Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everything was perfect: the water was clear, the sun was out (partly), the temp was ok, the tide was incoming, the new under amour gloves were warm and dexterous.....except someone forgot to tell the fish. My daughter and I didn't get a thing yesterday afternoon and it wasn't for want of effort. Even the minnow under a bobber didn't get touched, which is almost never the case, so either the fish weren't there or they weren't feeding. I spoke with another guy who is about as knowledgeable an upper-Severn fly guy as exists, and he also got skunked (although he did very well on Saturday). I guess that's why it's called fishing and not catching. (Cliché alert.) My daughter finally gave up and built a fort. At least the Thanksgiving meal, part III, tasted really good after a couple hours on the hunt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,017 Posts
Fort building sounds fun...can't wait till Ryan is old enough. I've got some good fort ideas stored up from the last 20 years!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
Goose, I feel your pain. There are a number of spots that are my go-to spots that have not produced anything thus far. I have found others, however, that have been holding fish on a regular basis.

As I've said before, I haven't fished for pickerel during this time of year. I normally wait until tournament time to begin, so I don't know if my go-to spots ever held fish during this time period.

I have also had most of my success in mid to late February, so don't give up hope and don't try to overanalyze every fishing factor in your area. As you said, they're either there or they're not. Let's wait and see what the future holds in these areas, remembering the conditions or environmental factors, and then reevaluate...after we hopefully catch some big fat fish. :D
 

·
Tidal Fish Subscriber - I support TidalFish.com
Joined
·
693 Posts
Gentlemen--

I've had a bunch of pickerel theories over the years, and the only one that holds up long-term is that when I think I have them figured out, they leave or get lockjaw and hide. With that fact in mind, I try to hang on to the history and remember every place and bait that has worked, like a 4" green/chartreuse Fin-S tail on a 1/16-oz. head (deadly in the late '90's) or even a 2" bull minnow on a shad dart.

One factor in the problem is that the river varies from year to year, especially w/respect to rainfall, which I think affects them. Some of the creeks have longer, more natural, wooded watersheds than others. Those have the most consistent freshwater flows in dry years (which this has been, except for May). I also believe that the fish tend to spend time foraging over what's left of main-river grass beds through the first of the year, before retreating to coves and creeks, especially those with docks and fallen trees, for the the coldest months. The sun also plays a role, as Greg has noted. In the afternoon on a sunny day, a shallow, south-facing cove with dark mud bottom can be several degrees warmer. Carry a thermometer and check.

With that said, I've seen times when five proven spots drew a blank, but the sixth had two-dozen fish holed up and eating. The closest thing to a sure bet, to my mind, is to have a reasonably quick boat (like an older Whaler, not one of those metalflake things that scare fish) and all day to fish.

Unfortunately, the second commodity is the most limited for most of us, so we have to take what we can get. The good side is that sooner or later, we'll find 'em, and in the meantime, there are worse things to be stuck with than watching tundra swans, buffleheads, and eagles on our river.

A cold kept me off the river this week, but I've got plans for next weekend. Hope you do too.

Best, JPW
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,227 Posts
A diver I know :D says to fish where you caught fish in summer.Most likely there are seepage/springs there.The water was slightly cooler in summer- now it will be slightly warmer :yes:.

Go out with a camera when the river ices over and take shots of the small open areas - often where ducks/geese are.Most likely a spring is there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,563 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting theory on the springs.

I figure that I'll never have enough time to completely figure out Pickerel, let alone the entire Severn or the Bay. And I prefer it that way. The unknown is what brings us back and the skunk days are what make the catch days rewarding.

The fort turned out ok...not Little Rascals quality, but close enough.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,227 Posts
Pike will drive you nuts.I have casted a full tackle box over them without so much as a fin twitch.Then for some strange reason- they go on a feeding frenzy.

They are a cool fish - if you really want to have fun-try an orange/black /gold Rapala about 4 inches long-but take off the hooks.In late Febuary/early March after the ice melts -the Pike cruise the shallows.You can cast a hookless Rapala right onto the sand and fish it in the tress/grass.The strikes are awesome plus the fish are not hurt.Your plug will be toast by the end of the day though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
424 Posts
if you really want to have fun-try an orange/black /gold Rapala about 4 inches long-but take off the hooks.
Yeah, especially between January 1st and February 29th.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Me Too! Went for the first time in a while and usually pick up a few fish, but got nothing. It probably has something to do with the water temp. change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
I have not "travelled", but have fished from the dock a few minutes here, a few there.
2 years ago that produced multiple pickeral almost any day I went.
so far this year - very little action.
Had one on a fly last saturday afternoon in the snow shower, - took the fly on its third pass about 10 feet away, and spit the hook just befor the leader was in the guides. Something seems right about fly fishing in the snow however.

Dave
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top