Great Rockfish & Perch
November 28, 2016 | The rockfish are schooled up in the Bay and rivers and feeding on change of tides.
Bay trollers and jiggers are finding stripers in the 22 to 32-inch range feeding on top drawing plenty of gulls seeking a free meal. Gannets are also active marking bigger fish and putting on an air show diving from high in the sky The location of big schools varies from day to day as the fish chase the bait, but they are always feeding somewhere and it is our job to find them. There were gannets from buoy 72A to buoy 70 showing where lots of hefty rock were eager to hit trolled jigs and bucktails on Thursday, Thanksgiving. Friday they had moved north on a line from the PR buoy to the Targets. Saturday was a blowout. The winds lay down on Sunday and the rockfish cooperated most everywhere.
There are still lots of fish from the Gooses to the mouth of the Choptank that are working their way south. Trollers and Jiggers are finding 30-inch fish off the Gas Docks and across the Bay on the eastern side at Buoy 76 to Hooper's Island Light, and at the HS buoy. The area straight out the mouth of the Patuxent from Cove Point to the HI buoy is rich with fish.
There are consistent breakers from south of buoy 70 to 65 and on down into Virginia, but they are dominate in small, undersize fish. That does not mean that keepers in excess of 20 inches will not show up at any time. Pockets of big fish on structures are being targeted by jiggers with excellent results.
The Potomac and Patuxent have good-sized rockfish and plenty of them on the oyster bars and edges. Persistent fishermen are trolling them up every day the wind is calm enough. The Patuxent fish love the "8 Ball" bucktails with black heads with both white and yellow hair.
There have been a couple of ocean run fish in the 40 to 50-pound class that we have heard of. The big fish should be infiltrating our area along the division of Maryland and Virginia waters at Smith Point any time. Reports of Virginia netters finding them south of the Rappahannock were received this week.
Bottom fishermen are getting white perch by the cooler full in the Patuxent from Broome's Island to Drum Point. The fish are suspended in 40 to 50 feet of water on the hard bottom. A couple of dozen bloodworms will produce a hundred fish culled at 9 inches.
There are still plenty of big catfish in the Potomac and Patuxent.