THE YACK REPORT…UPPER BAY STRIPER FISHING WINDING DOWN.

It is that time of year again when the majority of Stripers have moved south out of our Upper Bay tributaries. There are some Stripers still holding in the area. The Susky has some resident fish up to 28″ but most are smaller. Last year, these fish stayed until Christmas. The Sassafras and Elk Rivers have schools of Stripers holding on deep channel bends and are following bait movements. These fish can be caught but generally require more effort and patience to catch them. In the cooler water, these fish may only feed an hour a day or less. They are eating larger bait and their metabolisms are slowed down, so it takes longer to digest the last meal. The last few river fish I cleaned had 4″to 6″ White Perch and Gizzard Shad in their Stomachs. Wise fishermen will size their lures accordingly. The best fishermen I know go often and remember what time of tide, time of day and conditions contributed to the good bite. Find similar conditions on another day and you may find another good bite.  Ange Harclerode and I found a few in the Sassafras River last week… only to be skunked in the same area a few days later. Here today, gone tomorrow!

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John Rogers is one of those guys that fishes often and knows how to read the signs that contribute to a good bite. He is a regular at the shop, the other day we were talking and he said “November was pretty good, I fished all but 3 days, of the remaining days only 3 times did I not get my limit”… This is pretty consistent catching and to be done from shore is even more impressive. “November is Truck Fishing month, don’t need to mess with the boat to catch fish”… He has been fishing several bridges, docks with lights and close to  shore structures on his route of Truck Fishing spots. Much of his winter fishing is done at night and by “reading the signs” often only fishes an hour or so to get his limit. Casting small curly tail grubs on skirted jig heads has been very productive. Good catching John!

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Last Monday, Dan Kilroy took Ange and I fishing down the bay. We launched on Kent Island and ran south… and south some more,almost 75 miles round trip! We fished channel edges, structures and warm water discharges, with only a handful of small stripers to show for it. The migration is on and many of our Bay fish have moved south. We both needed one more good bite before it is done… we’re a special kind of sick that way…

We continued our search even farther south Thursday when Ange Harclerode and I rode down to Point Lookout area and fished out of Buzz’s Marina with our friends Mike Henderson, Rich Jenkins, George and Tommy. This is where our bay fish have migrated to… We found good numbers of larger Rockfish while jigging 7″ and 10″ plastics like BKD’s and Bust’em Baits on 1 oz. Jig heads. We caught over 200 Rockfish between 6 anglers, none were under sized, most were mid-twenties while several were over 30″. Great winter fishing!

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Rich with an over 30″ Striper…

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Ange with a good one!

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The crew on the “Dream Maker”… out of Buzz’s Marina, Ridge, Md. give them a call to book your winter fishing adventure! The boat is large and roomy with a nice cabin…From left: Tommy, George, Mike Henderson, Rich Jenkins, Joe Yack, Ange Harclerode… All good anglers the fish didn’t stand a chance! We kept a limit of mid-twenties size fish for the table, the larger fish were released. Save a Breeder! Release the Big Fish! There is still good fishing just a few hours south of us…

If you don’t want to ride 2 hours south to find Stripers, Yellow Perch are feeding heavy in 4 to 12 ft. of water. Look for them on shoreline structures and dying grassbeds. Minnows will catch them but plastics often catch them faster and your hands stay dry. Small tube jigs tipped with Nightcrawlers tied in a double drop shot rig will consistently produce fat Yellow Perch. Blade baits like the Heddon Sonar can be good as well. If you want to learn how to tie the drop shot rig… stop by the shop and I’ll teach you! Yellow Perch fishing can be very good all winter long and eases the effects of cabin fever!

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Hope to see you on the water, some of the best fishing of the year is upon us!

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