Keeper Rockfish

By Scott Lenox

Keeper Rockfish

It’s no secret that you’re best chance at catching a fish in the back bays of Ocean City right now is going to be if you’re trying for rockfish.  I’ve heard of school sized rockfish in the 14 to 26 inch range from all over the bays.  The route 50 bridge, the Verrazano bridge behind Assateague Island, the marshes north of the route 90 bridge, the Oceanic Pier in downtown Ocean City and both spans of the route 90 bridge have produced hundreds of rockfish for anglers over the past couple of weeks.  The largest one that I’ve heard of so far was just under keeper size at 27″…..but that’s when Big Bird Cropper was out of town!

On one of his first trips in the bay after getting back into town Big Bird fished the south jetty this afternoon and caught five throwback rockfish and this beauty for the frying pan.  The 29″ keeper ate… guessed it…..Big Bird’s World Famous Roy Rig and was caught on the north side of the south jetty.  Nice work Bird!


I got my first text of the day this morning from Captain Monty Hawkins on the Morning Star who said, “slick calm, tog chewing a little bit at least” with a picture of this nice male keeper.  Less than 20 minutes later another text came in that said the same fellow had limited with his smallest fish being 20″…..that’s some good toggin’!


Fishing at the Oceanic Pier in downtown Ocean City is picking up on almost a nightly basis.  Anglers fishing the pier are having their best luck with throwback rockfish, but there are also some small sharks, shad and tautog being caught.  The Oceanic Pier is currently open everyday from 9 AM until almost midnight and it’s only $8 for an all day pass.

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My buddy Nick Denny was at Ayres Creek where he saw some kids crabbing and decided to put them on some carp fishing action.  Nick showed the kids the ropes and they all caught nice carp which they said were the biggest fish they had ever caught in their lives.  Donny Post, Aiden Flindt and Randy Richardson, all from Berlin, had a great time catching and releasing 7 nice sized carp and now have a great memory that they can carry for a long time.  Pretty work Nick!

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