Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report
February 15th, 2019
Happy Friday Folks! Over the last week we’ve seen average air temps hover in the low 40º range with Bay water temps averaging in the upper 30º range. Good tidal movement over the last week has fish as active as you’re going to find them in the winter! While metabolisms are slow, these fish still have to eat so be patient and let the fish finder do the work. We’ve seen a good amount of Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Trout, Bass and even a few Snakehead caught this week! With the forecast looking like much of the same, anglers should continue to be productive over the next week.
Yellow perch jigging has been heating up this past week in the Choptank River. Areas from Martinek down river in 15′-25′ holes. Look to use jigs like road runners, shad darts, or simple bottom rigs with live minnow or grass shrimp. Though the water temperature is 38° and metabolisms are very slow, these fish still need to eat and we have had reports of perch over 12” being caught. Yellow Perch are being found in nearly all of the rivers around Annapolis and north all the way up to Conowingo Dam. The hardest part is simply finding the fish to drop on.
Look for deeper holes from 15-30’ 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 have also held some decent fish.
Numerous reports have come in from anglers across the board doing extremely well throwing suspended jerk baits, minnows under a bobber and spinners mostly (Capt. Berts, Mepps, Rooster Tails, etc.) as well as using spoons with minnows around drop offs and subsurface structure.
A few nice fish have been caught in the Severn River recently but it seems as if the Eastern Shore continues to produce numbers and good size. Rivers like the Choptank, Nanticoke, Wicomico and the Severn on the western shore have all been producing nice fish. Look to target submerged structure or drop offs in 2′-6′ of water especially around docks, bends, trees and rocks.
Maryland State DNR has been stocking Trout all over the state for a little over a week now. Areas like the Youghiogheny River in Garrett County received over 2,000 Rainbow/Golden, 1,350 Rainbow/Golden in Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County as well as many more in Calvert Cliffs Pond, Unicorn Branch and the Little Patuxent. For a full list of stocking locations and info, visit the DNR Trout Stocking site.
Put-and-take areas have a five-trout limit and specific spring closures depending on location. Consult the Maryland Guide to Fishing and Crabbing for closure dates and special management area restrictions.
Anglers targeting put and take Trout will have success over the next few weeks. As DNR continues their Trout stocking program, anglers are taking advantage of it right now. Look to use either live bait or lures to catch good numbers of Trout. Small spinner baits like the 1/8th oz Mepps Agila or Worden’s 1/16th – 1/8thoz Roostertails work well. Live bait such as nightcrawlers or wax worms will work well fished on a hook either with a float or weightless. Fly fishing tactics are also fantastic for Trout this time of year. A bead head fly nymph landed quite a few trout in Calvert Cliffs Pond this past week.
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