Matthew Recovery

October 11, 2016  |  We were looking for good weather last week based on forecasts showing Matthew, the hurricane, looping back into the Atlantic and leaving us alone.


 So much for faith in weathermen as the storm crashed on up the coast and gave us all a good thrash from Norfolk to Long Island with us right in the middle of it all. Forty mile an hour winds and heavy rain Saturday and into Sunday morning dashed our hopes of fishing, but it is all over now and the sun is out. 

The fish will react to the cooler temperatures this week. Rockfish love cool and will continue to school up and feed. Before the storm closed us out there were plenty of undersized rockfish in both the Patuxent and Potomac last week, with skilled fishermen finding 20-inch fish and bigger up to 30 inches on the edges of the small breakers. Trollers using umbrella rigs with small bucktails as the target baits did well. Shallow water lure casters are finding good sized fish at dusk and dawn.

We will find breaking rockfish in the Bay most everywhere this week. There may be some fall migrants showing up as the overnight temperatures in the 40's may start the action early this year. The past few seasons found sunny days and 80-degree temperatures well into November. The fall migration was limited to post-Thanksgiving and into December. Water temperatures have been falling steadily since Labor Day this year and the Atlantic is much cooler in New England where our migrants (40 to 50-inch fish) spend the summer.

The perch in the creeks were very active eager to hit Beetle Spins and other tiny lures in just about every hole and submerged structure. The trick is to find bigger perch when the five and six inchers are jumping on all lures offered. There were still spot in the creeks eating bits of bloodworm, and hefty puppy drum up to 16 inches (18 inches is legal minimum) were taking perch lures.

Bluefish, spot and croaker may start leaving us soon for the ocean and southern waters, but we still may have enough to get another mess for dinner.

Ken Lamb with a catch of perch from the Patuxent last Friday.
Eric Goodman caught this flounder on a founder rig baited with squid.
Typical puppy drum in the creeks mixed with white perch.