Tidal pickerel in the Severn and even in the upper Magothy have been scarce since last fall. Their absence in those rivers has continued for me through the winter and so far this spring. Some speculate that increased salinity in those rivers has been the problem but no one knows for sure. If that has been the cause, today’s rain may help.
The pickerel bite in Eastern Shore ponds has been better. In particular, check out Unicorn Lake and Smithville Lake.
Otherwise, the hints offered by Drew were good. It’s basically bass fishing the edges and structure in shallow water. You don’t need a $15 crankbait however. A 1/8 oz, jig and 3 inch Mr. Twister or paddletail is a simple and effective lure. Various kinds of jig spinners also work. Clouser minnows and bullet head darters are good flies for pickerels if you’re a fly angler. They’ll also hit poppers on the fly and on conventional tackle as the water warms in late spring.
They will indeed bite crankbaits, especially those that suspend. But I've found that they can throw a crankbait with treble hooks back at you. I have better hookups on
pickerels with single hooked lures.
Despite their fierce looks they can bite subtly. They will usually hit a surface lure aggressively but for other lures they are sometimes triggered to bite when you pause your retrieve. You may not even feel them bite but you'll know they're on your line when you resume your retrieve.
Olive Hobie Revo 13
Hidden Oak Native Ultimate 12
Author: The Simple Joys of Kayak Fishing (Tips and Tales From an Old Guy in His Plastic Boat)
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