Monday, March 18, 2013

Rockfish or Striped Bass?

Potomac Rockfish - these are the best size for eating - between 4-6 pounds

Rockfish and Striped Bass are one and the same species with the scientific name Morone saxatilis.  The official common name for the species is Striped Bass, though most people along the Atlantic seaboard from the Carolinas to New Jersey, and especially in the Chesapeake Bay area know them as "Rockfish".  Here in the Potomac River area, people will probably look at you funny if you call them Striped Bass or "Stripers".  From this point forward, and in every blog post on this site, we will refer to our favorite sleek bodied striped friend as Mr. Rockfish.

Potomac Rockfish caught near Buoy 7 in Fall 2012 - 42 inches and 28 pounds

Rockfish are anadromous fish, meaning that they live their adult lives in salt water, but migrate up-river into fresh water to spawn.  Once the spawn is complete, they migrate back to the ocean.  Although Rockfish migrate to fresh water to spawn, don't confuse them with their freshwater cousin, the White Bass.  

The largest Rockfish ever caught on hook and line was caught in Long Island Sound, near the Outer Southwest Reef, off the coast of Westbrook, Connecticut by Gregory Myerson on August 4th, 2011.  The record Rockfish weighed 81.88 pounds and was 54 inches long.  It was caught on a live eel.  By contrast, my largest fish to date is a 42-inch 28-pounder that was caught near Buoy 7 on the Potomac River.

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