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Sooo work has me busy... and my days off had have thunderstorms in the forecast ever try I try to make a run to solomons bridge pier...
What current temperature on that bottom in pax river now? Are we still getting that bloom effecting area?
cant be that long until big croaker come?
I need to catch a 19 inch croaker or bigger... last time I got one them 19inch was early2000s. Last year my biggest was like 16inch...
 

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If my memory serves me correctly, 2002 was the last year we saw >19" croakers. That same year I was night fishing with forum member "Trigger" at The Tank and he hooked into something BIG so I lowered my drop net. At first we thought is was a striper since we could only see with our head lamps but when we got it over the rail it turned out to be a 23" croaker. That was truly was a HORSE croaker.
 

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I remember catching huge croakers on topwaters thinking they were puppy drum in the lower bay back then. Wonder what happened, Isabel?
 

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I remember catching huge croakers on topwaters thinking they were puppy drum in the lower bay back then. Wonder what happened, Isabel?
Isabel blew up the bay in Sept, 2003. Not only did the croaker fishing die off after Isabel but also the sea trout. 🤬
 

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If my memory serves me correctly, 2002 was the last year we saw >19" croakers. That same year I was night fishing with forum member "Trigger" at The Tank and he hooked into something BIG so I lowered my drop net. At first we thought is was a striper since we could only see with our head lamps but when we got it over the rail it turned out to be a 23" croaker. That was truly was a HORSE croaker.
If my memory serves me correctly, 2002 was the last year we saw >19" croakers. That same year I was night fishing with forum member "Trigger" at The Tank and he hooked into something BIG so I lowered my drop net. At first we thought is was a striper since we could only see with our head lamps but when we got it over the rail it turned out to be a 23" croaker. That was truly was a HORSE croaker.
23" inch croaker holy hell that had to be a beast of a fish. Ive never been able to get over the 16" hump lol
 

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At this time you being lucky to get a croaker over 9 in. remember on NB catching a 21in croaker (pb) off the the pier 10yrs ago and catching plenty of 15+inchers off the HB Olympus at that same time. Up to 3 yrs ago I rarely caught 1 over 14 inches (most were ,12 or under).
 

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Haven’t posted in a long while; but this thread has piqued a great interest of mine. (Check out screen name). My belief is that fish are cyclical. Big croakers will return in a few years. My reasoning is winter of 2014/15 there was a large fish kill in their Atlantic wintering grounds. Since then we have seen a big decline in numbers & size. I tried to goggle this fact but only could get results related to a event in 2004. Hopefully someone could chime in to concur or give correct year.

An example of cyclical is the spotted sea trout. They are here is size & numbers again. We have red drum in the mid-bay and even cobia. These species along with spots and blues all have their up and down years.

My plan is to just be happy that I catch something and not go home with a empty cooler.
 

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You are correct about the fish kill during the winter I remember seeing croaker frozen in the ice off a pier in SC. I caught some keepers last year between 10 and 12 inches. The cycle dictates that there will be some bigger fish this year. I'll post some pics when I catch some!:p
 

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Not sure the time frame but it was after 2003. There was a major fish kill where millions of fish washed ashore from Mass to SC/Ga. The majority of the die off were mature croakers.
 

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Been hearing reports of croaker from henlopen, iri, etc. Can anyone confirm? I'll be down in about 2 weeks
 

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Caught some in the back bay (OC) and some down in VA...bout 11 inches long. Been catching dozens in the 5-7 inch range in SoMD. I suspect that it will get better in the next few months, unlike last year.
 
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