Opening Weekend Trophy Rockfish Season 2016

April 18, 2016 | Saturday, April 16 was opening day of the trophy rockfish season and there were plenty of fish caught in the Potomac and the Bay.


Some folks did really well and others only got one or two, or even got skunked (isn't that always the case?). Overall I would call opening day "good". There did not seem to be any particular hot spot, and all manner of umbrella, tandem and individual Mo Jo and parachute lures were successful. I did not hear of any fish caught trolling under the 35 inch minimum, and most were in excess of 40 inches. This week is predicted to have lots of 70 plus degree days with nights above 50 degrees. This rapid warming will trigger migration, spawning, and feeding of the big rockfish.

We had no trophy rockfish caught from the beach brought in, but there were many caught undersized in the 17 to 24 inch range. When the two per day 20 inch minimum comes in June 1st, we will have plenty of action.

Croaker have been caught in the nets in the Bay and up the Potomac. These are the first of the summer migration that should fill our local waters in the next two weeks. The lower Bay around Hampton Roads and the Rappahannock is loaded with croaker and they are coming our way.

Blue crabs are predicted to be very plentiful this year and the catches should begin all over around May 1.

All manner of freshwater fish are active now with chain pickerel, largemouth bass, crappie and bluegill eager to bite.

UPDATE: Pier fisherman catches big rockfish off the pubic fishing pier at Point Lookout, MD. The second day of the trophy rockfish season found this shore fisherman successful with a fine fish that took cut alewife bait in the surf. Freddy Miranda (center) landed this 26 pound, 39 inch rockfish off the Point Lookout Pier on cut alewife Sunday 4-17-16

John Kenney hooked this 42 inch, 26 pounder beauty near buoy 77, Little Cove Point.
Phil Zalesak brought in this 40 inch, 29 pound rockfish from Sandy Point in the Potomac that took a trolled tandem rig.
Robert Fernald trolled up this 43 inch, 30 pound trophy striper in the mouth of the Patuxent.
Bill DePasquale brought in the first rockfish of the season from Ragged Point in the Potomac.
Brian Griffith caught this 24 inch Pickerel in Hughsville, Md.
Connor King (10 years old) caught this19 pound bluecat in the Wicomico.
Michael Proctor (right) landed these 10 bluecats at Longview Beach.