Six days of rain, wind, cold, and storm surge changed the bay quickly. The spot and mackerel ran for the Atlantic; the rockfish proved their love for inclement weather, the red drum, black drum, and trout started to move south, and the perch moved out of the creeks schooled up in the rivers.
The bluefish have remained consistent and will stay in the bay and river mouths until genuine cold sets in around the first week in November.
During the nor’easter, the stripers were crashing the shorelines on moving tides. Lure casters using swimming plugs and jigs with swimming plastics tails found consistent rockfish in the mouth of the Patuxent around Hog Point and Goose Creek on the Naval Air Station. It was not uncommon to have half a dozen or so anglers all hooked up at the same time. The fish are all healthy 20 to 30-inch fish.
When the sun came out, the early boaters casting at Cedar Point and the mouths of creeks found eager fish. The fish became less cooperative with bright sunlight and high pressure as the week wore on. Early and late is the key to rockfish catches in the daylight hours in the shallows. There are fish for trollers anytime the tide moves in the deeper waters on the edges of oyster bars around 25 to 40 feet.
Perch are around the pilings at the Benedict bridge for jiggers using small metal. There were catches reported there, more than 60 fish in an outing. The perch are also stacked up in the mid-river for bottom fishermen or jiggers.
Since the storm, my experience throwing Perch Hounders and Beetle Spins in the creek has been a lot of time with few fish. But, the perch remaining in the shallows are in the 9 1/2 to 11-inch range. I am a happy fisherman if I get five or so in an hour.
The salt islands from Hoopers to Tangier have rockfish on the points and on structure in the 20-to-28-inch range.
Adventurous fishermen have found red and black drums in the 30-pound plus range fishing at night on cut bait around Cedar Point.
Snakehead and bass are in the ponds and upper Potomac and Patuxent, eager to hit the lure. This is some of the best fishing of the year, and old man winter is coming; let’s get them while we can.