Annual Yellow Perch Run Is Looking Good
02/23/2012 | Posted by jdavidsburgTags: Yellow Perch, Recreational, Fishing Reports
Perryville, Md. (February 23, 2012) – The recreational yellow perch fishing season for shoreline anglers is heating up thanks to the mild winter weather and an increased fish population. So far, it looks as though there will be great recreational fishing to come.
“The current abundance of yellow perch is largely a result of stakeholders working together with DNR to develop a prudent management plan,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Director Tom O’Connell. “We have a great fishery that provides delicious fare for Maryland tables while offering excellent fishing for families, especially our young anglers who are ready for a break from cabin fever.”
The yellow perch population and recreational fishing has enjoyed resurgence in the last few years due to management changes forged with recreational fishing groups, commercial watermen and fisheries managers at the DNR. Surveys conducted on yellow perch by the Department in 2009 and 2011 show robust reproduction results, indicating the potential for a high-quality, recreational and sustainable commercial fishery to continue.
In a February 3 post to the DNR Angler’s Log, Mike Dunlap and his boys Tyler, 2 and Aiden, 5 from Chestertown, reported steady action with four plump perch caught from the Sassafras River in less than an hour. According to Dunlap, the hot ticket was a one-eighth ounce jig head tipped with a yellow plastic grub.
“The nice weather was a perfect reason to get out of the house, and more importantly, get the kids out. A day of fishing and catching in February is definitely a day to remember,” he said.
This time of year, anglers will find yellow perch in 10- to 30- foot depths in many rivers of the Bay where the fish prepare for their epic spawning run. Anglers are currently enjoying spectacular fishing for yellow perch in several locations, including the channel edge off the Logan's Wharf condominiums at Perryville on the Susquehanna River, Northeast River, Nanjemoy Creek and the deep holes in the Chester River near Crumpton.
Yellow Perch will begin moving from the deeper staging areas to the shallow waters as the weather warms, giving shoreline anglers their best opportunities. The first locations to kick-off will likely be the southern hot spots. The action will then quickly move north. Anglers can find their local hotspot at these websites:
Eastern Shore Hotspots - dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/fishingreport/ypercheast.html
Western Shore Hot Spots - dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/fishingreport/yperchwest.html
Yellow perch fishing is open year round with a nine- inch minimum size and 10 fish per day limit in tidal waters. A minimal investment in gear, rod, reel, size-10 hooks, bobbers and a bucket of minnows will provide you with the essentials.
The annual Yellow Perch Appreciation Day will be held on March 3 at the Town of Northeast Park, a Maryland free-fishing area where fishing licenses are not required. The Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland will host a fishing contest as part of the celebration.
A 14-inch or longer yellow perch qualifies as a Maryland Angler Award fish. Catching an award-sized fish will gain a lucky angler a certificate and free tickets to the Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale at Sandy Point State Park in September. Check in angler award fish at one of the more than 60 Maryland angler Award Centers.
DNR asks yellow perch anglers to support the agency’s goal of sustainable fisheries management by joining the online volunteer angler survey at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/survey/index.asp.
Young anglers can join the DNR-sponsored Maryland Youth Fishing Club for free at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/keepfishing/.
Check out the latest fishing reports through the DNR Fisheries Angler’s Log, a family-friendly online meeting place where anglers report and show their catches by visiting dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport/log.asp.