Get Your Lures Ready! Trophy Seasons Starts April 21st!
Hello everyone from sunny Southern Maryland, or should we say the frozen north?
The weather gods are punishing us for some unknown reason this spring, and have given us 56 days of February instead of the normal 28. This is supposed to be the first of April and we are getting March Lion.
The relentless cold and nor'easters have brought goofy tides that leave the boats lying in the mud or floating amongst the trees. Our normal Yellow Perch run was ruined by the conditions, but there are reports of White Perch at Allen's Fresh the past few days.
The hopeful speculation is that the Rockfish will spawn late as the water temperatures remain in the low 40s. By the time the season opens on the 21st we should have a bay full of rollicking Rockfish eager to bite on any lure presented.
The current regulations are the same as last year. The trophy season begins Saturday the 21st with a one fish per person limit and a 35 inch minimum in the main stem of the bay only and the Potomac River. On May 16th the Patuxent opens up as far as Point Patience and the size limits will be two fish 20 to 28 inches with only one over 28. On June 1st all waters are open. This lasts until Dec. 20th.
The emergency regulations that had caused quite a stir allowed the minimum to slip to 19 inches with circle hook mandates and J hook restrictions were rescinded after about a week. Speculation is that emergency regulations may be re-instituted with the hook specifications modified and the 19-inch minimum coming back.
The past few weeks have found big flocks of Gannets putting on a show diving into the water after bait driven to the surface by feeding stripers. These big ocean-going gulls always indicate big fish. Multiple sightings of Gannets from Point No Point to Smith Point and up into the Potomac at least as far as the entrance to Smith Creek have been reported. The Gannets have also been active from North Beach down to Cove Point and at Hoopers Island Light.
Fishermen using bloodworms and cut bait have brought pictures of huge Rockfish caught off the beach at Sandy Point and North Beach. These fish were all released. When the seasons opens there is always the possibility of catching big fish in the surf as they spawn in the shallows and cruise about looking for food.
The forecast for the end of the week is great with temperatures in the 70's, maybe even 80 on Saturday. This will get the Perch going in the creeks. When water temps get in excess of 50 degrees we may see some croaker in the lower Potomac. There were reports of speckled trout caught in the York River in Virginia last weekend.
Some Crappie and Big Chain Pickerel have been caught in St. Mary's Lake. There are plenty of Large Mouth Bass eager to break the lethargy of the long cold winter, and the warmth promised by the weatherman this weekend will start them off.