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Preview: washingtonpost.com - Angus Phillips (washingtonpost.com)

washingtonpost.com - Angus Phillips (washingtonpost.com)





 



Farewell column: How I learned a fish from a duck

Sun, 13 Dec 2009 00:00:00 EST

This is my last outdoors column for The Post. When I wrote the first one 30-odd years ago I didn't know a fish from a duck. What a journey.


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Gulf Stream can turn fall to summer

Sun, 29 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

I was lying in my bunk, pale and seasick, when the boat surged and the boys in the cockpit let out a whoop.



Technology takes the guesswork out of sailing into stormy weather

Sun, 15 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

There are times when I wish I'd been born 100 years ago instead of 64 and could have lived my active years without the Internet and satellites, BlackBerrys, cellphones and computers cluttering the landscape. This is not one of those times.



With seafood, man should not live by breading alone

Sun, 08 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EST

First, let us praise panko, the bread crumb mix that burnishes even a bland seafood concoction to spun-gold perfection.
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Strategies to limit preseason fishing for trophy rockfish spawn controversy

Sun, 01 Nov 2009 00:00:00 EDT

The first time I saw a trophy-size saltwater fish released alive was in the 1970s. You could have knocked me down with a feather. It was Cape Hatteras, N.C., in the fall. A crowd of surf anglers was at Cape Point around dusk. Many stopped to watch a good fight.



World championship race sails into Annapolis's City Dock

Sun, 25 Oct 2009 00:00:00 EDT

It's been 20 years and more since City Dock in Annapolis was jammed with purpose-built boats this time of year. Back then, it was oystermen from the lower Chesapeake who tied up three-wide in Ego Alley at night. They worked the waters of the mid-bay daily till Christmas, sleeping in the tiny forepeaks of their rough, wooden craft, then heading back to Smith Island, Deale Island and Crisfield to ply the home waters till old man winter froze them in.


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Daylight Savings Gives Duck Hunters an Extra Hour to Savor

Sun, 18 Oct 2009 00:00:00 EDT

WINCHESTER, Va. The worst thing about duck hunting is the hours. You're almost always late. Ducks fly at dawn, and you'd better have your decoys arrayed and be tucked into your hiding place before the first gray light streaks the horizon in the east.


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There's Plenty of Bluefish, Rockfish and Fun on the Bay's Western Shore

Sun, 11 Oct 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Legend has it that when Albert Einstein was learning to play the fiddle, his teacher, in an exasperated moment, blurted out, "Albert, can't you count?"
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After Months of Health Challenges, It's Clear Sailing for Tom and Debbie Carrico of Annapolis

Sun, 04 Oct 2009 00:00:00 EDT

It's been a tough 18 months for Tom and Debbie Carrico, which made last weekend that much sweeter.


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Attacking Eagles Offer Painful Reminder of Nature's Unpredictability

Sun, 27 Sep 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Like our beloved Redskins, nature doesn't always follow the playbook. Things turn out differently than you expect.


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Rocktober: The Best of Times on Chesapeake Bay

Sun, 20 Sep 2009 00:00:00 EDT

It's prime time on Chesapeake Bay as the calendar ticks down to the year's best month. Water temperatures dropped more than 10 degrees in the past few weeks to the low 70s. North winds roil the surface, but the water is clearer as summer algae blooms die off. Fish are hungry.


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On a Sailboat From Annapolis to Nova Scotia, in a Fog and Out of This World

Sun, 13 Sep 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Four of us spent two weeks in August bringing a sailboat to Annapolis from Nova Scotia, stopping at interesting ports along the way. You have some wild experiences on a voyage like that.
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When Doves Fly

Sun, 06 Sep 2009 00:00:00 EDT

When hunting season opened on Tuesday, the world could not have been a brighter place. Clear skies and cool, dry breezes brought with them the first hints of fall, the mid-Atlantic's finest season.



The America's Cup Has Fallen Into the Wrong Hands

Sun, 02 Aug 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Team New Zealand won the America's Cup from Dennis Conner in San Diego in 1995. After a victory tour, the Kiwis put the Auld Mug, the oldest trophy in modern sport, on display at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland.



Despite Ups and Downs, Kayak Fishing Has Appeal

Sun, 28 Jun 2009 00:00:00 EDT

GRASONVILLE, Md.



The Slippery Fate of a Banana Boat

Sun, 21 Jun 2009 00:00:00 EDT

The hardest part of boat ownership is naming it. There are just too many good ones. My personal favorites are Never Again XXVI, seen on a transom in Maine, and G Willie Makit, on a fishing boat in Block Island, R.I. New Englanders have that wonderful, dry wit.
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At Constitution Gardens, a Chance for School Kids to Get Hooked on Fishing

Sun, 14 Jun 2009 00:00:00 EDT

One of the more loosely kept secrets in Washington is that there are fish in the shallow, concrete pool at Constitution Gardens at the corner of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Early mornings you might catch a flyrodder down there casting from the banks for small bass and sunfish before work, though the Park Service discourages angling during the day when tourists are afoot.


