Maryland Fishing Report
March 15th, 2019
Yellow / White Perch
With the start of Spring officially less than a week away, the Yellow Perch spawn is in full swing! Main bay water temps continue to hover in the low to mid 40º range but you’ll find some of the shallower creeks and rivers in the area are in the upper 40º range. With the magic number at 46º for the spawn, the majority of the fish being caught on the eastern shore are spawned out males, with a few larger females being caught. We’ve seen some that haven’t spawned yet but the majority have and are working their way back to deeper water.
Top & Bottom rigs with Grass Shrimp, Bloodworms, Nightcrawlers or Minnows will all work for catching Perch. You can also catch them with Shad Darts tipped with either Minnows or Grass Shrimp and bounced off the bottom near structure in shallower water.
We’re thinking we have about another solid week of Yellow Perch fishing in this general area and we’ll start to see them thin out. The White Perch are currently running thick in a few areas. You can use pretty much the same baits as you would to target Yellow Perch with bloodworms being the most consistent bait.
Fishing for crappie continues to be hot this week. Anglers are having success in both fresh and tidal waters, locating most of these fish in deeper pockets. Look to target them in deeper water holding close to structure like submerged brush, docks or pilings.
Using either live or artificial bait will work for catching crappie right now. Probably the most effective way to catch them is with live minnows lip hooked to a light jig under a slip bobber. This will allow the bait to get down and suspend in those deeper holes while still allowing you to cast. Artificial baits like beetle spins, mepps spinners or tandem jigs with Bust’em stingers will also work!
Anglers are having good success finding pickerel in many of the same areas you’re finding perch. Local creeks and rivers in 6′ or less of water near structure are the prime areas to target, especially near submerged or fallen trees.
Some of the better baits or lures to use are lipless crank baits. A couple that work well are the traditional 1/2oz. Rat-L-Trap in Silver/Black Back or the Johnson Thinfisher Bladebait in either Chartreuse or Silver. Anglers fishing minnows under a bobber are having great success.
Not a whole lot new as far as Rockfish are concerned this week. We have had some reports of anglers catching decent sized fish from shore in some of the local rivers. Jigs with larger soft plastic trailers worked slowly near the bottom with a steady retrieve and a few light pops jigging action seemed to do the trick.
Some of the hotter spots this week were the mouths of the rivers like the Magothy, Severn and Chester. The majority of the fish were caught in less than 15′ of water early in the morning with water temps in the low to mid 40º range.
Anglers pre-season trolling in this area (From Sandy Point up to the Patapsco) along the channel edges have picked up a few fish but nothing major. Most fish caught are in the 20″-30″ range.
Make sure you’re catch & releasing as well as fishing in the right areas. To make sure you’re in the right area, check out the new Maryland DNR regulation map here.
The majority of Largemouth Bass are being caught on slow moving baits near the bottom in deeper water. With a warming trend in the near future, look to find them moving into shallow water during the warmer days.
Your best bet to hook up with some Bass is to fish live bait like minnows or worms on either a drop shot or Carolina rig.
Jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and spinners worked through transition points from deep to shallow water with good structure are a great way to target Bass during these early spring days.
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