Image: On a foggy, rainy morning Eric Packard caught large mouth bass and pickerel on Smithville Lake using a 1/4 oz paddletail jig.
Pickerel: Winter pickerel fishing is hot in the upper parts of the rivers and the creeks! Try using small spoons with live minnows! When using the minnow, you can just do a very slow retrieve because the minnow will provide the action. With colder water temperatures, this slower pace gives the fish more of a chance to find and bite the bait. Casting and retrieving a small weedless paddle tail will also work well.
Yellow Perch: You will begin to see Yellow Perch higher and higher up in the creeks. The spoon rig with a minnow also works very well for Yellow Perch. Shad dart rigs are also great for perch, along with Vertigo Minnows on a 1/8-1/4 oz jig head.
Trout: Trout fishing is some of the best fishing that you can do this time of year, especially with stocking taking place! Power Bait and Gulp Baits work well, along with dehydrated meal worms, grass shrimp and trout bites.
Rockfish: If you are catch and release fishing rockfish, we are still seeing a lot of success with jigging in the bay. Use 5-7″ jerk shads on 1/2-1 1/2 oz jig heads. There have also been fishing running off shore south from Ocean City toward Assateague!