Friday, October 25, 2013

Pick'n Paper

Shane and I had really been itching to hit the water lately, but we've both been super busy with work and school, respectively. We decided on heading out for a local reconnaissance trip to Weems Creek to see if the Fall/Winter Pickerel bite has heated up with all this cold weather.

Neither of us were really sure what to expect as we haven't targeted pickerel this early in the fall. We hit the water at 1:30pm and fished the falling tide until about 4pm. We used live minnows on a 1/8 oz jig head and fished the ledges, fallen timber and docks.

It wasn't the hottest action, but we both were able to get a little pullage. And we both think that within the next few weeks the bite will really turn on.

Shane started the day off with a fish around 20" that flopped off the hook as he pulled it in the kayak. I followed suit a short while later with a 15.5" fish, that I hooked in about 5 feet of water.

Then.... I got the hit I had been waiting for ever since I caught my 1st pickerel 2 years ago in another Severn River tributary. This was a bite that was much more ferocious than the average 15"-19" that are caught regularly in our local waters. I fought it cautiously as I always fish for pickerel with my Overboard Rod 5' Ultra-lite, the extremely soft tip helps to prevent from setting the hook too hard and pulling it from the fish's mouth. 
As I fought the fish I yelled over to Shane letting him know a big one was hooked!! I saw it surface and knew it would come close to a trophy size fish, so it made me even more nervous getting it to the net. After some patience I netted the fish and brought it aboard. As usual the hook popped as soon as the fish was in the net.
Photo Credit: Shane Clift

24.25" Maryland "Paper" Pickerel!!!
Photo Credit: Shane Clift
I think she's smiling at me!
Got the measurements and took some photos then she was released to be caught again.
This was my highlight for the day, I had one more 16" pickerel at one last stop before I got back to the launch.
Shane ended  up with a few more fish.

Shane with a Weems Creek "Chain"

Smile for the camera.
Oddly there are still some jellyfish in the creek. I would have thought they would be long gone with the colder weather now. Also, there are still a good amount of minnow schools. Once the local minnows dissipate and go wherever they go in the fall and winter, then the pickerel will have less to feed on and we become extremely aggressive. If your looking for a fun type of fishing and a relatively safe trip with this colder weather, then you should plan a day on one of the Severn Tributaries. Weems Creek has its own launch at Tucker St Ramp or you can launch at Jonas Green Park which provides a relatively short paddle to a number of other creeks. I personally like live minnows, they are hard to beat, but pickerel can be caught on an assortment of small artificials (spoons, spinners, grubs, and flukes).

Go Get Em!!

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