Chesapeake Outdoors

by C.D. Dollar

I Must Be the Luckiest Guy in the World

There aren't too many places in the country where you can help plant an oyster reef, spend that night under the stars in the mountains, then wake up to chase trout with a fly rod.

I followed that scenario nearly to the letter last week, first tagging along with DNR's acting oyster chief Chris Judy to seed Horn Point inside the Severn River with hundreds of thousands of juvenile oysters. With the help of CBF staffers, including my old partner Tiffany Granberg, we loaded the oysters onto the Bay Foundation's workboat Lady D and lit out for the bar. (It was an odd feeling riding shotgun on the boat I ran for two years, but new Capt. John Rodenhausen had it under control.) By mid afternoon, half a million oysters nestled in the crevices of the shell base previously laid by DNR.

After work, Matt Miller and I traveled to the mountains for a weekend of trout fishing and camping. By nightfall we were bouncing along the off-road trail that cuts through Savage Mountain State Forest, powering through fords and up rock-strewn gullies, arriving at the campsite in time to enjoy some of Frank Ervins' grilled rainbow trout, a 22-inch beauty taken earlier in the day from the Savage River.

The day broke gorgeous, mountain air crisp seeping through a canopy of trees. At the Casselman River, which flows south to north across the Pennsylvania line, we discovered that we were straddling the Mason-Dixon line, the famed boundary drawn to settle the land dispute between the Penn and Calvert families. There Miller, a newcomer to freshwater fishing, fished a spin rod effectively, taking several rainbows and a smallmouth bass on a spinner bait.

The afternoon on the Casselman proved most productive. In a secluded spot with nice riffles and good pools, an olive Wooly Bugger fly worked for me, taking a couple rainbows and a smallmouth. Then clouds rolled in, and the air charged with electricity. When the hair on my arms stood on end, it was time to get off the water.

When I packed it in and headed east for the flatlands, I felt like the luckiest guy in the world.


Fish Are Biting

From Point Lookout to Annapolis, it's "croaker mania." Rob Jepson at Anglers reports many nice hardheads with white perch are mixed in. Around Solomon's, bottom fishing is on fire, with croaker from 12 to 18 inches. Jacquie from Bunky's checked in a 2114-inch hardhead. Spot and seatrout action is picking up daily. (Head boat Marchelle begins night trips June 1.)

Chumming at the Hill has taken some legal rockfish. Once the Susquehanna and upper river spawners drive to the ocean in earnest (it shouldn't be far off), the Bay Bridges, Love and Swan points, and Baltimore Lighthouse should produce.

In the middle Bay, some legal stripers are being caught. Rick from Rick's Marine at Point Lookout calls shore fishing for keeper rock spotty, but boats working edges along Point No Point, the Middle Grounds, and the Target Ships are doing well. Bluefish catches are also increasing, some with good size.

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VolumeVI Number 20
May 21-27, 1998
New Bay Times

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