The Local Fish Are Biting

October 20, 2015 | The cold of mid-October has sharpened the schooling tendencies and appetites of local rockfish and has chased the blues, spot, and croaker off to the Atlantic. 


The stripers were plentiful and active in the Potomac, Patuxent and the Bay up until the winds turned north late last week with a corresponding temperature crash which made them much harder to find. Our constant flood tides were whisked away to winter levels of mud flats. Big changes in water levels, temperatures, and wind direction tend to make the fish run and hide until stability returns.  

Good fish are being caught on structure by live-liners on spot. The spot are now out of our area and they are either being brought from the lower Bay or stored bait is being used up. The rockfish are good-sized averaging 25 to 30 inches.

Trollers will find the local fish eager to hit bucktails either fished singly or in parachute rigs or tandems. Lure casters and jiggers will do well. The return of 70 degree temperatures this week will up the striper activity.

The water has cleared up to levels not usually seen until mid-winter and this has made the perch move from the creeks to the deep holes in the rivers. The rockfish visit the shallows at dusk and dawn limiting shore fishermen's catches to the early and late hours.

Rockfish are best in the northern Bay where good-sized fish are biting daily.

The sea-run stripers coming in from the ocean should begin arriving by late next week. These fish are in the 35- to 45-inch range and come into the Bay to feed and get ready for the spring spawn. The migration spawning mass gathers in the mid-Bay from about the mouth of the Patuxent to the middle grounds and south to Smith Point. The mass of fish slips south as the cold increases and ends up ranging from Hampton Roads in the mouth of the bay to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the ocean in the mid winter. In March, the fish race up the Bay to spawn in the shallows of the Susquehanna, Potomac, Patuxent,  Pokomoke, and other rivers of the Bay.

Great fishing in the mouth of the Patuxent.


Super rock near Cove Point.

White perch are shown off by Ken Lamb from the Patuxent.
Christopher Waclawski caught this 43 pound blue catfish in the Potomac.
The big rock are here.