Rockfish bite is still hot!
Over the past week we’ve seen the bite continue to be hot, especially in the lower bay area. With the keeper season coming to a close on the 20th, this last weekend looks to be a good time to get out there. We’ve seen big fish being caught in this middle bay area, just not in the same numbers we’re seeing further south.
With the water temps averaging in the low to mid 40ºs in the main stem of the Bay, fish are going to be schooled up in deeper water. With that, the easiest and most efficient way to locate/catch these fish is going to be trolling. Trolling heavier tandems, large Crippled Alewife Spoons & bigger shads on umbrellas. Hot colors right now have been chartreuse, white and natural colors like opening night.
Good areas to start out would be in 40′ of water near steep channel ledges. Channel ledges from the Bay Bridge south to buoy 72. Some of the better spots this past week were Thomas Point, Bloody Point & the mouth of the Eastern Bay. Further south in the Bay, areas like Breezy Point and the mouth of the Potomac River have been producing nice fish as well.
This time of year, size matters. These large migratory fish are hugging the bottom looking for a nice large easy meal. You’ll want to use at least a 1.5oz-2oz. jig head with a 6″ or larger soft plastic trailer. Ideally a 10″ trailer would be used since some of these migratory fish are weighing in at 30-50lbs and are eating 12″-16″ Rockfish.
Good areas to focus your efforts are the Bay Bridge, Thomas Point, mouth of the Eastern Bay and further south from Breezy Point down to the Potomac River.
The Perch bite overall has been slow to start. There are fish out there, just not in great numbers as they stage up getting ready to move into shallower water. You’ll find them schooled up mostly in deeper water on hard bottom. Within the next couple weeks, we expect to start to see them move into the rivers and creeks making their way to the headwaters.
Lures to use this time of year are little 1/16th oz. – 1/8th oz. jigs, gold or silver kastmasters, pet spoons and Johnson Blade Baits. These lures will catch a variety of species like Pickerel, Perch, Trout, Rockfish and even Largemouth Bass. Look to tip the hair jigs and the pet spoons with a little live bait like a minnow or a bloodworm. This will definitely help your success rate in cold water.
Some good areas to try out are Tuckahoe Creek, Greensboro (Upper Choptank) and Beachwood Park (Magothy).
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