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Hard Times Beget a Top-Notch Day of Rockfishing . . . at a Discount

Sun, 07 Jun 2009 00:00:00 EDT

It's not every day you come upon a school of big, plump, keeper-size rockfish stacked on the bottom of the Chesapeake in shallow water, feeding like locusts. "It's like perch fishing," gushed Don Schline. "We're catching 'em two at a time!"



Interest in Fishing Is Sinking, but Diamond Jim Stays Afloat

Sun, 31 May 2009 00:00:00 EDT

By all measures, interest in fishing in Maryland is declining, which is bad news for everyone but the fish. It's bad for charter boat operators whose vessels sit idle most days and for the Department of Natural Resources, whose revenues fell with the 15 percent to 20 percent decline in license sales over the past few years.


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Nonprofit Invites Youngsters to Discover the Great Outdoors

Sun, 24 May 2009 00:00:00 EDT

How many hundreds of thousands of kids have grown up around Washington and never set foot in, on or even alongside the Potomac River? It's impossible to know, but the simple answer is: far too many.
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Spring Brings Hard Lessons for Angles, Hikers

Sun, 10 May 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Experience keeps a hard school, it's said. This spring brought harsh lessons when three athletes drowned in the Gulf of Mexico after their fishing boat flipped, then a boy and a man died in the swollen Potomac River while fishing near Chain Bridge.


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Angus Phillips: Sinking Time Into Boat Repairs Can Save You in the Long Run

Sun, 03 May 2009 00:00:00 EDT

I like boats because you can fix them yourself. You can paint and patch them, spruce up the varnish, slap antifouling on the bottom, bleed the diesel, tune up the outboard and trace out a short in the wiring if you take your time.


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John Hersy's Timeless 'Blues' Tells Us How Fishing Should Be

Sun, 26 Apr 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Most of the people we fish and hunt with have dirt or paint under their fingernails, bless them, but there are exceptions. Last week, the ambassador and the former foreign minister from Denmark came out to the Chesapeake one morning to fish. We didn't catch anything, but that's not always the point.
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State Stocking Trucks Can Make for Spring Fishing Millionaires in Maryland and Virginia

Sun, 19 Apr 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Some days are better than others, and some are even better than that. Say you're trout fishing on the Little Patuxent River at Savage in a chilly rain shower one weekday morning and have the place all to yourself. That's pretty good.


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With Rockfish Season Opening, It's Time to Reel In a Big One

Sun, 12 Apr 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Maryland trophy rockfish season opens Saturday on the main stem of the Chesapeake and by all indications, it'll be a corker. Big rockfish are everywhere, from the Potomac in the District to the Bay Bridge off Annapolis to the Susquehanna Flats at Havre de Grace.


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Spring Is in the Air, Fish Are in the Water

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 00:00:00 EDT

When cormorants return to Washington, the fish are here. "They're not chasing algae," Mike Bailey said when he called to report the coming of the cormorants more than a week ago.


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Angus Phillips: A Challenging Ocean Race Produces an Unlikely Winner

Sun, 29 Mar 2009 00:00:00 EDT

Three cheers for old folks. When the towering sloop Ericsson 3 crossed the finish line in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday to win the longest leg ever in the Volvo Ocean Race, the guy behind the wheel was also the oldest and unlikeliest winner. Magnus Olsson, in his sixth 'round-the-world race but his first as skipper, turned 60 on Jan. 4. Sixty!
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Angus Phillips: New Regulations Yield a Resurgence of Yellow Perch

Sun, 15 Mar 2009 00:00:00 EDT

The good old days are gone but sometimes you get glimpses. So it was last week from one end of Maryland to the other as yellow perch, first fish of spring, popped up in plenty from the top of Chesapeake Bay down to the Virginia line.


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Big Rock, Big Concerns

Sun, 28 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

Call it the rockfish season that never ends. Right up till the end of the year, Chesapeake Bay anglers are hauling in the biggest striped bass you've ever seen.
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The Best Deer Hunting Is Not a Moving Experience

Sun, 21 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

I don't care much for deer hunting from tree stands. I'm from New York, after all, where humans don't sit still. On the other hand I'm fond of venison, which, properly handled and prepared, is as fine as any meat you'll ever encounter. And I love the woods and the little dramas that unfold there. Sitting quietly in a deer stand, you vastly improve your chances and see things you'd never see anywhere else.


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Angus Phillips: Old Ideas Are Polluting the Chesapeake Bay's Future

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

The last sail of the year was a good one -- stiff breeze from the south, flocks of wintering sea ducks buzzing around close to the water and, as expected, the Chesapeake Bay as clear and clean as all outdoors.



Angus Phillips: Volvo Ocean Race Reaches India After a Rough Trip

Sun, 07 Dec 2008 00:00:00 EST

The horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month understandably overshadowed a notable sporting milestone as the globe-girdling sailors of the Volvo Ocean Race stormed into Cochin, just 600 miles to the south along the Indian coast.


