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Discussion Starter #1
After reading about (and drooling over!!) the many good size rock being caught this season, I've finally experienced the thrill of hooking a good size rock.

Enjoyed great bank fishing early Sunday morning at Fletcher's Boathouse in DC. Fished from 6am to 9am at first clearing located upstream from the boathouse, about 1/3 mile. Caught several good cats, largest about 4-5 lbs. Missed one solid bite that hit like a rockfish, hooked up at 7:30am with the rock that has become my personal best by far. Put up a great fight. Fished with cut herring (purchased at the boathouse) on 3.0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook abut 2 feet below a 2 oz. egg sinker. The large striper, and the large miss, both struck herring heads. Catfish were caught on herring chunks.

I had read on the Fletcher's web site that rock were biting early morning, with just a few caught from shore since fish are feeding on edge of current. Sunday morning was very foggy on the Potomac -- light conditions at 7:30 were about the same as 6:15. Once fog lifted, about 7:45, the bites slowed way down. I think the trick is to fish with herring at first light, with an outfit capable of casting about 200-250 feet to edge of current.

Am thinking of going back at dawn Sunday morning this weekend to Fletcher's, or to Haines Point. Could use suggestions on specific places to fish from Haine's Point.

Am also considering a Saturday night boat trip for croaker. Will watch weather forecast before deciding fishing plans. Anyone interested?
 

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Foodfan.

Congradulations on your great catch. I'm still searching for my spring rock. I'll proably go to Fletchers later this week. The fishing there can be really great, I just hate the repeated hang up in the rocks. This is a good location to learn the patience of angling.

Croaker fishing Sat night sounds good to me. Where are you thing about departing from?
 

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WOW, sounds like a great catch. Your post inspired me to go down to fletcher's and try my luck this weekend. I am an amature and dont know much about fishing besides how to put a hook on the line. Can you give me some tips on how to set up your rig for strippers and when is the best time to go in more detail? Thanks in advance. :p null
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Finn -- I agree, the hangups at Fletcher's can outnumber the fish. As for croaker, I'm considering going out on the Tom Hooker headboat out of Chesapeake Beach. Ordinarily, I fish on the Olympus out of Ridge MD and avoid this boat like the plague -- they have a reputation for not working very hard to locate fish when they're hard to find. However, I've heard croaker are in pretty thick right now at North Beach, which is close to Chesapeake Beach and should provide an easy search. The Olympus will start night trips for croaker on May 10 and I may not be able to hold out that long!!

One additional option for this coming weekend -- the Carp Anglers Group is holding their annual fish-in at the Tidal Basin round the clock from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. This group usually pre-baits the water on both the sides of the Jefferson Memorial and along the Ohio Drive shoreline of the Basin. You'll find a lot of serious carp anglers at this event, including several who drive in several hundred miles. What I might do is try for Stripers from Haine's Point at dawn Sunday, then switch over to carp if the fishing is slow -- and satisfy my urge for croaker on the Olympus the following weekend. Will be looking for others to join me and my son (12) since the two hour ride to Ridge gets pretty tiresome driving alone, especially the return trip at midnight when Greg usually falls asleep.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FlyingMonkey -- I'm no expert, but here goes. I ran my main line through a 2 0z. egg sinker, then tied to swivel. At other end of swivel, used a size 3.0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hook, tied to about 20-24" 20 lb. test mono line. Hooked herring head (bait) in eye socket and out top of head. After casting out, reeled in loose line.

You could use other rigs, including a J hook instead of circle, but I would use 3.0 or larger STRONG hook. I'd also consider using a three way swivel with short 6" line to 2 oz. bank sinker on bottem and 20-24" line to hook. Just be sure you're main line is strong and can cast a good distance. I was using 24lb. Fireline -- a bit expensive, but great casting for a line of this strength. The rock are near/in the main current, so you need to be able to cast a good dikstance. You could also use 15 lb. mono, and be prepared for a good long fight!!

Hope this helps! Perhaps others can offer suggestions. Again, I'm still learning this stuff. All my rock prior to this point were caught chumming off a headboat.
 

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I work in DC and try to hit Fletchers as much as possible during the Spring run.

I also tend to fish mainly from the shore, since I don’t have a lot of time in the afternoon to rent a rowboat. Foodfan is right on the money as far as rigs. I typically use a 1 to 2 oz egg sinker with a small plastic bead before attaching to a swivel. I usually use 14 lb main line with 18” – 20” of 40 pound leader after the swivel and 2/0 to 4/0 baitholder and circle hooks (I like the Gamakatsu). I also use baitrunner reels and let the fish take line – seems like I get a higher percentage of hookups with the slip vs. static sinker. I have tried the 3-way drop sinker rig and not noticed a big difference in hangups.

I like to fish on the beach area at the end of the parking lot. At this spot, the further you can cast, the better your luck. I have played around with a bunch of different rigs and have found the egg sinker pulls free most of the time. You can also use a flat or bank sinker rigged the same way – do not use pyramids. I have also found the number of rigs you loose is directly proportional to the distance upstream from Fletchers! It is probably because of the increasing current.

Herring is the ticket – I typically scale the herring, filet off a side and cut triangle pieces of meat – also use the head.

This year has been slow for me as far as rock go – my one and only fish was 8 lbs….I have been having too much fun on shad with a light trout rod. This is the first year I have caught American shad (2) and they were monsters compared to Hickory. I have never seen so many shad – you actually get bored catching them after awhile.

Last year, I caught a bunch of rock in the teens as well as a 25 lb blue cat – quite a fight with the current and 14 lb test.

One thing I have noticed is that rock from the bay seem to taste a lot better than from the river – is this because of the water or diet?

Hope this information helps.

:)
 

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Thanks for all the info!! your comments are very helpful and I am looking forward to try some of the methods you've describe!

I was thinking of renting a rowboat to go further out to compensate for my lack of casting skill. Should I just let the line sink to the bottom? are Stripper bottom feeders?
 

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Man I was planning to hit Fletcher's Boathouse that same Sunday morning also but....I was afraid I was gonna pull up a dead German girl. :(

Did you listen to the news? Late last week some German tourists were canoing near Fletcher's without any lifejackets on. Their canoe flipped and one of the girl is still missing. Police called off the search cause it got to foggy :(

I think her body's stucked between some rocks. Not the rockfish. I hope the catfish didn't get to her...

Call me scared-dy cat or whatever you want but I ain't wanna be traumatize for life. Imagine pulling up something big and heavy :(

I'll head out there after her body's found. Sorry for this downer news .

GF
 

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wow I did not know that was by Fletchers. I have tried to find fletchers but could not find it. when your on canal road headed towards dc, is it that road where you gotta make almost a u turn to go into. I was not sure if that was a oneway road or not. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes, that's the turn for Fletcher's -- first right after Chain Bridge. Best way to make the turn is to pull over to the right on Canal Road and back up down the single lane road until you reach the parking area.
 
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