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Local Fishing Report: Croakers flood local waters

We have wall to wall croakers and rockfish in southern Maryland waters.

The croakers have worked their way up the Potomac and all its tributaries in great numbers and size. Reports of croaker catches up the St. Mary's River at Priest's Point at the college came in this week. The croaker are ranging in size from 14 to 17 inches and are plentiful taking bloodworms, squid, an shrimp for bait. Reports from the Wicomico at Bushwood are glowing with croaker, perch, and catfish.

These tasty fish, also known as "hardhead" locally, are up the Patuxent as far as Greenwell State Park. The bay shore at Point Lookout State Park is loaded with croaker at night. The fishing pier there is fabulous for croaker and rockfish too. Surfcasters at Cedar Point on the Naval Air Station are catching big croaker on both the bay and river sides. Boaters are catching the croaker in the mouth of the Patuxent in the daytime in about 20 feet of water inside of the Three Legged Marker and off the O' Club. Pier fishermen caught croakers off the pubic pier under the bridge at the Solomon's boat ramp. The croaker should now be at "Hawk's Nest" in the mouth of Cuckold's creek for sinker dunkers in the daylight hours.

Rockfishing is excellent in the bay and Potomac. Trollers are finding plenty on umbrellas, tandem rigs, daisy chains, and individual bucktails and parachutes. A smaller umbrella trolled in conjunction with a big MO-JO using a three way swivel has paid off well. The big fish hits the MO-JO.

The regulations change on May 16th (Wednesday), and everything simplifies. You will be able to keep two rockfish over 18 inches, of which only one can be over 28 inches. WOO HOO!, the slot limit is off. Beach fishermen can keep those beautiful 20 to 22 inch rockfish they have been having to release. The lower Patuxent will be opening up too. Rockfish will be legal to keep from Point Patience to the bay. The line now is Drum point to Hog point. The complete Patuxent will open up on June first. White perch are in the creeks for bait fishermen and lure casters.

Excellent crappie catches are coming from St. Mary's Lake. The lake is full and boat launching is a cinch. The crappie are very plentiful and patient fishermen are seeking out schools of bigger fish that can range up to 14 inches. Live minnows and jigs fished under a bobber will bring strikes, and simple crappie jigs cast from the shoreline work well. Beetle spins are excellent crappie getters. There are lots of small and medium sized bass attacking lures of all kinds.

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