Reaching the limit: rockfish, flounder biting all day Faulkner knows all the hot spots

A recent outing reached the perfection level while spending a day fishing out of Captain Alan Faulkner's charter boat with Stevensville anglers Bob and Mary Carter and a Carroll County couple, Dave and Yvonne Gardner of Hampstead.

By day's end, we had caught more than 30 legal-sized rock, a dozen or so big, heavy bluefish and loads of flounder.


The day began at the crack of dawn. Faulkner, whom all five of us use regularly, hadn't set all of our trolling lines into the lower Choptank River's depths when Mary Carter's rod suddenly bent under the strain of a savage strike.

Though she never had caught a rockfish until last fall, Mary deems herself a seasoned veteran on the state fishing scene. However, this unexpected battle would end in disappointment when, just out of reach of the net, the fish lunged and freed itself from the bite of the hook.


We barely had time to get in some good-natured ribbing when Yvonne Gardner's rod bent nearly double. Her rock did not escape the net.

"Wow, what a thrill!" she exclaimed as her husband held up the fish for all to admire, and then announced that this was the first time she had caught a striped bass.

For the next hour, we caught rockfish continually, most in the 18- to 29-inch range. A few boats were spotted chumming, but we did just fine trolling bucktails with a pink twistertail-type teaser.

Faulkner stayed pretty much in the area of Black Walnut Point. He said, "Rockfish almost always work against the wind," so that's the way he pointed his Chelsea Lynn.

This young waterman knows his business. Noted striped bass expert and author of "Chesapeake Stripers," Keith Walters said he thinks Faulkner "is one of the best I've seen or heard of in many years."

By 10 o'clock we had our limits (two rock per person and all between 25 and 29 inches) and at Faulkner's suggestion, spent the next few hours drifting around the areas of Sharps Island Lighthouse, the Gooses and Stone Rock for flounder.

Hasn't this been some year for the flatties? No one knows how long they will stay around, simply because we've never had flounder fishing this good in the Bay. At least, not in recent memory.

One thing for sure -- if all the barely undersized flounder we caught this year grow and come back next year, we are in for some fine times on the bay.


We used a single-hook standard flounder rig with the hook baited with a strip of bluefish belly. By far the best action was found in 18 to 20 feet of water.

If there is a better way to have fun than to catch dozens of 12 1/2 - to 16-inch flounder on light-action spinning rods on a crystal clear Chesapeake day, I'm at a loss as to what it may be.

By the middle of the week, the rockfish should be schooling. Look for them with light to medium spinning rigs along the shallows for some thrilling angling.

Anne Arundel deer update

At this writing, the unofficial deer count by county bowhunters stands at 51 after almost a full month of the bowhunting season.

A number of good bucks have been bagged, but the most unusual has to be a verified 11-point doe checked into Marty's Sporting Goods in Edgewater.


Any deer bagged in Anne Arundel County must be taken to one of the county's four official checking stations within 24 hours and before it is taken out of the county.

If all of the stations within the county happen to be closed, call (800) 828-0654 to get verbal approval from the Natural Resources Police to take it elsewhere.

The four official county deer checking stations are: D. J.'s Hunting & Fishing Center, Crofton, (301) 261-FISH; Marty's Sporting Goods, Edgewater, (410) 956-2238; On Target, Severn, (410) 551-7777; and Stammer's Sports Center, Pasadena, (410) 255-9488.