Rockfish, Bluefish, Perch

The cool weather has brought the rockfish from their summer doldrums to brisk activity.

The stripers are everywhere now in the shallows. Both lure casters and trollers using small bucktails with plastic shads or curly trailers are finding willing fish on moving tides early morning and late evening. The trick is to get close to the shore line on rocky outcroppings and other cover. The Potomac and Patuxent are supplying rockfish in the 19-to-28-inch variety.

Nathan Mueller and his 11 1/4 inch perch from the St. Mary's River.

Bluefish are breaking on schools of bait in the bay and lower Potomac. There are small blues in the 14-to-16-inch range, and some bigger blues up to 5 pounds at about 28 inches. Many are using the small spoons and planer rigs to troll for the blues as they work for blues as well as mackerel. There are still some Spanish mackerel in the lower bay.

Nice trout from Cornfield Harbor.

Surfcasters are getting bluefish and some slot reds that have now reached the 18-inch minimum. There are some speckled trout to be caught.

Perch fishing is excellent now with many in the 11-to-12-inch category. They are in the creeks and rivers for lure casters and in the deeper edges in the rivers for bottom fishermen. Spot are lingering.

Patrick Dugan with perch from the Patuxent.

We have reports daily of big bull reds being caught by trollers seeking rock or blues. The reds are elusive and show up feeding and then are gone. You can bet that they are lurking somewhere looking for food; the problem is when and where will they show up next?

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