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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I'm pretty new to fishing this area and striper in general, but I know weekends, and Saturdays especially, are a crowded mess. I was still shocked by yesterday. Boats everywhere, boats places I never see boats, boats clustered together super close, etc. I heard a number of yells and curses as trollers got too close and tangled lines, near had a boat twice our size drift straight into us, turned their motor on not 20 ft off our bow, though they were gonna cut our anchor line because they were right on top of it. :nono: Lucky it worked out fine. But man did the whole scene muffle the day. We'll be getting out earlier or skipping Saturdays from here out.

Anyway, the fishing: Marked nothing at hacketts, which was an unusual twist for recent times. Made our way looking for marks where there weren't crowds but no luck, so without lines down we skirted the fleet at Sandy point looking for fish. Found an open enough spot of the edge of the fleet and got to chumming. The hits were kinda slow, but we each caught a few, about half dinks. Left with a 21, a 22 and a 30 in the cooler, half our 3 man limit and the first time this year to left without our limit (though usually only 2 of us).

The odd catch of the day was a ~30" that was just covered in large open blood-weeping sores. We called it zombie fish, it looked like its skin was melting off. It was quickly released back into the water with hopes I didn't catch anything it had. It killed me to throw that big one back, but no way I was eating it. I was only vaguely aware that there were some infected striper with sores on them that were out there, but i had expected like pimple type things, not near fist sized melting skin lesions. I should note it did not fight like a normal fish, just like dragging in dead weight, and it was so messed up you could tell it was wrong ~15 ft off the boat while it was still in the water. I was too busy getting the fish away from me to take a picture but here is an article on the subject with a picture that closely resembles the one I caught.

http://www.sportfishingmag.com/news/flesh-eating-bacteria-can-pose-risk-anglers

Does anyone know if these things should be reported, immediately killed, brought to DNR, or anything of that sort?
 

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Glad there were no collisions! Saturdays are a mess up there especially with all the southern area boats coming up to fish. DNR is well aware of the fish with sores. Gets worse as water gets warmer. Just throw it back....... Gary
 

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Look something like this :



We sadly see them often - you are correct they fight different.

Most times they are caught near or during slack current.
 

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I was out of Annapolis with the family playing on Saturday, and Sunday which we rarely do, and I couldn't believe the number of boats, and the number of skippers who don't understand that they r responsible for their wakes. We were in the Rhodes river when s 50 foot yacht comes through at speed throwing a 4 foot wake. He left a line of distruction through the creek....it was nuts....and zombie fish always put a damper on my fishing trip. I keep hand sanitizer on the boat for just such occasions.
 

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Mycobacterium Marinum, not sure if i spelled it correct. But a fish like that and an open cut gave me an infection requiring surgery
 

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I don't always fish at the Bay Bridge, but when I do I almost always catch at least one rockfish with sores like that. The sores are less common in mid-bay but are till present. Up in the Eastern Shore rivers the sores are rare, but that might be because Spring and Fall are when the rivers have bigger fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yup, looked like the above pictured fish, but sores were a little more circular, leading us to first think they might be bites and adding further to the zombie moniker.

I'm keeping any eye on my hands, but haven't noticed any sores apart from normal cuts and scrapes, I made sure not to handle it much.
 
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