THE YACK REPORT… SUSQUEHANNA FLATS ROCKFISH

This week the Good fishing in the upper bay continued with Striped Bass fishing taking the forefront but White Perch and Hickory Shad also made a showing this week. Herring continue to fill up the creeks and the White Perch are right behind them. Usually within a week or so after the Herring arrive the White Perch will take up residence in the creek. Perch fishing is holding up well in the Tuckahoe, Choptank and Chester Rivers. On warmer days Hickory Shad have been caught in the rivers including the Susky. My attention has been drawn to the Susquehanna Flats where a slug of big migratory Stripers have moved into the area. I fished the Flats on Monday (03-27-17) with Dan Kilroy and Ange Harclerode. We arrived on the flats to find cold and clear 42 degree water. We searched in a methodical fashion looking for warmer water. The warmest water we could find was 45 degrees on this cool cloudy day.  Six hours into the trip we had no fish, we were starting to get desperate to catch a Rockfish. The about 4 pm the sun came out water temperatures soared to over 50 degrees and the bite turned on! We caught fast on school size fish for about an hour until the tide quit moving. Sometimes, you have to wait until conditions are favorable for the fish to feed. Persistence Pays off!Flats rock 1On Tuesday, I fished the river for Walleye and came up empty. I did catch and release this nice 32″ fish caught on a Bust’em Baits Jerk bait and 1/8 oz. jig- head. When wading it is easy to be good to the fish! It never has to leave the water or be dragged up on shore.

Maryland DNR officers are vigorously enforcing the “Catch and Release” regulations to the letter of the law. The prudent Angler will learn the regulations and treat the Rockfish very gently.  If you catch a Rockfish “Do not take it out of the water”… “Unhook it and release the fish without any other delay”… People have received tickets holding the fish up to the camera for extended periods or passing the fish around for pictures. Dropping the fish in the bottom of the boat or on the beach can damage the fish… It is best to just unhook it in the water and release it quickly. In the upper bay this year, the style of picture taking will be much different than in years past. More shots like these will be seen. These are legal ways to photograph that “Catch and release” Striper. The fine for failing to immediately release the fish is $250 Bucks!

Thursday I returned to the flats with my friends Ron Buffinton and Ange Harclerode. We launched at noon and began the search for warm water and stripers. My friend Lisa Doricchi gave me some Intel and soon we were on the fish and catching fast! We caught well over a hundred Stripers by “snap jigging” 7″ Zoom’s  and BKD’s  in both 6″ and 10″ size. We also caught several on X-RAPS, and other large swimming plugs. The largest fish of the day both came on 10″ BKD’s and were about 30 inches or so. The search continues for the large migratory fish. They are here now but not for long!

Next week I’ll continue the chase for Migratory Rockfish, Walleye, White Perch and Hickory Shad… This Rain we are getting may effect some streams more than others. Water conditions will dictate where I fish next week. The Cleanest water will see my lures! We are blessed to have so many great fishing opportunities in the Upper Bay area! The fish are here go catch’em up!

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