Cover Image: Anglers Employees Jimmy and Mike found a hot pickerel bite on both the Severn River, and over on the Eastern Shore!

Rockfish: If you’re willing to make the trip and brave the cold, the lower bay is still producing outstanding catch and release striped bass fishing. Big fish up to 50 inches, along with plenty of upper twenty and thirty inch fish, can still be caught from Chesapeake Beach down into Virginia waters. Fish are in very deep water, typically from 40 to 60 or even 70 feet. Your best bet will be to look for either birds, or marks on your fish finder and jig for them, although trolling and live eels can work too. For jigging, you’ll want to use at least a 1 oz jig head to get down into deep water, and bigger baits such as 10″ BKDs, 7 or 8 inch Zman Streakz XLs or Bust ‘Em Baits Fat Boys. Closer to our Annapolis area, there are definitely still fish at the Bay Bridge pilings or in the Patapsco near the Key Bridge. You can jig for them the same way that you would in the southern bay. The size and numbers of fish won’t be quite as impressive, but it could still make for a fun day of catch and release fishing!

Pickerel: The challenge with pickerel this week has been that the eastern shore ponds that are typically so productive are iced over! So, we’re headed into the rivers instead where we still have some moving water! Both eastern shore and western shore rivers are producing. Try the Magothy, Severn, Patapsco, Upper Choptank or Tuckahoe Creek, or if you are willing to make the trip, head down to the Pocomoke! Live minnows work very well in these cold water temperatures, as does slowly working a jerk bait or a paddletail.

Perch: There are numerous reports of both white perch and yellow perch being caught in the upper Magothy, Choptank and Tuckahoe Creek, as well as up around Havre De Grace. This is a great time of year to fish a minnow under a bobber or on a shad dart, or try small feather jigs! Preserved meal worms or wax worms are also a highly underrated bait for perch this time of year!

Catfish: If you are looking for something fun to do while staying local, catfish are the way to go! You can catch them from shore in any of the western shore rivers right now! We have freshly frozen alewife in stock which works great for catfish. You can also use powerbait catfish bait!