Rockfish are in the rivers for trollers and lure casters. Trollers in the shallows of the Patuxent using light spinning tackle and 1/2 ounce bucktails trimmed with a paddle or curly tail grubs are consistently scoring rockfish up to 26 inches.
Timing is important as dawn and dusk are most consistent, but some have found them mid-day on high tides.
Lure casters using swimming plugs, jigs, bucktails, and small spoons are doing well from both shorelines and boats.
Trollers using 12 to 16 ounces of lead on drop rigs with bucktails are getting stripers in 20 to 40 feet off Helen’s Bar, St. Leonard’s Lump, and the edges of the oyster bars in the Patuxent.
The Potomac has good opportunities using the same techniques. As the water cools into October and November the fishing will improve for our favorite quarry, striped bass (rockfish).
Cobia had a spectacular send-off last week and the season closes on Wednesday the 15th ending some of the best cobia fishing we have seen. Trollers using big surgical eels dominated the last couple of weeks of the season. There was plenty of big bull redfish taking the lures too, adding to the excitement. many trollers and chummers landed lots of cobia that were about three inches short of the 40-inch minimum. These young fish may return next year in true trophy size.
Big bull redfish continue to be abundant in the bay. A huge redfish about 35 pounds was taken off the Point Lookout Pier last week. Slot reds (18 to 27 inches) are also more plentiful in the shallows than we can remember. There are some fine speckled trout in the 17 to 25-inch range mixed with the redfish.
Spanish mackerel are plentiful as are bluefish. Trollers using planers and small spoons are getting both all along the ship’s channel.
Spot and perch are available for bottom fishermen in the Patuxent and Potomac. A small run of decent croakers is now mixed with the spot and perch. Plenty of bass is hitting almost any lure in St. Mary’s Lake.