Rockfish & Striper Galore
April 26, 2016 | The photos this week speak for themselves. The rockfish turned on last Friday and the fishing has been wide open since. An avalanche of stripers were brought in to The Tackle Box for registration and pictures.
The fish were caught deep and shallow with the most excitement in about 30 feet of water. All lures were successful with tandems most popular in all colors, but purple-headed lures are getting lots of attention. The biggest rockfish I have heard of so far this season is a 52 inch, 62 pound trophy landed on Capt. Greg Buckner's "Miss Susie".
The Potomac and all portions of the Bay all are producing plenty of fish in this intense bite that may last a few more days or even a week or so. Then, the trollers will continue to catch trophy rockfish well into June, but not at the breakneck pace of the last few days.
The minimum lowers to 20 inches and two fish per day on May 16th. I have heard of only one fish caught by trollers under 35 inches up to this point. There seems to be a good mix of fish in the shallower waters in the creeks and rivers most of which will not open for striper fishing until June 1st. Catch and release fishing by lure casters and jiggers is good and getting better as the water warms. Capt. Brady Bounds on the "Miss Lena" (301-904-0471) has caught fine rockfish in the 20 to 30 inch range on light tackle in the Salt Islands of the mid-bay and in the Honga River.
Croaker are now in the pound nets of commercial fishermen in the lower Potomac. There are reports of croaker of 15 inches caught off the shore at Cedar Point, but none have been brought into The Tackle Box to claim the $25 gift card prize and the fame of the first croaker of the season award.
Reports of white perch in the creeks caught on bloodworm baits have come in, but we have not seen any to verify.
Snakeheads are now active for both bow fishermen and lure or bait users.
Catfish are all over the Potomac and the upper Patuxent. Big catfish up to 50 pounds can be taken on fresh cut bait.
Bass, crappie, pickerel and bluegill are biting at St. Mary's Lake and in other ponds and lakes in Southern Maryland. Live crickets will drive the sunfish crazy.
Andy Bell used his bow in the Piscataway to capture this 35 inch, 16 pound snakehead
Craig Melvin and his Potomac river rockfish - 47 inches, 35 pounds
Dale Maxwell trolled a daisy chain to land this 40 inch, 24 pound rockfish near St. George Island in the Potomac
Jacob Stockton with his trophy rockfish - 37 pounds, 48 inch rockfish
Jeff Cook and his 28 pound striper that liked a white umbrella near the mouth of the Potomac
Jeff Smith and his 43 inch and 25 pound rockfish from the Potomac
Justin Boszke caught this 43 inch 25 pounder on a chartruse tandem in the Potomac
Larry Rice with his 47 inch, 33 pound rockfish from the Potomac River
Mike Foster proves umbrella rigs still work with 25 pound rockfish from near Ragged Point in the Potomac
Mike Smith was in the Potomac near Ragged Point when this 42 inch, 24 pound rockfish got hungry for his white tandem rig
Phillip Burch, Shorty Owens and Donald Russell show off their trophy rockfish from the Potomac
Ron Baker was south of the Gas Docks when this 42 inch rockfish took his green tandem rig
Steven McPhearson trolled in the Potomac for this 42 inch, 26 pound Trophy Striper
Tommie Combs used a glitter blue umbrella lure to land this 34 pound, 45 inch rockfish in the Potomac