I fish out of Reedville, since 1 Oct I have put 112 hrs on by engine so thats quite a bit of trolling time. I keep records of what I caught, where and when, and this year is for certain different than years past. I have caught less than ever before, but did manage to catch 32 fish over 15 lbs (30") plus lots of smaller ones. I chummed at the NNK reef in Oct, thats how I got all the smaller ones. Most of my larger fish came from the Smith Pt area, and last wed and thur I had 6 nice fish at 64, in Md waters. I also have friends who are local charters amd many of their fish came from Smith Pt and up. Last year majority of my fish were from 62 down to the middle cut, Ghost Hole, and 59a area's. So I agree there is a void in the middle bay area of bait, and no bait no rockfish. The water temps are still above temps this same time last year, and the guys in the northern part of the bay are still catching alot. Those fisghwill move south and for a few days there should be good fishing in our area as they move south. I plan on fishing 27-31 dec, if wind permits so hopefully I'll catch them moving. If I don't guess I'll trailer up and move to the lower bay for a day or two.
On reasons why there is no bait in our area...I don't buy the water quality suggestion, but I do believe the Reedville Omega flet devastates the menhaden. On many days during the week I saw their 9 boats with spotter plane in the middle bay area pulling tons and tons of fish out. Why does our Va legislation allow this, why does bill after bill putting limits on this fishing get killed every time. If there were manhadden there would be rockfish. The ocean schools follow the menhaden all their lives.