Tricky weather is our main enemy this season. Even though we tasted summer with scorching 90-degree temperatures over the weekend, the water is still cold. The frequent rains keep the water fresh, and grass growth keeps choking many shallow creeks. Crabs and perch have been almost non-existent. The catfish and snakehead are everywhere, eating up everything. Some consistent warm, dry days will get the winter grass out and force the predators up the rivers to escape the salt.
There was good news as trollers and casters caught many keeper rockfish in the deep and shallow waters. Eric Packard and friend Julian landed 31 rockfish last Friday morning in calm daybreak of Mill Creek off the Patuxent. About a third of the catch was 19 inches or better, but all were released for future catches. There were rockfish off Hog Point and Goose Creek on the Naval Air Station for shore fishermen throwing lures as the sun came up.
Trollers are doing well with good-sized rockfish in the Potomac and bay. There are still some late spawning fish, and a 40-inch fish can take your trolled lure at any time. Make sure you don’t have those drags set too tight.
Pound netters reported a handful of small bluefish this week. Spot has appeared in the gullet of rockfish this week. Live-lining spot on light tackle, perhaps the most enjoyable technique to catch rockfish, will begin as soon as spots become plentiful.
Catfish and snakehead fishermen are having a great time. These fish love the cooler, fresher water, and those dedicated to catching them are having a banner year.
Bass, crappie, bluegill, and pickerel are plentiful at St. Mary’s Lake and the ponds and river heads.
We have the Memorial Day weekend coming up, and it is a great time to get outdoors and catch dinner!