Hot Fishing in Cold Weather
The first week of December has been one of the best weeks of fishing all year! We’ve seen big fish caught in numbers all over the Bay. If you haven’t winterized your boat yet, we would suggest you get out over the next few days and try your hand at landing a giant. Although Jack Frost is knocking on the door, fishing has been hot all week.
Jigging the Bay this past week has been very productive. Once you locate the fish, it seems as if jigging has been the best way to land a fish of a lifetime. A good majority of the better class of fish has been further south in the Bay. The area from Solomons Island south to the VA state line seemed to have the most concentrated population of Rockfish. Anglers were able to find breaking fish and bombing birds and really land some giants on light tackle. Even though good concentrations of fish were found further south in the Bay, a few anglers had one of the best days on the Bay just south of the Bay Bridge. Shawn Kimbro, author of “The Right Stuff” and “Chesapeake Light Tackle” and a few of his friends caught several 45″+ rockfish jigging just south of the Bay Bridge. Kimbro is a local legend and knows more about fishing in this area than most. You can learn more about him, his books and his adventures by heading over to his site, ChesapeakeLightTackle.com
Some of the better jiggin’ lures to use this week seemed to be 1.5oz-2oz. jigs with skirts and 7″-10″ soft plastic trailers. Other good jigs to try are the epoxy jigs, lil’ bunker 2.0oz metal jigs and even metal spoons like a Hopkins spoon. It seemed as if the heavier the jig, the better the success as the majority of the larger fish were near the bottom. Cort Gardner shows off a 33lb fish he landed that had a 16″ Rockfish in it’s belly! Mr. Gardner caught this fish on a Hopkins spooon just south of Thomas Point in 35′ of water.
Because these fish are on the move, trolling seemed to be the most effective way to find them quickly over the past week. Anglers trolling 9″ parachutes and size 17 spoons either behind umbrellas or in tandem had great success. Areas like just south of Thomas Point, the mouth of the Eastern Bay and near buoy 72A were all productive areas. Trolling in 40′-60′ of water with baits at varying depths from 25′-down to the bottom was the winning ticket. This is especially true for Jason Zagalsky, captian of Rockin’ Robin, who won TWO tournaments this week! With his crew made up of his two sons & others, they managed to pull in a 31″ to win the CBangler and a 47″ to win the Norm tournament! Congrats to you guys!
Fishing live bait this week was pretty much the same as the last couple weeks. Live-lining eel, fishing frozen LY or Spot or White Perch on the bottom near deep drops or bridge pilings was very productive. Anglers fishing from shore did relatively well landing lots of throw-backs, just not great numbers of keepers. Sandy Point, Kent Narrows, Matapeake and Romancoke were all pretty good with special emphasis on the Narrows as that area produced a ton of numbers.
Pickerel, Perch & Largemouth Bass
Heading into the creeks and rivers, anglers are having good success landing Pickerel in numbers and a few quality Perch mixed in. Focusing on submerged structure in 5′-10′ of water is the best place to start. You’ll want to find areas where fish have a quick path to deep water as this is where they’ll school up. Good lures to have in your tackle box would be a #3 Mepps Spinner, VMC Hot Skirt 1/16th jigs and smaller Rattle Traps. These are all versatile lures that catch a variety of species in this area. One other thing you may want to bring is a pint of minnows. Nothing can resist a shad dart tipped with a big ol’ juicy bull head minnow!
Share your catch!
We’d love to share what you catch! Send your photos with some basic info (your name, location, bait/technique) and any other info you’d like to share to [email protected] By sending your images you are giving us permission to use them online. If there are any children under 18 we need their parents permission before posting any images online!