Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Last week I posted a report of a successful light tackle trolling trip from my kayak in shallow water. Since then, the water temp has dropped enough that most of the stripers I was targeting have moved to deeper locations. During the past week, I trolled twice in the Severn as I moved between creeks and spent two other days trolling in shallow spots in southern MD that had produced well just 3 to 4 weeks earlier. I had no bites trolling in the Severn shallows and none in one of the two southern MD spots. In the other southern MD spot, I caught two stripers in over two hours of trolling.

Based on those results, I am done with shallow water trolling from my kayak until next spring. I will be focusing my attention on casting for pickerel in AA County tidal creeks. This morning I fished in four separate Severn creeks and ponds and caught at least one pickerel in each of them (a total of 7 pickerel). I have found that when an angler works a shoreline in a tidal creek, a subsequent angler will get far fewer bites in the same shoreline stretch for the next hour or so. Today, I saw four kayak anglers during the first 15 mins I was fishing. I kept moving and found a few fish that had not been disturbed earlier today.

All of my pickerel today were caught on a 3/16-oz Trout Eye jighead and a 12 Fathom 3" Fat Sam Mullet paddletail. I was casting with a 6'6" light rod and 2500 series reel, 10-lb braid, and 20-lb fluoro leader. I prefer light or bright colored tails to get their attention. I used this photo in last week's post but show it here again.

Food Yellow Banana Ingredient Bird's eye chili


The lure in the upper right did the work today (I hand colored a clear tail using lime green and red Sharpie). Here is a photo from last year of how I color them. The Sharpie ink blends into the plastic and does not smear.

Office supplies Writing implement Font Pen Material property




When fishing for pickerel, I cast to shoreline areas with overhanging branches, fallen wood, grassy edges, or riprap. Almost all the fish are caught in water depths less than 4 ft. I wind the lure back slowly and vary the speed of the retrieve while adding an occasional twitch. At this time of year, the water temp is in the 50s, and the pickerel are still active. They thump the lure solidly and a few of them go airborne when hooked. When the water cools into the low 40s and 30s later on, the bite will be much less pronounced (often just more weight on the line).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
72 Posts
Last week I posted a report of a successful light tackle trolling trip from my kayak in shallow water. Since then, the water temp has dropped enough that most of the stripers I was targeting have moved to deeper locations. During the past week, I trolled twice in the Severn as I moved between creeks and spent two other days trolling in shallow spots in southern MD that had produced well just 3 to 4 weeks earlier. I had no bites trolling in the Severn shallows and none in one of the two southern MD spots. In the other southern MD spot, I caught two stripers in over two hours of trolling.

Based on those results, I am done with shallow water trolling from my kayak until next spring. I will be focusing my attention on casting for pickerel in AA County tidal creeks. This morning I fished in four separate Severn creeks and ponds and caught at least one pickerel in each of them (a total of 7 pickerel). I have found that when an angler works a shoreline in a tidal creek, a subsequent angler will get far fewer bites in the same shoreline stretch for the next hour or so. Today, I saw four kayak anglers during the first 15 mins I was fishing. I kept moving and found a few fish that had not been disturbed earlier today.

All of my pickerel today were caught on a 3/16-oz Trout Eye jighead and a 12 Fathom 3" Fat Sam Mullet paddletail. I was casting with a 6'6" light rod and 2500 series reel, 10-lb braid, and 20-lb fluoro leader. I prefer light or bright colored tails to get their attention. I used this photo in last week's post but show it here again.

View attachment 280205

The lure in the upper right did the work today (I hand colored a clear tail using lime green and red Sharpie). Here is a photo from last year of how I color them. The Sharpie ink blends into the plastic and does not smear.

View attachment 280206

As a side note, I have a large number of the 3" (shown on right) and 4" (shown on left) Fat Sam Mullet paddletails (the brand that I use almost all the time) that I can sell at roughly half of retail price if anyone is interested. I have clear, off-white, and purple with glitter (I call those the Ravens specials) in the 3" and pearl in the 4". I charge 15 cents each for the 3" and 30 cents each for the 4" (shipping is extra). If anyone is interested, please contact me using the messaging function on this site.

When fishing for pickerel, I cast to shoreline areas with overhanging branches, fallen wood, grassy edges, or riprap. Almost all the fish are caught in water depths less than 4 ft. I wind the lure back slowly and vary the speed of the retrieve while adding an occasional twitch. At this time of year, the water temp is in the 50s, and the pickerel are still active. They thump the lure solidly and a few of them go airborne when hooked. When the water cools into the low 40s and 30s later on, the bite will be much less pronounced (often just more weight on the line).
Thanks for such a great post!😊👍 I was thinking about trolling in the Severn in deep water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What turned you away from pedal drive?
My legs and back are in bad condition. I could no longer pedal comfortably. I owned two Native Watercraft pedal kayaks and have used Hobie pedal kayaks with several guides in Florida. They are great fishing kayaks if you are not uncomfortable. But given my physical constraints, I am much better off using paddle kayaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,843 Posts
Great report John. Keep them coming and ignore the haters. I'm thinking very seriously about getting a yak next spring, and am going to school on your "Fishing the Comfort Zone" book and other resources. I'm leaning towards a peddle yak.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Thanks John! Nicely done! After a two year absence I have three offshore trips in Key Largo planned next week and at least two of them are already blown out. Damn!! I'll go north instead and try to push into the Everglades. Caught my first Red there (10 pounder!) and a few other fish. Still a Snook virgin so maybe get some pullage if I can get out of the wind. My final two jigging forays on the Bay were a bust.
Take care (also a bad back and leg guy; hang in there),
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I recall a number of years back some $hitbird ragging on John for reasons that I still cannot explain. This is a totally positive thread. That's all.
Don, thanks for your concern, but for the most part the members on this board have been friendly and supportive, including those who replied to this thread. Over the years, there have been a few who took some pot shots, but I chose to ignore them rather than react and give them more energy. I am more interested in sharing fishing information than for getting into social media pissing matches.

