STEVENSVILLE -- Four rockfish too small to keep and few boats around to complicate trolling patterns and spook the fish. That sums up yesterday's trophy rockfish effort on the Chesapeake.
Saturday's opener brought hopeful rockfish buffs out of th woodwork, the crowds thinned the following day as many stayed ashore to observe Mother's Day, and yesterday those of us aboard Bernie Ruck's Marlen V had the Chesapeake from the Bay Bridge to Bloody Point pretty much to ourselves.
Fishing the same area Saturday, I saw about 1,000 boats yesterday there were perhaps 50. No longer was there a fleet massive enough to cause concern that rock would be spooked by all the traffic.
Baywide, the catch of 36-inch and more keepers was 73 the firs two days, reported Frances McFaden of the Department of Natural Resources. Most came from Chesapeake Beach, Holland Point and Chinese Muds.
Here and elsewhere, big blues remain in seclusion -- or possibl long gone. Rock are the only alternative, and things are far from the slaughter the pessimists predicted when the DNR set a 17-day season.
Tonight, the Striped Bass Advisory Board hashes out the DNR' alternative proposal for the fall fishery, which -- contradictory to the board's recommendations -- would lump the charter and recreationAal seasons into one big 16-day (Oct. 12-27) fish-off with a limit of two fish a season by permit only.
Tonight's meeting, which is scheduled for the DNR research building at Matapeake (6 o'clock), is open to the public.