Cheapeake Fishing Report 02/16/2016
I know what most of you are thinking. Why is Jamie writing a fishing report when it is well below freezing and snow is coming down. Well, the long and short of it is simple. We have cabin fever and want to fish! Now yes it is cold and miserable but there are still plenty of opportunities to do some late winter fishing. Yellow perch jigging has been phenomenal up until this past week in the Choptank from Martinek on down river in deep holes jigging road runners, shad darts, or the plain jane bottom rig and minnow or grass shrimp(if you can find any). Though the water temperature is frigid and metabolisms often will be very slow these fish still need to eat and we have had multiple reports of perch up to 13” being caught. And this is not solely a Choptank thing folks. Practically all of the rivers around Annapolis and north all the way up to Conowingo dam harbor yellow perch in more than decent enough numbers. The hardest part is simply finding the fish to drop on so look for deeper holes from 15-35’ depending on where you are at and let your fish-finder do the work. This is often times the best time of year to hammer pre-spawn yellows so grab the ultralight outfits with some 4-8lb mono, some jigs, small bucktails, jigging spoons, or the old bottom rig and a blood worm trick. The Magothy and Severn River can be extremely productive barring the right tide and so forth and have also held some great reports before this cold front came in and iced most creeks up. On the lighter side of things crappie fishing has been just as hot in rivers along the lower shore including the Choptank, Nanticoke, and Blackwater river. Similar perch jigs work well along with light hair jigs and small hooks and live minnows on structure. As far as a pickerel bite, this has been one of the best years for anglers in the Severn on record. Numerous reports have come in from anglers across the board doing extremely well throwing spinners mostly (Capt. Berts, Mepps, Rooster Tails, etc.) as well as using minnows and a bobber on drop offs and subsurface structure. As far as a striper bite goes, there are those braving the extreme conditions to catch and release the old striped bass. The standard thought across the board is that these fish will move deep in the winter and for the most part is true, but as water temperatures change and fluctuate so do oxygen levels and bait sources so it can also be difficult to pinpoint a wintering school of stripers. Warm water discharges are usually a great place to throw some jig heads and soft plastics in the wintering months and anglers have been doing so with fair to decent success while obviously some days are better than others. And if none of this cold water angling is your style, then spool reels, kick back, have a cocktail, and relax, spring is coming and all that comes with it so stay ready folks.