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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't been posting in here nearly as much since my in-laws sold their house on the Chesapeake and moved to the Poconos. But one thing I use to remember was the thread about who was going to catch the first croaker of the year. I believe I even won it one year back in the early 2000s.

Anybody still do this? Are the croakers even plentiful in the bay anymore? As I remember, they were cyclical. We were in a period of plenty good abundance from the late 1990 into the early 2000s.
 

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Croaker still are around - just not in huge numbers. The first ones are often caught by guys fishing in shallow water in late afternoon off local piers in April.

In April - most guys are targeting Rockfish - not too many go after Croakers. A few big ones are caught by chummers if a cut bait is on bottom.

Most wait until summer and fish in the night for them. They still fight hard and taste great.
 

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I am guessing the first week or second week of April. A few years ago I was at Gootees and they came in, caught the first one on March 26.
 

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Croaker still are around - just not in huge numbers. The first ones are often caught by guys fishing in shallow water in late afternoon off local piers in April.

In April - most guys are targeting Rockfish - not too many go after Croakers. A few big ones are caught by chummers if a cut bait is on bottom.

Most wait until summer and fish in the night for them. They still fight hard and taste great.
Skip there is an early croaker run in late March/Early April. That's what the OP is talking about. It was a big deal in Bushwood a couple years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use to target rock in ths spring as well. But we use to fish off my in-laws' dock all the time. We'd start in March. We always used bloods. First came perch and catfish. Then came rockfish and eels to the mix. By the beginning of April the croakers would start showing up. That's when we knew fishing was in full swing.
 

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Skip there is an early croaker run in late March/Early April. That's what the OP is talking about. It was a big deal in Bushwood a couple years ago.
Bushwood..... I remember fishing that pier in like 1999 and 2000 caught some BIG HEADS and even a trout or two on shrimp from there.....
 

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I use to target rock in ths spring as well. But we use to fish off my in-laws' dock all the time. We'd start in March. We always used bloods. First came perch and catfish. Then came rockfish and eels to the mix. By the beginning of April the croakers would start showing up. That's when we knew fishing was in full swing.
Don't know the area of your in-laws dock but there are plenty of craoker and nice size. As far as showing up in beginnig of april, don't think so this year, to much sweet water.
 

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I've caught them in mid April in the Tangier Sound. They are usually pretty thick my mid May. I love catching them, pound for pound they are one of the feistiest fish in the bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I agree they can pull pretty hard. Are they not just smaller versions of red drum?

I caught my biggest croaker in Tangier Sound. I was fishing the bottom in an 80 foot hole with half a alewife (menhaden). I thought it was going to be a big rockfish. It was a 5lb croaker. I fileted it before realizing how significant a 5lb croaker is.
 

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We use them for Snook bait down here, a live small croaker is a prime rib eye to a Snook.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't caught a snook in almost 4 years. Awesome fish, though.

We'll be on Sister Creek in Marathon in 49 days. Perhaps some snook up along those mangroves. Defiinitely some tarpon.
 

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yep, down the southern part of the bay on light tackle on the flats.
One year I'll get down there!
 

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Nanticoke Harbour is on my list of favorite trips every year. I take the boys down and fill the cooler down there every spring....
 

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Pound for pound they put up the hardest fight of any fish in the bay.
 
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