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Opening Day Trophy Season

Old 04-23-2018, 07:14 AM
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We launched out of Sandy Point around 0700 yesterday and trolled from the bridge down around all the anchored ships and down to Thomas Point light with no luck. We went in for lunch then tried the Severn and still no bites. No luck jigging the bridge either. Plenty of big fish marked between 60'-90' in the channel though. We thought beginners luck would at least give us a throw back.
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:36 PM
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Took a skunk Saturday and Sunday. Landed one on Monday. I’ve postponed 3 trips so far, putting them out a week or so.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:46 AM
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We got lucky and boated a 50”er on Sunday.
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:11 AM
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we skunked on opening day as well. tried trolling and chunking from bay bridge to the south river, both sides of the channel. as others mentioned, we had pretty decent marks, including lots of bait.

the word from the boatyard tournament was only 6 out of 120+ boats caught any fish! just brutal.

conventional wisdom / so-called experts seems to think it's too cold for them to have spawned....so the biomass is likely still waiting outside the mouth of the bay?
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by happyjack92 View Post
we skunked on opening day as well. tried trolling and chunking from bay bridge to the south river, both sides of the channel. as others mentioned, we had pretty decent marks, including lots of bait.

the word from the boatyard tournament was only 6 out of 120+ boats caught any fish! just brutal.

conventional wisdom / so-called experts seems to think it's too cold for them to have spawned....so the biomass is likely still waiting outside the mouth of the bay?
I've been told by older (and I believe wiser) men than me that even on normal weather years, some rockfish because of timing or water temp will just drop their eggs anywhere and not spawn. Given that the weather this spring was not normal, I would not be surprised if a much larger percentage of cows will not even try to make it to the spawning grounds and just drop eggs in the ocean or bay. That is just my theory.

I don't claim to be a marine biologist. Better yet I'm not a regular TF doomsday predictor that immediately stirs the pot by posting we need a moratorium just because people got skunked on opening weekend. I just hope that the fishery management people are not affected by media pressure.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BigLiar View Post
I've been told by older (and I believe wiser) men than me that even on normal weather years, some rockfish because of timing or water temp will just drop their eggs anywhere and not spawn. Given that the weather this spring was not normal, I would not be surprised if a much larger percentage of cows will not even try to make it to the spawning grounds and just drop eggs in the ocean or bay. That is just my theory.

I don't claim to be a marine biologist. Better yet I'm not a regular TF doomsday predictor that immediately stirs the pot by posting we need a moratorium just because people got skunked on opening weekend. I just hope that the fishery management people are not affected by media pressure.
I'm kind of wondering the same. Something is off but I'm not quite ready to say that the spawning biomass has collapsed just yet because they are slaying them in Jersey right now, and there seems to be plenty in the NE states through the Summer and early Fall, and in the ocean in the Winter. Kind of seems like there are just less fish coming in the Chesapeake to spawn the last few years. Also talked to a guy that said he caught two big cows over 50" in late March while cat fishing the river and he said both were already spawned out. I'm just not sure what is going on with the trophy season, hopefully the fishery experts can figure it out and act accordingly.

I do know one thing, there are more slot sized and small rockfish in the lower bay rivers than I've probably ever seen. Friends of mine that have fished the Nanticoke the last few weeks for white perch said they couldn't even get down through the smaller stripers to get to the perch in some areas. I've also caught a heck of a lot of them last couple years myself, so that should bode well for the future of the fishery.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:47 AM
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I've been seeing some of the pictures off New Jersey as well, I'm starting to think the spawn is shifting north.
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:44 PM
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Its pretty obvious the water temp is affecting the season kick off. As a diver this years temp is down well over 4 degrees. And tautog season has been open with no fish showing up, as a diver its plain as day we need SW winds for a week before water temps are favorable for fishing
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:41 PM
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Another thought I had was that the few fish I've seen or heard of being caught so far have been really big fish....mid 40" to 50" range. I've always heard that the largest cows arrive first, spawn and leave first, so if that has any truth it could be a sign that they are just now starting to leave the rivers, with the big cows spawning and exiting first.
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:00 PM
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Its beginning to pick up - we are pecking at them Mid-Bay. Being optimistic that it gets better and better as it warms up.
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Old 04-26-2018, 07:39 PM
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Was just barely in the flats on Monday just past Turkey point in the catch-and-release area and caught nothing but a catfish.

Started moving closer to the marina and stopped off the Elk river to try and hit some perch (had moderate success on bloodworms, by the way, in about 4' of water) and caught one little striper by accident that was around 12". Didn't even take him out of the water to check since I didn't want to have any problems since striper fishing is closed there.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:13 AM
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Anyone hear any catch reports today?
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by crang View Post
Anyone hear any catch reports today?
Talked to a bud running a charter a few minutes ago. They hooked one fish today, first one since Monday. I started to get up to go this morning, but then realized it would be about as productive as just sleeping in.
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:00 PM
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We caught 3 today, all to short
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Old 04-28-2018, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by No Ragrets View Post
We caught 3 today, all to short
Trolling, jigging, or bait fishing?
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:21 AM
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<div style="text-align:left;">
Originally Posted by Hollywood9s View Post
Trolling, jigging, or bait fishing?
<br />trolling, all on chartreuse. 1 on 9” shad and 2 on 6” shad. 25’ of water</div>
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