Croaker & Rockfish Plentiful in Southern MD Waters

June 14, 2016 | The Patuxent River has filled up with croaker.


The tasty little fish (croaker, also known as hardhead) are on the small size measuring 10 to 12 inches, but they are plentiful. Mixed with the croaker are some very nice white perch. There were substantial catches of these bottom fish in the mouth of the Patuxent at Hellen's Bar, Hawk's Nest, Green Holly, Fishing Point, as well as the Three-Legged Marker and off the O'Club. Fishermen on the Town Creek Pier are consistently getting coolers full of croaker in the evenings when the pier is open Thursday through Sunday.

By the time you read this, the croaker should be all the way up the river to Benedict.

The croaker have invaded the Potomac too and are in Cornfield Harbor, Smith Creek, St. George Island and at Ragged Point, and in the Wicomico River at St. Clements Island and Bushwood.

Night parties should find boatloads of croaker on the Middle Grounds.

The rockfishing hot spot continues to be in the northern regions of the Bay from Parker's Creek to the Bay Bridge. The trollers out of Chesapeake Beach and Deale are finding a world of rockfish and bait at their doorstep. The big schools of fish are good-sized, mostly 24 to 26 inchers with some in excess of 30 inches. These fish can be located and jigged on with light spinning tackle for great fun.

Do not overlook Cedar Point, Cove Point, and the Gas Plant as locations to find hungry rockfish. The lower Bay has fish too at Point No Point, the mouth of St. Jerome's Creek, and Point Lookout.

The stripers are also in the Patuxent where jiggers and live-liners (big minnows and small white perch - no spot yet) have found fish rolling around at the mouth of Cuckold Creek and at Half Point Point. The Patuxent stripers are 20 to 26 inches with plenty under the 20-inch minimum. Shallow water fishermen and trollers using small bucktails and casting lures have found keeper stripers at Sotterley and in the mouth of St. Leonard Creek.

A report of rockfish in good numbers and size came from the Potomac last week on the Virginia side from the mouth of the Coan River to Vermar Beach. This was the hot spot last fall for the most consistent fishing seen in years in the mouth of the Potomac.​

Catfishing is excellent in the upper Potomac and Patuxent.

Bass fishing has improved at St. Mary's Lake, and the opening of the season this Wednesday, June 15 should be a good time to catch some whoppers.

Bill Roberts shows off some of the croaker caught drifiting on Hellen's Bar in the Patuxent last Saturday.
Typical croaker from the Patuxent.
Cooler full of croaker caught last Thursday at Town Creek in the mouth of the Patuxent.
Brandon Williams and Town Creek Pier croaker.
Charley Smith with a croaker from Town Creek Pier in the Patuxent.