?The cool weather has brought the rockfish from their summer doldrums to brisk activity.

The stripers are everywhere now in the shallows.  Both lure casters and trollers using small bucktails with plastic shads or curly trailers find willing fish on moving tides early morning and late evening.  The trick is to get close to the shoreline on rocky outcroppings and another cover.  The Potomac and Patuxent are supplying rockfish in the 19-to-28-inch variety.

Nice trout from Cornfield Harbor. Credit: Ken Lamb

Bluefish are breaking on schools of bait in the bay and lower Potomac.  There are small blues in the 14-to-16-inch range and some bigger blues up to 5 pounds at about 28 inches.

Many use the small spoons and planer rigs to troll for the blues as they work for blues and mackerel.  There are still some Spanish mackerel in the lower bay.

Surfcasters are getting bluefish and some slot reds that have reached the 18-inch minimum.  There are some speckled trout to be caught.

Nathan Mueller and his 11 1/4 inch perch from the St. Mary’s River. Credit: Ken Lamb

Perch fishing is excellent now, with many in the 11-to-12-inch category.  They are in the creeks and rivers for lure casters and the deeper edges for bottom fishermen.  Spot is lingering.

We have reports daily of big bull reds caught by trollers seeking rock or blues.  The reds are elusive and show up feeding and then are gone.  You can bet they are lurking somewhere looking for food; the problem is when and where they will appear next.

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