Cover Image: Left: Bob Bruns and LJ of G-Eye Jigs found non-stop action jigging metals out of Point Lookout! Right: Eric Lyttle caught this 28” Rockfish in 60-70 ft of water jigging metals fishing near Chesapeake beach.

Rockfish: While the season for Rockfish (striped bass) actually closes today in terms of keeping fish, you are still allowed to responsibly catch and release and there is tons of action out there! Anywhere from the channel edges off of Chesapeake Beach down to Point Lookout and even into Virginia waters if you’re willing to make the run, is the area that you will want to target. If trailering your boat is an option, launching out of Breezy Point or Point Lookout State Park would be the way to go. On the Eastern Shore side we have also heard good reports from the mouth of the Choptank and Honga Rivers. While there are still some reports of fish at the bridge and north, the water has cooled off significantly and most of the fish have moved south. Fish are often in very deep water now, from 60-70 feet. Look for ledges, drop off or underwater structure in those depth of water, and watch your fish finder! We’re getting reports of fish stacked up from just below the boat the whole way down to the bottom! Heavier jig heads with plastics will work, but metal jigs have really been performing the best! Trolling in the same areas in also an option, you will need inline sinkers to get those some of the lures in your spread down deep, but be sure to vary the depths on some of your rods since fish are being marked throughout the water column. Alternatively, we have also heard that live eels are doing quite well, especially in Virginia waters. As for shore fishing, there are still some 20+ inch rockfish being caught at Sandy Point using shrimp or alewife, but it might be a good idea to make the trip down to the piers at Breezy Point or Point Lookout to get to those bigger fish!

Pickerel: Pickerel fishing continues to be great in the Severn, Magothy and the Patapsco, and especially in Eastern Shore mill ponds such as Johnson Pond or Unicorn Lake. Use jerk baits, paddletails and live minnows. Typically, you will want to cast towards shoreline and structure such as downed trees and docks, however in those mill ponds, don’t be surprised if you catch fish in the middle of the ponds too! It’s not too late to sign up for the CCA pickerel tournament which runs through February, click here! 

Perch: White Perch are in deep water in the main bay, the mouths of the rivers and areas like Matapeake and Kent Narrows. They can be caught with metal jigs or Chesapeake Sabiki rigs tipped with bloodworm, nightcrawler, shrimp or squid! If you put some squid on there, you just might catch a small black sea bass or flounder! Yellow Perch on the other hand, are starting to be found in the creeks using live minnows or small stingers on a little jig head!

Crappie: Crappie are being caught in the tidal creeks and mill ponds on the Eastern Shore as well! You can use small stingers or minnows. Fishing around piers or bridges is a good thing to try!

Large Mouth Bass: There are actually a lot of nice large mouth being caught in both western shore and Eastern Shore ponds! Try jerk baits or paddletails!