Pocomoke River Winter Special

27 01 2017

Why wait until warm weather when the fishing’s hot now. Warm up to February on the Pocomoke and save $50.00 off the regular rate on your next 4 or 6 hour guided trip. Biting now are crappie, pickerel, yellow perch and maybe a stray bass. Fishing license, ultralight G. Loomis spinning rods, Sage fly rods, tackle, ice and bottled water included. I’ll even bring a thermos of Royal Farms coffee. Offer good through the end of February. Don’t miss a fun time! Contact Kevin at 443-783-3271 or kjosenhans@aol.com to reserve your trip. 


Big Chains 

4 03 2016

We’ve been catching some big chain pickerel while casting for crappie and perch on the Pocomoke River. You would think with using the light lines that we do for the panfish those toothy pike would cut us off more often, but they don’t. Seems these cold weather pickerel have a knack at hooking themselves in the corner of their mouth leaving the light monofilament unscathed. A short length of fluorocarbon leader would pretty much seal the deal.  


Pocomoke Slam?

7 02 2016

I guess you could plug in any three species on any body of water and invent your own grand slam. Here on the Pocomoke River, it’s a rare day when we don’t boat a slam of some sort. Of late, it’s been pickerel, crappie and yellow perch. The occasional bluegill and largemouth bass can be added to the mix as well. Later on, white perch and hickory shad might join the crowd. Fishing the Pocomoke is a lot like Forrest Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates, “You never know what you’re gonna get.”  


Pickerel in the Spring – the Old Way

30 08 2015

by Ted Josenhans (Guest Writer)

downloadPicture a cool (cold), sunny day in early March with maybe a slight breeze. Few boats are on the water because summer’s not here yet. You are in an old wooden rowboat about 14 feet long powered by a pair of 7 foot oars. This is basic to early season pickerel fishing of years gone by and probably the most rewarding type of fishing a person can do who is looking for a sizeable fish, quiet, peaceful surroundings and a day of relaxation.IMG_2074

The early pickerel run in the Middle River area was eagerly awaited by many fishermen who by March were suffering from extreme ‘cabin fever’. Fishing for these toothy critters was very basic… 16 or 18 foot bamboo or Calcutta pole, line about two feet longer than the rod, 10 inch float, spreader, two #1 Carlisle hooks with 10 inch ‘snell’ and a pint of ‘bull’ minnows about the size of your index finger. To rig the pole and line was as follows:

– tie the line to the rod about 18 inches from the tip

– run the line to the tip and tie it again

– attach the float to the line

– attach a double end sinker below the float just heavy enough

to make the float stand up in the water, about 1/2 oz.

– put the hooks on the spreader

– hook the hooks in the end of the pole

– tie the line to the spreader with enough tension to bend the

spreader slightly and keep the hooks in the end of the rod.

The purpose of the last step is two-fold, one to make storage easy and keeps the lines from getting tangled, and second it makes the line just the right length for easy handling. If you hook a perch or some other panfish just lifting the rod will swing the fish right to you for easy unhooking.

Lefty and Dad

Lefty and Dad

Most fishermen at that time would rig their boat with the rods spread across the stern of the boat, one in the center and two to either side. With the five rods you had ten baits in the water. The floats would be moved up or down the line according to the depth of the water, I liked to keep the hooks about a foot above the bottom or bottom grasses if any. In the areas I fished the water was from three to six feet deep. Put the minnows on the hooks by passing the hook from under the mouth up through both lips. Don’t hook them too far back in the mouth or you will kill them and too far forward the lips will tear. Practice makes perfect!

After the rods are baited and positioned from the stern of the boat you then just row the boat slowly around the creek close to any structure such as logs or weed-beds and wait for the fish. When you get a bite stop rowing and give the fish time to swallow the bait. Watching the action of the float can give you an idea of what kind of fish is playing around. A pickerel attacks his prey from the side and will sometimes swim around with the minnow in his teeth for several minutes before deciding to take off so the float will just swim around in circles without bobbing very much. A perch will generally make the float dance more and then pull it under rather quickly as he takes the minnow from the head.

When you feel the fish has taken the bait firmly lift the rod to set the hook. If the fish is a pickerel don’t try to lift him out of the water with the rod butFullSizeRender-001 keep tension on the line and slide the rod behind you and pull the fish to the boat with the line. If you don’t have a net just quickly grab the spreader and lift the fish over the side and into the boat. Pickerel have very soft mouths and if you tried to lift them with the rod you would probable lose most of them. Also, most of the spring fish will be about two or more pounds and the rod may break. If the fish is a panfish such as a perch you can just lift them in by raising the rod almost vertical.

Pickerel are, in my estimation, a good-eating fish when pan fried. The reason most people do not eat them is that they are very bony. Many of the bones can be circumvented with a little examination of the fillet. It’s been such a long time since I have eaten one that I have forgotten exactly how the bones are situated in the flesh, but if you check with the tine of a fork it’s easy to see. The most troublesome bones are shaped somewhat like a wishbone, and if you run the tine of the fork lightly through the fillet you can extract almost all with one pass. It’s worth the effort, at least once, to enjoy this good game fish.

Spring pickerel fishing as described above is fishing as it should be; lazy, occasionally tense as when the bobber starts doing tricks, exciting with the hooked fish, disappointment with the lost one and elation with a successful landing. Add it all together and you have the recipe for an enjoyable memory.

