If there ever was a fishing winter wonderland it would be on the Upper Chesapeake Bay in Joppatowne, MD. At a time when most boats are all snuggled in the garage or living under the confines of their strapped down tarps for the winter, Jerry Sersen's boat has been seeing daylight on a regular basis. Of course it has been a mild winter (so far), but Jerry says that has been holding the perch bite back a bit. “The colder water is better when catching yellow perch”, says Jerry, “and this year it is taking a little longer to get things going with the warmer than normal temperatures. But the water temperatures are starting to settle down to where they normally are and I expect the Yellow Perch bite will be on fire real soon. In fact next week I'll be up at the Susquehanna River where I've had times of catching up to 200 perch in a single day.”
You don't need a big boat or lots of horsepower. In this cold weather you'll only use idle speeds. Just make sure you have good protection, especially on those windy days. Here is Jerry's latest report from Joppatowne:
Crappie are taking small plastics on a 1/16 oz. jig head suspended under a float. Mainly fish under the shady side of the docks and you must keep moving until you find them. There are a lot of docks for them to hide around, also fishing pressure and baitfish movement keep them on the move.
Yellow perch are schooling up in the deeper areas along the canals. I'm using a double jig rig to catch these tasty table fare. Tie a drop loop about 18" from the end of your line. Snip one side of the loop to create a 4 to 6" drop line. Tie a 1/32 oz jig head on this line and a 1/16 oz. on the other end of your line. Tip these jigs with Pan-Assassins (natural colors) seem to be best.
Bass are eating 3" grubs on 1/16 oz. Jig heads, of course with larger hooks. Charlie Brewer Slider Heads are what I use. Smoke and green-pumpkin colors are working best for me. I have caught several bass fishing the other methods mentioned above.