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. Spent many seasons captain/mating charter boats prior to 10 yrs ago and can honestly say I can't believe how bad the fishing is. Sure some boats are picking up 1 or 2 and the beat charters may see 4 on a good day with 30 rods.. I've been out of the deale md area for hours with 5 rods small boat ** 0 **fish not a knock down or undersized. Calvert cliffs power plant to near bloody and everywhere in-between. I'm no stranger to this fishery really disappointing..
 

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No doubt has been a steady decline in catching over last 12 years.
In early 2,000's - I used to joke it was a slow day when we had 8-9 rods out before first Rock hit in spring.

I was talking to old timer - he mused , used to be 4 rods to get 40 Rock - now 40 rods to get 4 Rock. Sad to say - lot of truth in that.
 

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Disagree with there is not plenty of bait. Been out about 8 times so far mostly cat fishing but I have seen loads of bait from west river over to eastern side and western side all the way up to Baltimore light.
There is a lot of bait out there
 

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Yep; lack of forage does not seem to be an issue over the past several years. In fact, forage now seems to be better than it's been in a while, which probably explains all the dolphin, spanish macs and reds coming into the Bay. The problem is simply that we grossly overharvested the big breeders in the mid-2000s, leaving us with meager follow-on generations of rockfish.

It's also possible that some of our growing cadre of summer visitors -- the aforementioned reds and especially macs, and possibly blue cats -- are causing increased predation of YOY rockfish. As we saw in the early 90s, small breading classes can produce large YOY classes if everything goes just right, but the odds are stacked against it. In the early 90s, bluefish all but disappeared and macs/reds were rare, perhaps giving YOY classes a bit of a predation reprieve.
 

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again, that’s the mindset that makes the resource so hard to manage. I’m allowed unlimited does in Baltimore county during deer season, but I know how many I really need. Then, I’ll go read over on the hunting forums how there’s no deer and it ain’t like it used to be.
 
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