Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report – February 20th, 2017
February is typically a month where things are slow going in the outdoor world. Hunters are wrapping up their seasons, and anglers are just getting ready for theirs. Fortunately for anglers in Maryland, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been working with Trout production facilities to stock the put and take trout management waters all over the state. This has given anglers nice trout fishing opportunities as part of the pre-season stocking program. If you want to know the complete stocking schedule you can find that info here. For those braving the elements, fishing the past couple weeks has been pretty decent. We’ve had good reports that the Yellows have been biting as well as the White Perch and the Pickerel bite is still going strong.
Yellow Perch have been going strong the past couple weeks in the rivers and creeks of the tidal Chesapeake Bay. Anglers on the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay have been finding success in the backs of rivers such as the Magothy, Severn and the South River. On the eastern shore, places such as Millsboro, Tuckahoe Creek and Wye River have been hot for Yellow Perch. With water temps in the mid to low 40s we aren’t looking at a full blown spawn quite yet but we’re close. We believe the spawn is happening in stages all across the bay.What are we using to catch these Perch? You can never go wrong with a few hot skirt jigs, shad darts, tony spoons and either grass shrimp, minnows or blood worms tipped on any of those lures. We’re using ultra-light tackle now with 2-6lb mono and light tackle set-ups. These fish can be found in 4-15′ of water holding close to structure or hard bottoms. Right now you’ll find quite a few males staging for spawn with a few larger females mixed in. Alex Perez shows off a nice 14.5″ Ned from this past weekend!
There have been some early white perch showing up in a few places over the last week. We’ve heard reports that they’re being caught in deeper waters (40-60′) in the southern parts of the bay but we’re also catching them in some of the rivers like the Magothy and Chester in much shallower water. Trick is, finding them! One thing we always like to do to help find the fish is use either a shad dart, spoon or jig tipped with grass shrimp. Grass shrimp always provide great bite numbers, with minnows bringing the size. Another popular technique is with bottom rigs weighted with either a 1-2oz pyramid sinker using any of the live bait we’ve talked about.The White Perch bite is somewhat slow now but we look for it to pick up greatly over the next couple of weeks. Look for the warmer weather we’re expecting to keep the water temps holding in the mid 40s and possibly get up to the low 50º range. Generally speaking, that is the temperature range we look for the greatest amount of spawning activity to occur. Good things to come! Alex got into a few white perch this past weekend!
Here at Anglers we strive to bring you the most tried and true local fishing knowledge. We love to share tips and tricks so that you catch more fish. We are holding a few Spring Seminars in the next couple months as we prepare for Trophy Rockfish season. The first is our Yellow Perch Seminar this Saturday February 25th from 3-6pm. We are having a sale on all Perch combos as well as lures which runs from 3-6pm. The seminar features guest speaker Gregg Avedon as well as Pro Staffers Mike Ebersberger and Alex Perez. We will be covering everything you need to know to catch more Yellow Perch including; locations, rigs, lures, techniques, etc. We look forward to seeing you there and tight lines!