Susquehanna Flats have many spots for anglers in search of rockfish


April 18, 1999|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

Joe Bruce, owner of The Fisherman's Edge and a top-notch fly fishing guide, was standing on the dock at the Havre de Grace city marina Thursday, fresh in from an "OK" day of fishing on the Susquehanna Flats.

"We've been catching a few," he said. "Nothing real big, but in the 8 to 10 range."

Inches? No, pounds.

While a pair of charter boats had carried parties of media and DNR people to the ledges and sloughs off Spesutie Island at the lower edges of the flats, Bruce had been in the shallows, up on the flats proper.

"We were prospecting," Bruce said. "You get in there in the shallow water, and you can see them swirl. Some of the big males will go 20 pounds, and that's a nice fish no matter where you are."

Bruce said the edges of the deep channel running from Turkey Point north along the eastern edge of the flats can also provide good fishing for stripers.

Bruce said Clousers and his own crab pattern are excellent flies for rockfish at this time of year, and fly anglers should use sink tips to get down to the fish, even in shallow water.

While there are many areas to prospect for stripers, the water is thin, especially at low tide, and boaters should use caution.

Phil Jones, director of the Fisheries Service Resource Management Division, said deeper channels that girdle the flats all are prospective hot spots at this time of year.

Among the good bets are:

* The narrow cut that runs inside Buzzards Glory from Locust Point past Swan Creek Point along the western edge.

* The channel and small sloughs from Fishing Battery to Locust Point.

* The ledges and small humps from Locust Point up onto the flats above red nun 2.

* The ditch and edges from Stump Pt. to Carpenter Point at the north edge of the flats.

Rockfish opener

The spring rockfish season opens in the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay on Friday, with a minimum length of 28 inches and a creel limit of one fish per day.

Catch-and-keep fishing will be allowed only in the main stem of the bay from a line extending from the Patapsco River to Swan Point south to the Maryland-Virginia border, including Tangier and Pocomoke sounds.

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