Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report for December 31st, 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve! Fishing the Chesapeake Bay over the last few weeks has been pretty good overall. When the weather has cooperated, there have been plenty of fish to catch. We are seeing plenty of Yellow Perch, Pickerel, Crappie and even some Rockfish in 40-45º water at varying depths. In the Chesapeake Bay you’re going to find fish in deeper holes on hard/shell bottom and in/around structure. In the surrounding Rivers you’re going to find them in/around structure and near stream mouths in 2-10′ of water.

Here is a video of Pro Staffer Alex Perez and Captain James Avedon talking about their success over the last couple weeks:


As is with most types of fishing in the winter the key here is to SLOW DOWN. Fish are prepping for the winter and with colder water temps, they are not going to be as aggressive as they are in the spring/summer/fall but they are still going to eat!

Yellow Perch

You are going to find Yellow Perch in various parts of the Chesapeake Bay as well as the rivers leading into it. In the Bay, you want to target deeper holes with hard/shell bottom. In the Rivers, you want to target them in/around structure in anywhere from 2-12′ of water. Yellow Perch don’t migrate so they are here year round for you to enjoy! To catch them, try using a 1/16th size Min-O-Spoon made by Johnson. Tip the lure with either a piece of blood worm, grass shrimp or a minnow. You will catch more fish with grass shrimp but size is most likely coming from the minnow. Another productive bait is a #12 Tony Spoon tipped the same way as the Min-O-Spoon with either Blood Worms, Grass Shrimp or a Minnow. For deeper jigging, try using a 1/4oz Johnson ThinFisher in 12-25′ of water.

Winter lures for catching Yellow Perch, Pickerel and Rockfish

Fantastic Lures for winter fishing for Yellow Perch, Pickerel and even Striped Bass


When you’re looking to catch some Pickerel, you’re going to want to bump up your set-up a bit from the ultra-light set-up that is great for Yellow Perch. Use 8-15lb mono or flurocarbon line with a little bigger baits in the 2-6″ range. You aren’t going to find Pickerel in very deep water. They are usually in the 2-10′ range looking for schooling Perch.