Trophy Season is here!
With Trophy Rockfish starting this Saturday, we’re all hyped up & ready for the season to kick off! We’re stocked up on bait, umbrellas, chum and whatever else you may need to land the fish of a lifetime! We want to remind everyone to be safe and respect your fellow anglers who are also running around out there tomorrow!
So were are you going to find that fish of a lifetime?! Well, truth is, you can find them in a variety of places, fishing a variety of ways.
Pre-season patterns have shown us that trolling has been consistent near the mouths of major rivers off the Bay. In the upper bay area, we’ve been seeing trophy fish being caught at the mouth of the Magothy River, just off Hacketts in the shipping channel and just south of Thomas Point in 25′-40′ of water. With that info, we’re going to recommend zig-zagging the shipping channels and the mouths of the rivers in all parts of the bay.
Your best bet is going to be covering all parts of the water column with umbrellas deep and lighter tandems or daisy-chains higher in the water column. Earlier in the morning these fish are being caught higher in the water column. Chartreuse and White have both been catching their share of fish.
If you’d like to learn more about Trolling for Trophy Rockfish check out our recent Trolling Seminar!
What do these giant trophy sized Rockfish typically eat? Well, Atlantic Menhaden (or Alewife, LY, Bunker) is high on their list of delicious snacks. One great way to call these big fish in is by Chumming. Get yourself a chum bucket, or two, several bags of FRESH LY and head out to some of the areas mentioned before and anchor up in 27′-35′ of water. Ideally look for muddy bottom.
Over the past couple years, the largest Trophy Rockfish we’ve measured in our shop have been caught by Chumming. We’re not saying that it’s the best way to catch them, it’s just very consistent.
If you’d like to learn more about Chumming for Trophy Rockfish, check out our recent Chumming Seminar!
Jigging/Light Tackle Casting
Probably one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to catch these monster fish is with light tackle. A good majority of the fish being caught this way are near the mouths of the rivers and on the ledges of the shipping channels.
We’ve seen them caught in the upper part of the bay in the Susquehanna Flats as recent as a week ago, and they’re also being caught just outside of the Chesapeake Beach area. You’ll want to focus on transition points and ledges as this is where these fish commute up/down the bay to their spawning grounds.
If you’d like to learn more about Light Tackle Casting for Trophy Rockfish, check out our recent Light Tackle Seminar!
The White Perch spawn is nearing it’s end but not all is lost! We’re still seeing lots of Perch action in many of the areas creeks and rivers where these fish spawn. We’re even seeing some big pre-spawn females being caught, but not many. Your best bets are going to be deeper holes in the creeks and rivers around the state. Some of the better spots have been on the lower Eastern Shore. Greensboro, Waysons Corner and even deeper holes in the main bay have all been producing White Perch as well.
Some of the better ways to catch them is going to be the tried and true Float-n-fly method. Rig a shad dart tipped with either bloodworm, minnow or grass shrimp under a bobber and look for structure! You can also rig up a tandem shad dart rig and tip both shad darts with any of the live bait we mentioned. This rig doubles your chances of hooking up but also produces quite a few double-ups which is always a blast!
We’ve seen the Shad run start and it’s starting to heat up. Areas like Red Bridges, the upper Pautuxent River & Tuckahoe Creek have all been producing Shad. We’re not seeing them in huge numbers but they’re definitely showing up! Once water temps rise a bit, we’re expecting the run to really take off.
Look to use a variety of baits like small Kastmasters, Tony Spoons and Shad Darts. Throwing these baits as a tandem is also very effective. You’re really fishing for this species much like you would for White Perch.
Some other areas to target are Deer Creek (off the Susquehanna) and down near Fletchers Boathouse in the Potomac.
In many of the area’s freshwater bodies of water, we’re starting to see the action heat up. Largemouth Bass are pre-spawn feeding and are looking to fatten up big time now. Water temps are slowly creeping up but that magic number is 55º-65º for the spawn to take place. Not all bodies of water heat up the same so keep an eye on your water temp of wherever you’re fishing.
Snakehead are being caught all over the place now also. A great place to try your luck would be the upper Potomac River. Another good spot is the Blackwater Refuge on the Eastern Shore.
Look to use a variety of baits like Jerkbaits, Crankbaits (squarebill and lipless), Jigs and Dropshot Worms. We’ve found over the last few days all of these have all been effective. Even topwater has worked recently in some of the smaller ponds where the water temp is a little bit warmer than bigger bodies of water.
Show us what you caught!
We’d love to see your catch! Send your photos with some simple info (your name, location, bait/technique) and any other info you’d like to share to [email protected] By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online.
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