Kayak fishing is not for everyone, but it is a legitimate way to catch fish. As an example, I have already fished 188 days in 2021, catching 2,558 fish of 58 different species (data are from my fishing data spreadsheet -- more details on that at the end of the year). Most of the days and fish caught were done on kayaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks John! Nicely done! After a two year absence I have three offshore trips in Key Largo planned next week and at least two of them are already blown out. Damn!! I'll go north instead and try to push into the Everglades. Caught my first Red there (10 pounder!) and a few other fish. Still a Snook virgin so maybe get some pullage if I can get out of the wind. My final two jigging forays on the Bay were a bust.
Take care (also a bad back and leg guy; hang in there),
Steve
If you want to catch some south Florida fish from a kayak, let me know. I have used several top notch kayak guides in the Miami and lower Keys area and caught quality fish with them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,476 Posts
You ever think of going electric moter on native with a lite weight dry cell battery. I’m sure you thought of all your options.But reading all your threads and attending your seminars you like to troll. And I also have a native ( love it )but can’t imagine trolling and padding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,314 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You ever think of going electric moter on native with a lite weight dry cell battery. I’m sure you thought of all your options.But reading all your threads and attending your seminars you like to troll. And I also have a native ( love it )but can’t imagine trolling and padding.
For me, kayaks are a simple and easy logistical way to get on the water. In Florida, I have fished with guides who have electric motors on their kayaks. They tow me over longer distances to get to more remote fishing spots. For their guiding businesses, having a motor makes sense. But for me, it would defeat the simplicity of using a kayak. I have no plans to add a motor to my kayaks.

I think fishing from a kayak, where I know I am limited to a smaller geographic range, has forced me to think more carefully about when and where I launch, and how I fish on each trip. That planning effort has made me a better fisherman.

Whether using foot pedals or a paddle, I am using my own power to move the kayak from one spot to the next. I started my kayak trolling about 20 years ago, not as an intentional fishing method, but as a way to keep 1 or 2 lures in the water while I paddled along to a new spot. I caught a few fish, but nothing to brag about. About ten years ago, I tried trolling for stripers on the Susquehanna Flats from my kayak for the first time in late April. I had a very good day. It got me thinking about where I could find similar habitats and conditions closer to home. I studied maps and tried some trolling near the mouth of the Severn. My results were good enough that I began planning dedicated trolling trips. During the past decade, I refined my approach to light tackle, shallow water trolling. Once I figured out where the fish were likely to be, the technique was often very effective. I still often do combo trips in which I cast to shorelines or structure in several different spots, and troll as I move between those spots. It is fun to catch fish using different methods on the same trip.

Two of my fishing books ("Fishing in the Comfort Zone" and "The Way I Like to Fish -- A Kayak Angler's Guide to Shallow Water, Light Tackle Fishing") have sections on how I set up my kayaks for trolling and where I look to find fish. As a heads up, I am planning to offer a package deal on both of those books along with some paddletails during the Thanksgiving to Christmas period. This would be a great Christmas gift for the anglers on your list (or for your own stocking). Stay tuned for details.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Really appreciate this post, John. Bought a kayak last year and my trips this year were very much hit or miss...fished the Severn mostly. Definitely going to check out those books!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I thought the shallows were done for the year after a few tough tries last week, but I have had good luck the past few days. Got out this morning before the wind picked up and caught at least a dozen mid-twenties in 6-10 feet well north of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,296 Posts
I'll never forget the first time I fished the Severn River. January 1972 . Bill Burton had reports of boats catching lots of Pickerel & Yellow perch in the river. I had a friend who fished there every winter in Round Bay but he said all he caught there were Pan Rock and big White Perch all winter. The reports of Pickerel and Yellow Perch were from creeks below there.near the Rte. 2 bridge . We launched from the Severn River Inn right off the Beach . That was a restaurant next to the Severn River Bridge. We had Jon boats and small outboards we could carry to the water. We fished the creeks in that area until we found fish. They were either stacked up in creek fingers or we caught nothing. There were 2 of us in each of the 2 boats. By the end of the day we caught around 50 Pickerel, with the biggest being 31 inches, 6.1 lbs and at least 150 Yellow perch , most over 10 in .with many 12s an a few 14s. They used to sell Jumbo Yellow Perch and Pickerel in the Broadway Fish Market in Baltimore at the time on Eastern Ave & Broadway. The Fish Monger there told me they came from the Severn river. I never had a day that good again for Pickerel and Jumbo Yellow Perch... anywhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,158 Posts
Wonder if the restaurant is still there? We launched from one time. But most time we rented a wooden boat from a guy on the river. We also caught a lot of pickerel and yellow perch with some very good size white perch and some keeper rock fish. The keeper rock were every now and then. not every trip. We got trapped in the snow a few times. Thanks for the memories Nick.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top