Rock fish

New York Trying to Outbid the Whole Country for Wild Rock

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What we all love about New York is that when a particular seafood commodity gets scarce, and New York seafood dealers want it badly enough, they make it very hard for you to compete with them. Such was the case last week with jumbo wild rockfish out of Delaware Bay.

For the next six to seven weeks, the only place in the country producing wild rockfish is that little strip of land between Cape Charles, Virginia, and Lewes, Delaware. Rockfish have been spawning in the bay for the last 10 days, and will spawn heavily over the next three weeks in all the tributaries of the Chesapeake.

Once they have answered nature’s call, they swiftly leave the bay and head straight up the coast to Massachusetts to spend the summer, migrating up the coastline within 100 yards of the sand. Fishermen must set their nets literally in the breakers, in knee-deep to waist-deep water in order to catch these 20 to 30-pound fish. The fishermen risk swamping their boats every time they go. Fishing is a rewarding profession, but it can be very risky at times.