ANNAPOLIS While the genuine Diamond Jim managed to elude those fishing the Bay this summer, 224 lucky anglers from across the state caught citation-worthy fish, qualifying them for the 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge grand prize drawings. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 22, Governor Martin OMalley will announce the two lucky grand prize winners, who will take home a Toyota Tundra 4x4 pickup truck from Central Atlantic Toyota or a 591 Nitro with a 115 HP Mercury engine and a trailer donated by Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats.
In addition to being fun and profitable for lucky anglers, we hope this annual celebration of recreational fishing in Maryland reminds people of the great value of our States natural resources, and the responsibility we all share for working toward a sustainable future for our Bay and its aquatic life, said Governor OMalley.
In addition to the two grand prizes, contestants who arrive and register by 9:30 a.m. will have the chance to win dozens of door prizes, valued at more than $5,000, donated by Bills Outdoor Center in Oakland. Door prizes include a two-day speed boat rental, a two-day pontoon boat rental, two family fishing tours, gift cards, rods, reels, a depth finder, and other fishing equipment. Qualifying anglers (or their proxy) must be present to win.
The 2007 Fish Challenge has been our most successful yet, said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin. We look forward to meeting all of our qualifying anglers and commemorating National Hunting and Fishing Day, which also falls on Saturday.
The 2007 Maryland Fishing Challenge began Thursday, June 14 and ran through Labor Day, September 3. A total of 63 specially tagged striped bass, three of which were genuine Diamond Jims, were released as part of the Challenge. Of the 63, only two imposters were caught both in June. New this year, every angler who caught a citation qualifying fish (60 species eligible statewide) was eligible to win one of the official sponsor grand prizes.
The 2007 Fish Challenge finale at Sandy Point State Park on September 22 is open to the public.
For more information, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/fishingchallenge/.