Half the rockfish population in the Chesapeake Bay is resident, meaning they never leave the Chesapeake Bay, and the other half is what we call migratory rockfish. Both the migratory and the resident fish just finished spawning in their home rivers in the Chesapeake.
The migratory fish quickly leave the Bay and head toward Massachusetts to spend the summer. At the end of last week, the first push of jumbo migratory rockfish started swimming up the Atlantic coast past the Ocean City, Maryland inlet. Most rockfish leave the Bay via the mouth of the Bay at Cape Charles, Virginia, but some big rock get to Massachusetts by swimming through the Chesapeake & Delaware canal.
The C&D canal is a 14-mile-long man-made canal that is 450 feet wide and 35 feet deep. It connects the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Bay. Besides being a shortcut for rockfish on their way to Massachusetts, it is a shortcut for container ships headed to Baltimore harbor to unload.
The bottom line is that over the next couple of weeks, we can expect to see some of the most stunning and largest rockfish of the year. Reach out to your sales rep for availability.