Help with Rockfish in the River ?
My name is Ryan and I'm a long time lurker on the SRKKC board. I've been fishing the Severn for about 6 years now and this winter I moved to Arden - So this is my year to get some serious time out on the water. I've been contemplating joining the club but somehow I always seem to have plans on during the wednesday night meetings (tonight included).
Anyway I'm posting in hopes of finding some more information about catching rockfish in the river. I can usually seem to find white perch, and this spring I caught more pickerel then ever before with inspiration from this board. But the rockfish still elude me! I would like to know if people actually catch keeper rock often in the river? Also what is the most popular style of fishing in the river for rockfish - ie casting, trolling, bait etc.
I'm not trying to barge in and ask you all to give up secret spots, or custom lure information, but any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Ryan, What section did you move in to? I've lived in Arden for the large part of 44 years. Damn does time fly by.
Some years the rock are here all summer, I think its when the Bay is having issues (algae blooms, dissolved oxygen, ect). I've been fishing for about 6 years and was taught that there were only Rock fish were only here in the fall. But I started checking some areas every time I went out and some days the fishing mid-summer was awesome. Last year the Rock fishing was slow in the summer months but hopefully this year it will be different. But that means the Bay is not good condition in my opinion. So it is a double edged sword.
I wish there was a secret spot to not tell you about..
Because of the river being connected to the Bay, the consistency in fishing the river is very hit or miss.. atleast in my short period of fishing in it. As Rod mentioned above, a lot depends on water quality.. of both the bay and river. I was also under the impression that Rock also mostly only come into the river in the fall. Last year after the Hurricane the fishing was terrible. I grew up in the south where I fished for LM Bass in lakes and rivers. All of those fish were "resident" fish and never left. The only issue was to refine technique and lure type/color as the water temp and clarity changed. This is not really true for the Severn.
We had a very good day a week ago catching nice size Rock in the 18-24" range. At one point, we had 6 casts in a row that landed fish. That was probably one of our best days of fishing. Since then, I went back out and fished the same spot and a similar area and got nothing. The difference? There was a flood tide and the temps were 20 degrees cooler as well as rain a day or two before.
So, what was before the perfect depth, temp, salinity, etc for these fish.. was no longer true. They moved out. Where? I couldn't find them.
My answer? Fish more.. fish harder. Try to replicate the bait available to them in the river at the time. Look for current, steep drop offs next to shallow, and look for structure next to these areas. If the water conditions are somewhat stable, this time of year, they should school up around structure and wait for bait to ambush.
Find a hard bottom.. then jig em. Find structure.. then cast to it. If nothing is there, move to another spot.
But this is all in my opinion and based off only 1 season of fishing the Severn.. so hopefully it helps a little.
Trolling the piers and steep drop offs seem to produce pretty well. Occasionally I have had success casting peirs. (Like the day Axxell33 mentioned above) I have had success previous years on top water the last hour before dark in shallow areas that are close to drop offs to deep water. My favorite for trolling is a SPRO bucktail that you can get at Alltackle, or a road runner. Both about 3/8 oz with a 6 inch grub tail. Top water we usually do well with poppers and spooks. Like RSD said, last summer stunk. Fall was pretty poor IMO too. Two falls ago, during about a 5 week period I was going out and getting my limit within a matter of an hour or two. Good luck and keep watching the forum. I've learned quite a bit from reading the posts here.
Thanks for the tips and encouragement guys. I'm going to make an effort to get out more often and try some of the things you all mentioned.
To Hot Rod:
I actually haven't figured out the section division in the neighborhood, but I'm on Omar Drive about half way between the soccer fields and the end of the road. Which section is that?
Check out the oyster reefs the stripers have been there for the past two months...............woody
If your on the right side of the road going to the end (Odd house numbers) its section 3, if your on the left side (Even house numbers) it's section 1. I have a house on Omar on the corner of Barger, but live on Millers Circle. You may have have seen my Parker in the driveway a couple weeks ago, I have it down here now. Welcome to the neighborhood.