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Fishing Reports

If fishing can be a feast or famine activity, anglers in the Chesapeake Bay region have been eating high on the hog lately. As is typical with April, all good things happen at once. In the past two weeks, I’ve caught shad, white perch, yellow perch, bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and stripers. Throw in the walleye and snakeheads my friends are catching, and we’re smack in the middle of a virtual smorgasbord of good fishing. The weather has been spotty, but that hasn’t kept too many anglers off the water. Here’s my report:

Yellow Perch:  It’s all but over now, but we enjoyed one of the best March ring-perch runs in recent memory. Neds ran big this year and they were plentiful. They were also a little earlier than usual. That made it nice for those of us who were just about going crazy with cabin fever. Most of my fishing was in the Eastern Shore creeks and rivers. I fished Tuckahoe Creek and the Choptank River from Denton up to Red Bridges park. Some days it was one fish after another and on other days it was slow. Yellow perch can be finicky at times. When they are spawning they typically move up the streams in waves. If you aren’t catching, stick around because chances are another wave will move through and you’ll start getting bites again.  See my earlier post for more information about the yellow perch run.

White Perch:  I thought the white perch spawn might be over until I got a call from my friend Phil Kerchner last week. He was still lighting up the black backs in the creeks near his place at  Wye Mills. I called him last Sunday and we met on the banks of Tuckahoe Creek. It was one pre-spawn white perch after another for a little while. Our best lures were Bust ‘Em Baits stingers and small twister tails rigged in tandem on one-sixteenth-ounce jig heads. As the tide changed, the bite slowed down, but it picked back up before sunset and we took home a very nice stringer. White perch are my favorite fish to eat. I even prefer them over crappie and I think they’re way better than yellow perch. All things in moderation of course, but don’t feel bad about keeping what you want to eat because white perch aren’t threatened and they reproduce prolifically. They will generally hang around the spawning grounds for a little while after they spawn, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we keep catching them in the creeks for a couple of more weeks. After that, they’ll spread out along the shorelines where they can be targeted all summer long.

Shad:  The shad run is in full swing. I’ve fished the Potomac around Fletcher’s Cove and Chain Bridge twice now and found shad in good numbers both times. Joe Yack is reporting shad  in the Susquehanna now as well. The good news is that hickory shad are running big this year. I’ve seen at least two reports of hicks approaching five pounds. Some anglers mistakenly identify bigger hickory shad as white (American) shad because, when they are fully mature, they lose the spots on their shoulders. The key to identifying shad is to look at the lower jaw. If the lower jaw projects beyond the upper one with the mouth closed, it’s a hickory. I typically cast one-quarter or one-eighth ounce shad darts. It pays to experiment when you’re shad fishing because the same colors and techniques that work one day might not work the next. Last week, my fishing buddy Jay Yesker out-fished me by snap-jigging two quarter-ounce darts on eight-pound-test monofilament. (That’s Jay’s boys in the picture.) The fish were taking on the fall. Since my usual spinning rig is eight-pound-test braid with a similar size fluorocarbon leader, I couldn’t duplicate what he was doing because the force of the snap using the stretchless braid would break my leader. You can bet I was rigged with mono the next time I went out, but wouldn’t you know it, on that day the fish wanted a steady fast retrieve! You just don’t know until you go. The shad run should last for several more weeks, so there’s still plenty of time to get in on the action. Read More!

Fishing Reports

“It’s the worst winter ever.” Those words might sound surprising coming from Jamie Clough, a fisherman who has caught more forty-inch-plus rockfish in the last three months than most people will catch in a lifetime, but he’s right. It’s been tough. I’m on record for predicting that 2016 will be the best year in recent history for light-tackle striper casting on the Chesapeake Bay. I’m not taking it back, but after the first three months, I feel like I have some explaining to do.

In past years, January, February, and March have been wide-open for fishing in the warm water discharges of the Patapsco and Potomac Rivers and around the power plants of the Mid-Bay. In February 2014, my fishing partners and I enjoyed the best day I’ve ever heard of, going forty over forty. Yes, that’s forty huge stripers over forty-inches long, all caught in one morning. The fishing was so good we were trying to glue two ten-inch Bass Kandy Delights together so we could pull out the biggest of the big fish. In years like that, you can make a lot of mistakes and still catch fish. While I’ve seen some good days since then, nothing like that happened this year. To catch big fish this winter, we had to pull out all the stops. Read More!

Fishing Reports

The Pope doesn’t call me very often, so when he does, I usually pick up.  “Whas’ up, Kimbro?”  Thank God he wasn’t speaking Latin this time.  “You know I’m gonna be in DC next week, so we’re fishing, right?”

“Yeah, everything’s slow at work what with all the festivities.” I replied. “How about we meet Wednesday morning at Kent Narrows.”

I looked at the wind forecast, and things didn’t look good, but fortunately there wasn’t a breeze stirring when I woke up.  I’ve had some problems with the lights on my boat trailer, but somehow they were working fine as I pulled out of my driveway and headed down Route 50.  I’d overslept a little and I don’t like being late, so I decided not to stop for gas.  When I got to the ramp, the gas gauge was pegged way past full. Read More!

Fishing Reports

Just as predicted, we’re right in the middle of the best summer for light tackle fishing in recent memory. Right now we have thirty-inch-plus stripers in shallow water above the bridge, and hoards of marauding bluefish down south. Here’s what it looks like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV5ns7iusmc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpZhTSas81A

Fishing Reports

If you haven’t already, subscribe to my  YouTube channel to get my latest videos. Also don’t forget, a lot of  my recent Internet activity has been via social networks, especially Facebook (@Shawn.Kimbro), Twitter (@ShawnKimbro) and Instagram (@Shawn_Kimbro). It’s very easy to get a message out via these outlets and I can very quickly post fishing pictures and short reports. If you haven’t already, please look me up! Here are some recent videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENQ9HnR1zP0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZq58gV-rDE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsmRZwL3Ix8

Fishing Reports

“Swish!”

“Swish!”

“What’s that sound?” I kept fishing, pretending not to notice the conversation in the back of the boat. Hank DiNardo had been nice enough to invite me out on his Southport 28TE to fish Eastern Bay. I hadn’t fished with Hank before and he wasn’t familiar with my quick-snap style of jigging. The fish finder told us there was fish around the boat, but they weren’t biting. I was up on the bow using every strike trigger I knew, including snapping my jig for all I was worth.

From the back I heard my regular fishing partner, Jamie Clough explaining, “That’s just the way Kimbro jigs sometimes.”

Indeed. That was seven years ago and since then I’ve earned something of a reputation for my energetic, somewhat spastic jigging style. When fishing is tough, you’ll frequently hear my rod tip cutting through the air as I snap my soft plastic jigs off the bottom. It’s a technique that’s been both mocked and revered with the biggest detractors being a couple of local guys who thought they already had it all figured out and the strongest proponents being newcomers to the Chesapeake Bay light tackle game who just want to catch more fish.

Why snap jigging? Read More!

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