headlights, I began to believe I was in Africa.
    As we’d landed at Johannesburg Airport after dark and loaded up for the two-hour drive to our lodge at Kroonstad, those zebra were my first sight of the wild Africa I’d come for.
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Croaker in the cooler makes for good eating at the table

My young sons were doing their best to emulate my actions as we drifted bloodworms over a hard shell bottom in a gently moving tide that June evening. My one-ounce sinker sent a tic-tic-tic flicking up the line on my light casting outfit. The rod tip was twitching right in rhythm.
    Harrison’s rod suddenly arched. He struggled to keep the rod from being pulled over the side while avoiding the hard gunnel.

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You get twice the angling fun, catching two fish to keep one

The tiniest peck on my bait set me instantly alert. With my index finger curled under the reel seat and just touching my rod blank, I tensed to feel another bite. There was no mistaking the rascal’s next move. Abruptly my rod tip jerked down, and I set the hook.
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Checklist for a happy summer

Accidents happen on the water. Boats sink, unsinkable boats capsize, people fall overboard, vessels collide. The Chesapeake can become violent in an instant. During our hot summers, storm cells can form and travel down the Bay at high speed, sometimes giving little or no warning of their approach, especially near or after dark. They can have winds in excess of 70 knots.
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The fish are there

The plan was made in haste late in the evening. Get up early enough to catch a good moving tide, launch the skiff, bag a quick limit and be home by 10am. All seemed possible, as we had limited out in 20 minutes the afternoon before. We had a good idea the fish would still be on hand in a spot where we had been the only boat on the water.
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Tips on chum, tackle and tide

During the coming summer months, chumming will be one of the easiest and most effective techniques for getting a limit of nice rockfish in your cooler.
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Bluegills give you fight and flavor

Early May is a great time of year. The dogwoods are in full bloom, the scent of flowering lilacs perfume the air, redbuds glow crimson. And one of the greatest sweetwater fish species is, right now, moving into the shallows and picking out a spawning territory to defend.
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Shad, perch and rockfish — why choose when you can fish them all?

It was opening day of trophy rockfish on the Chesapeake, but Moe and I were going shad fishing. Crossing the Bay Bridge to the Eastern Shore, we could see that our decision was sound: The surface of the Bay was churned milky white from the breaking waves driven by near 40-knot winds.
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We need sustainable, not ­seesaw, management

Our blue crabs are in trouble again. Since last year, the juvenile crab count had plummeted to 111 million, down from 587 million in 2012, according to the 2013 Winter Dredge Survey results. The overall number of crabs in the Bay dropped by over 60 percent.
    Blue crabs may, once again, be approaching the crisis levels of five or six years ago.

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You heard right: Trolling is no longer required

Not everyone trolls during trophy rockfish season. A growing contingent of shore-bound anglers fish bloodworms or cut bait on the bottom. They have been catching an ever-more impressive number of big migratory stripers.
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