The Fresh Tidal Pocomoke & Nassawango, Worcester County, MD
A prothonotary warbler welcomes Dave, Jeff and I to the cypress swamps of the Pocomoke, at Shad Landing State Park, in Worcester County, near Ocean City, MD.
The prothonotary is a brilliant yellow-orange, forest interior dwelling bird of southeastern wooded swamps. It nests in cavities, feeds on insects and winters in Central and South America.
Our friend Steve, could not take off to fish with us today, so we sent him hourly highlights of what turned out to be a high quality 70-plus fish day!
Using pretty much only white grubs on jig heads and bobbers, we caught largemouth bass, golden shiner, white perch, yellow perch, bluegill and other sunfish varieties, chain pickerel and black crappie.
Dave caught six chain pickerel and I caught one. The pickerel picked the baits off of the bottom of the river at low tide.
Pickerel are sight-oriented, ambush predators that hide near structure or SAV cover.
They are fast, aggressive and can grow up to 3-feet long and up to seven-pounds.
They can live up to 10-years and are a solitary fish.
Corkers Creek, a tributary of the Pocomoke was quite productive, with more casts than not producing fish. We also lost a goodly number of lures. Why? Black crappie love fallen timber and branches. We caught many, but the open-hooked jigs were susceptible to getting snagged.
Because of the full moon, low tide was extra low, and Corkers Creek, even though deep, was loaded with nearly exposed coarse woody debris.
Mistletoe growing on a host red maple. We saw blackhaw, highbush blueberry, chokeberry, swamp azalea and marsh blue violet in bloom. Fringetree looks like it will be in bloom beginning next week.
Jeff deviated and occasionally used both plastic worm and rattle-trap, catching both bluegill and crappie on the trebled-hook rattler.
Dave, with the first white perch of the day.
These are really big white perch. They grow to between 7 to 10-inches long, and can weigh up to one-pound. To get a solid one-pound and 12-inch fish is relatively uncommon.
White perch favor brackish water, and are a great fighter for their size. They have a hard, scaly body and sharp fins, are bottom feeders, and can live up to 10-years.
With the sun getting low in the sky, and on a high-tide, we motored back to Shad Landing. A beautiful day on the water, a great day of fishing, and the scenic black-water Pocomoke and scenic and wild designated Nassawango, with mature bald cypress, made us feel like we were in the Congaree swamps of South Carolina.