Weathering a Tough Winter Ashore

This winter has been especially difficult, with record low temperatures in Maryland for the last several weeks. The long-range forecast into late January says we can expect that trend to continue.

Past seasons, I have usually been able to get in a couple of days on nearby tributaries for pickerel and maybe a day or two out on the Bay for deep water white perch.

Fish Are Biting …

But so are the temperatures. With no respite in sight, it is best to stick around the home fires for the next week or so. We may get a weather break toward the end of the month when the yellow perch, already staging in Bay headwaters, will be well schooled and hungry. It’s a deepwater bite this early (40 to 50 feet), but the neds will be big and tasty.


Breaking the Rules

It may be too frigid for most of us, but Natural Resource Police officers braved the cold to once again arrest Daniel Leroy Dierker, 32, of Rock Hall, on January 5. Dierker was charged with engaging in the striped-bass gill-net fishery while his commercial license was suspended. Trial is set for March 2 in the District Court of Maryland for Queen Anne’s County. Dierker’s record includes over 40 citations by NRP since 1998.


In Season

Migratory Canada geese: thru Jan. 29 
Light geese: thru Jan. 29
Ducks: thru Jan. 29 
Black ducks: thru Jan. 29
Sea ducks: thru Jan. 29 
Brant: thru Jan. 29 
Snipe: thru Jan. 29 
Rabbit: thru Feb. 28
Squirrel: thru Feb. 28
Resident Canada geese: thru Mar. 5 

Not this year. The few times we have had even a small thaw, arctic-style weather promptly descended once again.

But wintertime clouds can also have their silver linings, and this year there are some sterling activities to chase away bad-weather blahs. 

The 27th Annual Fishing Expo & Boat Show

The 27th Annual Fishing Expo & Boat Show comes to the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium January 13 thru 16. Numerous seminars and events on angling strategies and techniques prepare both freshwater and saltwater anglers for the coming seasons. The latest fishing tackle is from the major manufacturers on display and for sale at special show prices. 

An additional 70,000 square feet is dedicated to fishing boats, with models from more than 25 major manufacturers at special show pricing. 

Angler’s Movie Nights

Closer to home in Annapolis, Dick Franyo is hosting an Angler’s Movie Night in Eastport at his Boatyard Bar and Grill every other Tuesday night. Upcoming dates are Jan. 25, Feb. 8, March 8 and 22.

Local seafood and other angler specials provide inexpensive but savory comfort food for the shore-bound while films of warmer climes and eager fish are screened to whisk our imaginations off to what we love best. The evening begins at 6 and the movie at 7pm.

Tiefest 2011

The Kent Narrows Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association ( is busy organizing its Tiefest 2011 celebration. This free event returns on February 12, from 9:30am to 6pm, at the Kent Island Yacht Club, Chester: 888-758-6580;

Its theme is fly fishing and fly tying, but there are many conventional angling applications to this popular local exhibition. Bring your own fly rod for free casting lessons by local masters of the art. 

This is a particularly comfortable, informal venue where you can rub shoulders with fly-fishing and fly-tying legends Lefty Kreh, Bob Popovics, Bob Clouser, Blane Chocklett, D. L. Goddard and Steve Farrar, not to mention the cream of the Mid-Atlantic light tackle fishing guides.

16th Annual Pasadena Sportfishing Flea Market and Fishing Show

February 16 and 17 delivers a mid-Bay favorite with the 16th Annual Pasadena Sportfishing Flea Market and Fishing Show. Opening at 8am both days at an affordable $3 admission, the popular event resumes at the Earleigh Heights Fire Hall in Severna Park: 410-439-3474;

Look for over 150 tables of tackle, new and used. Better yet, are local craftsmen offering lures and custom-made specialty tackle for fishing our area of the Bay that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Local charter boat skippers will also be on hand offering show discounts for the upcoming trophy rockfish season.

Winter isn’t an interruption of our sporting year. It’s just an opportunity to reorganize and resupply.