October 26, 2016 | As November approaches, our local rockfish are schooling up and thrashing the water eating bait fish with vigor.
The Potomac has rockfish all up and down the oyster beds, and trollers are getting fish up to 30 inches using small bucktails with tandem rigs. The same is true for the Patuxent, and lure casters are still finding them in the shallows in the mornings smashing top water plugs.
The mouth of the Patuxent from the PR buoy to Little Cove Point has lots of rockfish, some breaking and attracting birds, others (the bigger ones) are knotted up around bait fish on the bottom. Trollers can wear these fish out using 12 to 16-ounce weights and bucktails, spoons, and surgical eels.
Big schools of rockfish are active at No Point Light and out into the Bay off the Hotel and on the Middle Grounds.
The rockfish are feeding in the mouth of the Potomac on the Virginia side from Ragged Point to Smith Point with a concentration of all sized fish breaking off the mouth of the Coan River to Vermar Beach.
We had two reports of massive schools of gray trout (weakfish) this week. One was from the Potomac off St. George Island. The other came from the Bay between the PR buoy and the Targets. These fish average 13 to 15 inches with some up to 18 inches. These fish are returning to our waters after a 20-year layoff, and we are limited to one per day over 13. We all hope this is the start of a good cycle of these fish that old folks can remember were everywhere in the Bay and rivers and ranged up to 15 pounds.
Lure casters may find a few white perch stragglers in the deep holes of the creeks, but the water has cleared and north winds have blown the water out to extreme low levels, driving the perch out to the sanctuary of the rivers. The 60 to 90 feet depths around the Solomons Bridge to Point Patience in the Patuxent has stacks of perch willing to take bits of bloodworms fished on double hook bottom rigs.
Catfish is still excellent in the Potomac and Patuxent in the northern regions.