Well it is here, the 2007 Spring Trophy Rockfish Season. To get things started we rounded out our catch and release light tackle trips with a bang. We had outstanding catches considering the light tackle we were using. We had 14 Pre Season trips on the books and were only able to run 8 of them because of the high winds last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Our worst catch of these 8 light tackle trips was 18 Trophy Rockfish and our best catch was 28 Trophy Rockfish. Not bad considering these were only 5 hour charters. Out of 8 pre-season trips using light tackle we landed 5 fish that would clear the upper end of the new slot limit (over 41inches).
The catch and keep season opened with a bang. On our first pass across the Bay Saturday AM we landed 11 Trophy Rockfish with 8 keepers (28″ to 35″) and 3 slot fish (35″ to 41″). We stayed out for a little while longer and caught and released another 8 or so Spring Trophies. And then Saturday PM came and the fishing got much tougher. The massive number of fishing boats out on opening day really but a damper on the action and we had to work hard to catch our limit of 7 Rockfish. Sunday AM we also had to work hard to scratch out our limit and relied on our 24 rod spread to catch our 8 keepers. By Sunday afternoon the fishing had gotten really tough because of all the boat pressure and we were only able to capture 9 of our 11 needed keepers, with a few (35″ to 42″) slot fish to aggervate the situation. We worked hard with 24 lines in the water to land our limits on both trips Monday and our AM trip on Tuesday. Tuesday PM things started looking up, we hooked 6 Trophy Stripers at one time and managed to get 5 of the 6 in the boat, then we plucked away to catch our last few keepers. Wednesday AM went great with a steady bite and a fairly quick limit. Then on the PM trip the BUBBAS of 2007 showed up for us. We had a fairly good bite going, needing only three more keepers, and then we caught a 47″ 41lb Trophy followed shortly after by a 43″ 38lb trophy.
The new 2007 size limit has been very frustrating; throwing back beautiful 35″ to 41″ fish is hard to do for my customers but luckly we have had enough legal 28″ to 41″ to get our limits every trip but one. The reason for the relatively slow start to the 2007 Trophy Season is fairly simple………. our colder then normal Spring has delayed the Spawing cycle and the fish that are normally starting their migration back down the Bay are still in the creeks and rivers spawning. With the sudden warm trend the soon to spawn fish seemed to have made a b-line toward their spawning ground all at once. I have talked to 2 fisheries biologist who have confirmed that the spawning grounds are absolutly loaded with Stripers. What this means is the the best is yet to come. I suspect that the Spring Trophy season is going to really kick off in about a week as the trophy fish begin their travels south. Also because everything is behind schedule, I suspect we will be catching the trophy fish in good numbers much later into May (probably the 3rd or even 4th week of the month).
If you are interested in getting out on the Bay for some great fishing action here are the dates that we still have available……..
Trophy Rockfishing or if it gets warm quick light tackle chumming for mixed sized Stripers: May 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 31 all dates available AM or PM
Evening Charters for light tackle Rockfish and bottom fishing for Croaker (25 per man):
May 28, 29, 31
June 4, 6, 17, 27, 28
July 2, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
If you are interested in any of these dates, please call or e-mail as soon as possible to ensure you get the date of your choice.
Capt. Greg (301) 873-1327
By Greg Buckner, Captain of the “Miss Susie”
Man it sure is good to be out on the water catching fish. Thursday April 12th was our first day on the water doing the light tackle trolliong thing. We had Gene Muller from the Washington Times on board to get a story and snap a few photos. Within about an hour and a half of trolling we landed and released 10 Trophy Stripers from 28 to 38 inches. All were caught on spinning tackle. Friday the 13th was our first charter of the season and it went well, we landed and released 18 Spring Trophies from 28 to 39 inches all on spinning rods more suited for catching large-mouth bass than Trophy Rockfish. On Saturday the 14th morning trip we landed and released 20 Spring Trophies from 29 to 42 inches. On our afternoon trip we landed and released 21 Trophies from 27 to 40 inches, once again all were caught on spinning tackle. On each of these trips we also lost between 6 and 12 nice fish just becase of the much more difficult task of landing big fish on light tackle. But that is why they call it FISHING and not CATCHING. The strong winds forced us to cancel our trips for Sunday thru Tuesday, but we will be back at it on Wednesday with the light tackle catch and release trolling. The below photos showcase some of the action from the last few days.
If you are interested in getting out for a Spring Catch and Keep trip in early May, my other boat the FIN FINDER has May 8 & 9th AM or PM still available for charter. Also my PM Rockfish and Croaker trips for late May, June and July are booking up quickly so don’t miss out: call or e-mail for your date today. I hope you all enjoy these photos as much as the anglers enjoyed catching and releasing the fish in the photos.
Capt. Greg Buckner (301) 873-1327