Josenhans FF ~ Pocomoke Bass Surprise!

19 02 2011

Jack McHale with his three pound bass

Having just completed four straight days of fishing the Pocomoke River we had another first for my Jones Brothers;  the very first largemouth bass to come aboard my JB. I haven’t fished for bass in quite a few years, as the saltwater scene has kept me busy, and I have to tell you it was a pleasant surprise. While casting small jigs for perch, crappie and the occasional pickerel, we had five bass on Tuesday and three more on Wednesday. The largest was caught by Jack McHale on Wednesday morning and was probably pushing three pounds. The water was so cold (43 degrees) that, try as they might, the bass just couldn’t give us that classic, explosive head-shake. Fun never-the-less!

Pocomoke bass on ultra-light

Pickerel were also present with fish to four pounds, though not in the numbers I had hoped for. I think we boated four on Wednesday and three more Thursday; the largest being a twenty-four inch brute. Yellow perch catches have declined of late. The fish we are catching are good-sized, and beautiful in coloration, but the larger schools of previous weeks have not materialized; at least not for me. I believe the perch to be fast making their way upstream for the spring spawn.

Donna Corddry with a nice yellow perch

Thursday’s trip with Dave and Donna Corddry gave us beautiful late winter weather, but relatively slow fishing. Donna did manage two bright spots on the day with a feisty twenty-three inch pickerel and a gorgeous twelve-inch yellow perch.  While Dave and Donna prospected for fish, they were kept company by bald eagles, blue heron, various ducks and geese. On Friday I fished with George Lenard of Specialized Baits. We quickly discovered that pickerel and perch fishing had dropped off even more. On the bright side, we found a nice school of crappie that were eager to please. We had fairly steady action during the last hour of the ebb tide. Crappie are becoming more active as the water temperature climbs – it reached 50 in spots on Friday – and small 1/8 ounce crappie jigs rigged with a two-inch twister tail did the trick.

Donna's very first pickerel

When the bite is on, this is ultra-light fishing at it’s finest. Catching a four-pound pickerel or three-pound bass on a five or six-foot light-action rod is just plain fun. My favorite outfit is a light spinning rod G. Loomis makes (SJR700) that measures 5’10”   balanced with a Shimano Stradic 1000 reel. Loaded with four pound mono (sorry, I’m old school and don’t care for braid on my ultra-lights), this rod casts small crappie jigs like a dream. Another week or two on the Pocomoke then I’ll be switching gears and moving on to the Nanticoke River for the annual white perch run. I can taste the crispy fillets now! Until then, good fishing!


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