Last Week of “Winter” Fishing in the Chesapeake Bay area!
We’ve almost made it through this very mild winter and Mother Nature decided to drop some last minute cold/snow/wet nastiness. Thanks so much Momma Nature! For those of us who are braving the elements, there are plenty of fish to be caught in the Chesapeake Bay. In the last couple weeks we’ve seen the Yellow Perch spawn come and go as well as the White Perch start to make their run at it. We’ve also seen plenty of catch and release Rockfish being caught in various spots throughout the area.
If you’re fishing in the creeks and rivers around the area you may notice long gelatinous strands in the shallows near or on vegetation structure. What you’re seeing is the egg mass that the females have laid. The egg mass is semi buoyant and can reach up to 2 meters in length. The females will lay the egg mass and nearly simultaneously two to five males will follow behind and release their milt over the eggs. The average clutch size is around 20,000 eggs but can range from 10,000-90,000 eggs!
Once the eggs have been laid, the females leave immediately but the males will hang out for a little while (a few days to a week). The eggs will generally hatch in 8-10 days but can take up to 21 days to hatch. Yellow Perch do not travel far in their life time. They will move in and out of deeper water throughout the year but will generally stay in the same area.
Some productive spots on the western shore are the backs of the Severn and Magothy Rivers. On the eastern shore a couple of productive spots are Tuckahoe Creek or Greensboro. To catch them, you’re looking to bounce a jig tipped with either grass shrimp, minnows or blood worms right off the bottom. Shad darts or Capt. Bert’s Perch Candy Jigs are great for this purpose. These fish will be harder to catch right now but patience and persistence go a long way.
It’s that time of year where the Whites are making their spawn run! Popular spots for this to happen are in the backs of the creeks and rivers and a couple that are very productive are the Severn and Magothy Rivers. Female White Perch can lay up to 150,000 eggs at once and several males will fertilize portions of those eggs. These fish are spawning as far back in the rivers and creeks as they can, then they leave. To target them, look for deeper drop-offs around the mouths of the creeks and coves as they transition from those shallower spawning areas to deeper water.
Much like Yellow Perch, small jigs or shad darts work great for catching White Perch. White Perch love to eat fish eggs, grass shrimp, razor clams and blood worms. You can tip your jigs or shad darts with any of these baits as well as Gulp artificial baits. You should target structure, hard bottoms or drop-offs around the creeks and coves in the backs of these rivers.
Trophy season is fast approaching and will be here April 15th! We’ve had several reports that bigger rockfish are being caught and released in various spots in the bay but popular spots right now are the warm water discharges throughout the Bay. Places such as Inner Harbor, Brandon Shores, Chalk Point in the Patuxent and as far South as Calvert Cliffs Power Plant. Jigging 1-2oz. Hard Head jigs with 10″ BKDs are hot right now. We’ve also seen some success doing some light tackle trolling in similar areas.
We’re holding a seminar on March 25th which will cover everything you need to know about planer board trolling for trophy rockfish in a month. We’re going to cover everything from how to rig your planer boards to how to set your spread. Guest speaker Skip Zinck will speak at 3pm and will answer any questions you may have! We’ll also have 20% OFF Scotty Clips (Rigged/Unrigged) & 10% OFF Single Parachute Rigs and Tandem Parachute Rigs!