ANNAPOLIS The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service announced yesterday that four out of the six tagged fish caught during week seven of the 2nd Annual Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge: The Return of Diamond Jim were striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Two of the stripers bore non-winning Diamond Jim tags.
This weeks catches now qualify more than 100 anglers to win a chance at $1 million cash, a 20-foot center console Sailfish 206CC motorboat and trailer, an 18-foot 7-inch Tracker Nitro 591 motorboat and trailer, and two 2006 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 pick-up trucks.
Sean Daughtery of Odenton, MD is one of those lucky anglers, but he almost threw it all away. Sean caught a tagged largemouth bass on July 14 while camping with his family at Cunningham Falls Lake. I caught a glimpse of the tag while I was throwing the fish back, said Sean. I wanted to get it back in the water quickly for the health of the fish.
The next morning, Sean caught a tagged pumpkinseed sunfish. I knew it had a tag but I thought it was for statistical purposes, said Sean. I was about to give the fish away but then a nearby fisherman said, hey, thats a tag that could win lots of money.
The 2nd Annual Maryland $1,000,000 Fishing Challenge ends September 4 with the closing ceremony to be held September 16 at City Dock in Annapolis. Grand prize winners will be selected during the closing ceremony, and additional prizes will also be awarded.
The following is a list of anglers who caught qualifying tagged fish during week seven of the Fishing Challenge:
o Ron Baldino, Preston, MD: catfish, Choptank River (July 14)
o Tim Sexton, Petersburg, VA: striped bass, Middle Grounds in Chesapeake Bay (July 14)
o Sam Daugherty, Odenton, MD: pumpkinseed sunfish, Cunningham Falls Lake (July 15)
o Pat Thwaites, Delaware: striped bass, near Love Point on Chesapeake Bay (July 16)
o Larry Powley, Fishing Creek, MD: striped bass, near Buoy #76 in Chesapeake Bay (July 15)
o Vernon Webb, Cambridge, MD: striped bass, near the Gas Docks in Chesapeake Bay (July 17)
DNR Fisheries staff released the eighth Diamond Jim striped bass in the upper Bay north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The $25,000 fish becomes eligible at 5 a.m. Saturday, July 22 and expires midnight Friday, July 28. The first person who catches a winning Diamond Jim will also win a pair of one-half karat (0.50) diamond earrings courtesy of Zacharys Jewelers in Annapolis. For more information about the prizes, rules and where to fish please visit, http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fish4cash/.