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Angus Phillips: It's November, and That Means Bird Season

Sun, 30 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

November is for the birds. Usually that includes a big, fat, farm-raised butterball turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Can you imagine one of those things flying? They'd have the approximate glide ratio of a bowling ball.
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Outdoors: When Conditions Are Right, Woodcock Can Be Fun and Easy

Sun, 23 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

Of all the birds that fly south in the fall, none is more mysterious than the gentle brown woodcock. Descended from shorebirds, adapted to the forest, long-beaked eaters of worms, night-fliers, woodcocks arrive en masse on a bold north wind and leave en masse with the next one.


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Hop to It: Hunting Season Opens in Maryland and Virginia

Sun, 16 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

Canada goose season opened yesterday across Maryland while goose and deer seasons started in Virginia, sending thousands of optimistic, camo-clad folks into the woods, fields and marshes from Old Rag Mountain to Ocean City. Few things get the heart pounding like the rustle of dry leaves as a buck sidles into a clearing or the eerie silence of a gaggle of geese oak-leafing down into your decoys.


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Hop to It: Hunting Season Opens in Maryland and Virginia

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 17:08:36 EST

Canada goose season opened yesterday across Maryland while goose and deer seasons started in Virginia, sending thousands of optimistic, camo-clad folks into the woods, fields and marshes from Old Rag Mountain to Ocean City. Few things get the heart pounding like the rustle of dry leaves as a buck sidles into a clearing or the eerie silence of a gaggle of geese oak-leafing down into your decoys.



Angus Phillips: Rockfishing on the Heels of a Big Night

Sun, 09 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EST

Everyone thinks the life of the outdoors writer is all fun and games. Well, it has its bubbles but it's not always champagne. Many folks who fish and hunt and boat -- I'd say the vast majority around here -- are staunchly conservative, which makes rough sledding for a die-hard liberal like me.
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Angus Phillips on the Outdoors: Recreational Sailors Need to Take Care of the Waters They Love

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 00:00:00 EDT

It's a big weekend for sailing here, with the Melges 24 North Americans, Soling National Championships, IRC big-boat East Coast Championship and a handful of other regattas drawing racers big and small by the hundreds to the Chesapeake.



Angus Phillips Writes About the Outdoors

Sun, 26 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

Washington is blessed with wild, beautiful places nearby, mostly associated with the water. If you haven't been, you owe yourself an October visit to Mather Gorge below Great Falls, Triadelphia or Rocky Gorge Reservoir, Jug Bay on the Patuxent or Mattawoman Creek off the tidal Potomac, to name a few.


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Pretty Mattawoman, Don't Pave Away

Sat, 25 Oct 2008 20:13:35 EDT

Washington is blessed with wild, beautiful places nearby, mostly associated with the water. If you haven't been, you owe yourself an October visit to Mather Gorge below Great Falls, Triadelphia or Rocky Gorge Reservoir, Jug Bay on the Patuxent or Mattawoman Creek off the tidal Potomac, to name a few.



Charting the Effects of Climate Change, on the Level

Sun, 19 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

When Sherman Baynard surveys the glittering high-rise condos along the beach at Ocean City, he sees miles and miles of fabulous habitat -- but not necessarily for humanity.
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Charting the Effects of Climate Change, on the Level

Sat, 18 Oct 2008 18:34:11 EDT

When Sherman Baynard surveys the glittering high-rise condos along the beach at Ocean City, he sees miles and miles of fabulous habitat -- but not necessarily for humanity.



Appalachian Can Be a Trail of Peers or a Solo Endeavor

Sun, 12 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

A celebrity was in the mix when the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club's Midweek Hikers tackled Corbin Cabin Trail in Shenandoah National Park last week.


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Wake Early and Be Ready to Shoot Fast -- It's Wood Duck Season

Sun, 05 Oct 2008 00:00:00 EDT

It's now less than a week to a hallowed date on the calendar. Wood duck season opens Thursday in Virginia, nine days later in Maryland. What, you didn't know?


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A Yacht Race With Everything but Smooth Sailing

Sun, 28 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

CANNES, France
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Amid the Mayhem of Breaking Fish, Best Keep a Calm Hand

Sun, 21 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

We've been buzzing around the mid-Chesapeake Bay for a month or so looking for telltale signs of surface-feeding schools of rockfish and blues, which make for some of the most exciting fishing in this region. It's been a hard slog with little success so far, but that makes it all the more satisfying when things finally fall into place.



Hunting, Without Limits

Sun, 14 Sep 2008 00:00:00 EDT

For some years, Marylanders Mark Hoke and Tracy Groves have organized hunting outings for veterans coming back from the war with disabilities. They go to a lot of trouble arranging food to eat, fields to hunt and amateur guides to help. In the end the show goes on, but often few of the principals show, sometimes none at all.