Summer Fishing Has Arrived
June 21, 2016 | Summer has arrived and the fishing is easy. The croaker are jumping in the boat and the rockfish are high up in the Bay. The white perch have arrived in the creeks making fish dinners rich and the outlook for all fishermen is good looking.
The Patuxent is providing croaker in good numbers all up and down the oyster bars and edges. The daytime fishermen are more challenged and need to seek out the fish in 60-foot holes. Dusk brings the croaker into the shallows to feed. Capt. Bernie Shea on his charter boat the "Sheady Lady" took his party up the Patuxent Saturday morning and returned with 200 croaker culled at 10 inches. Croaker are plentiful, but not big yet.
The Town Creek Pier finds the croaker biting well at sunset and all night. The white perch and tiny throw-back rockfish, along with pesky oyster toads (bar dogs) will take offered baits all day long. Several big rockfish were caught off the pier this weekend including a 27-inch rock, and one that was much bigger but struck a small perch rod with a shad dart lure and broke off after a fight of several minutes.
White perch are now in the creeks which are clearing up from the spring rain, and the higher salinity is removing the grass of winter in the natural cycle. Tiny sea nettles are now in profusion.
Undersized rockfish abound in the St. Mary's River. If one is patient and casts lures on the points and rock piles at daybreak, the keeper rockfish in excess of 20 inches are the reward. The Patuxent and Potomac are the same. Trollers find rockfish all over in the rivers in 20-plus feet of water hitting small bucktails and spoons.
The big quantities of rockfish are in the northern regions of the bay from Parker's Creek to Baltimore. They are big, plentiful, and will eat anything.
Tony Barrett with white perch from a creek off the Patuxent where he caught 26 culled at 10 inches on Sunday.
Emily Windsor and Town Creek croaker.
Some of Capt. Bernie's Saturday catch from the Patuxent.