Kevin’s Note: For those of you not familiar with my family history, I was born while mom and dad lived in a small house on Hogpen Creek, a tributary to Middle River on the upper Chesapeake. My grandfather and grandmother Josenhans owned a summer waterfront home not too far away in Bauernschmidt Manor, which soon became their permanent residence. We called it, simply, “the Shore.” Needless to say, I spent a good bit of my summers fishing and crabbing the waters of Middle River – “in an old wooden rowboat about 14 feet long powered by a pair of 7 foot oars.”

Happy 84th Birthday Dad! 

Perch and Crappie Dates Open

14 03 2015

Some great perch and crappie fishing is happening right now on both the Pocomoke and Nanticoke rivers. We’re catching good numbers of yellow perch and crappie on the Pocomoke near Snow Hill casting 1/16 ounce crappie jig ‘n minnow combinations. The occasional bass and pickerel will surprise you as well. Plump white perch are available dunking bottom-fished bloodworms on the Nanticoke. I have dates open during the next two weeks for the boat, or walk on’s. Email or call for additional info at kjosenhans@aol.com and 443-783-3271. I need a minimum of three anglers for a walk on. Maximum of four. 

Fun Day on the Pocomoke

10 03 2015

Yesterday, I enjoyed  a warm late winter day wetting a line on the Pocomoke River with three generations of family fishermen, plus one! The Pocomoke Slam – crappie, pickerel & yellow perch – was had by all. It sure was nice to see open water for a change!!

Pocomoke River Short Takes

11 02 2015

Just a few short videos to see which format I like best!


Warm Respite on the Pocomoke

8 02 2015

I decided to do a little fishing on the Pocomoke River this afternoon to see if the water temperature had risen above the 38 degree mark of my previous outing. The cold nights of late had me a little concerned. As if reading my mind, the gauge on my Lowrance HDS 7 quickly told me the water was a frigid 37 degrees, as I proceeded to back the Jones Brothers into the dark river water. Well, as they say, I’m here. And fishing doesn’t have to be catching to be fun. Something I tell my clients, on occasion. As the air temperature was fast approaching the sixty degree mark I pointed the bow south and took off in search of anything with fins.

IMG_4657 As I began to cast a 1/16 ounce crappie jig near the mouth of Nassawango Creek, it wasn’t long before a slight tug at the end of my G.Loomis ultralight signaled that something was indeed moving in the icy depths below. After a brief head-shake or two I was soon greeted by a brightly colored yellow perch of about ten inches. As I went to remove the hook from her upper lip the fish didn’t so much as raise a fin. Perhaps being pulled from water only five degrees from freezing had cooled this creature into a zombie like state, or maybe she was just enjoying the unseasonably warm weather as much as I was. Sorry Mrs. Perch but back you go.

IMG_4669 Much to my relief, and enjoyment, I started to catch fish of other persuasions as well. Crappie, bluegill and two overstuffed pickerel – the largest a whopping 24 inches – all came boat side. As the sun started to touch the cypress tops, and with Canadian geese loudly honking their evening intentions, I decided to head to the ramp after a very successful midwinter afternoon. It’s too bad fish are cold blooded. Except for the couple dozen that greeted me in the boat, the rest missed a beautiful day. Pickerel video

Josenhans Fly Fishing – Winter Fishing

11 12 2013

December thru March will find me fishing for pickerel, perch, crappie and bass on the Pocomoke River of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I have even entered CCA’s 3rd Annual Pickerel Championship. We have some big pickerel swimming the dark waters of the Pocomoke and I hope to catch a few. In addition to a scenic, sheltered fishing locale, you will experience countless numbers of local and migratory shorebirds and wild waterfowl. Contact me for more information on winter fishing this beautiful river.

20131211-123444.jpg CCA 3rd Annual Pickerel Championship

Josenhans Fly Fishing – Crappie R Biting

26 02 2013

IMG_2061For several weeks now, the water temperature of the Pocomoke has been holding steady at around forty-five degrees. This consistency brings with it a usually reliable crappie bite. Yesterday was a case in point, as I landed close to thirty of the speckled perch up to twelve-inches, in a short afternoon while fishing solo. After a slow pick at my first stop I idled the Jones Brothers up to a fallen bald cypress tree and quietly slid the anchor over the stern, so sure I was that there was somebody home. On my very first cast I saw the line twitch, a telltale sign that something had inhaled my 1/16 ounce crappie jig. I set the hook before even feeling the strike and was rewarded with a steady pull, and shortly thereafter, a thrashing twelve-inch crappie at boatside. I quickly released the fish and a second cast brought a similar result. Like submerged Christmas ornaments on a sunken Fraser Fir, the crappie were hanging tight to the dead tree’s underwater branches. Every so often a twenty-inch pickerel would grab the small jig, giving me a battle on the four-pound ultralight G. Loomis spinning rod. As the tide dropped off, so did the catching. Tidewater fishing is funny that way.

Good eating, but more than that, just plain fun to catch!

Good eating, but more than that, just plain fun to catch!

Call me crazy, but pickerel are my favorite Pocomoke River fish.

Call me crazy, but pickerel are my favorite Pocomoke River fish.

Winter pickerel like small baits, too. And they rarely cut the leader if you play them light.

Winter pickerel like small baits, too. And they rarely cut the leader if you play them light.

New cushions and windshield. Jones Brothers does good work!

New cushions and windshield. Jones Brothers does good work!

G.Loomis SJR 700 GL3 - Hands down the best crappie rod on the planet!

G.Loomis SJR 700 GL3 – Hands down the best crappie rod on the planet!