Fishin' with Rick
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Rick, Jr.

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Rick (Rich), Sr.
June 25, 1925 - January 2, 2002
We miss ya', Dad.

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Rick (Ricky), III

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In the good 'ol days it was just dad and me. We have the same name but everyone called dad 'Rich' and they called me Ricky. That worked well although I preferred Rick to Ricky. Dad seemed to be Rich all along and that was ok with him. Now things got a little complicated about 12 years ago when another Rick came along. My son is 'Rick' also although we tried calling him 'Ricky' but he didn't like that any more than I do. So the point of all this is that Rick could be just about anyone, but when it comes to fishin' Rick means me and the other two Ricks. Confused?

Rick is a genuine fish'n nut. One of the many benefits of being part of a Ricksom is that our collection of Fishing in Maryland Awards are all in the name -- Richard Holt. "Hmm! I wonder which Rick caught that 5 lb. 2 oz pickerel?"  My dad and I actually have a few of those award citations for which we haven't a clue who actually caught the fish! Must have been me. 8-) My son, Rick, started his collection of Award Citations this summer with a big White Perch he caught. Had it made out to Rick Holt III, sneaky little guy!

My favorite fishing is for Chain Pickerel in the tidewater of the upper Chesapeake. Click here for some pickerel fishing tips.

Fishin' Log

Most Recent entries are on top:
(go to the bottom for ancient history)

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Time: 9 am - 4 pm
Location: Magothy River, Old Man Creek and the headwaters.
Weather:  sunny, 60*  flat calm mostly with an occasional variable breeze..
Water Temp/Cond:  Water temp was 50* at launch and 56* in the shallows at high noon, main-stem was murky so we headed up a creek and found clean water.
Tide:  Sluggish falling tide. High was about 8:30 am.
Fish Caught:  21 pickerel to 21 3/8", about a half dozen were young 'hammer handles', but most were in the 17"-20" range.  Half dozen yellow perch, a couple were over 12 inches.

It was a gorgeous, absolutely beautiful Fall day. Virgil and I set out to settle a score, or at least have some fun trying. Virgil has been layin' the smack down about catchin' pickerel on lures and holding his own against my preferred method of pickerel fishing with real live wiggly minnows. So in anticipation I'd stopped at Warren's Bait Box and purchased a couple pints of minnows to hold up my end of the challenge. We used Virgil's  Tracker which is basically a floating tackle box so he had no shortage of lures. We set out on the Magothy amid floating leaves and quacking ducks.

The water changed from reddish brown to clean and clear as we entered our first creek. Now if only the fish would bite. First fish in the boat is a nice pickerel and he fell for a real live wiggly minnow. Smugly I returned him to the river. Virgil jokes about giving me a little head start. Second pickerel falls to a real live wiggly minnow.  Virgil gave me that look that says "keep it up buddy, and you'll be walking home." Third pickerel falls to a real live wiggly minnow. Virgil changes lures. Fourth pickerel falls to a real live wiggly minnow. I can hardly contain myself, stifling a smug giggle and I slip him back in the river. Fifth pickerel falls to a real live wiggly minnow. Virgil reaches for the minnow bucket....

Being the big man that I am, and since I was in Virgil's boat and he might make me walk home, we decided to finish the challenge another day and catch fish instead. So instead of minnows vs. lures it was now men vs. pickerel. We worked our way up the creek and eventually up the river occasionally pulling in pickerel on real live wiggly minnows. We'll save the lures for another day. And I must confess that Virgil caught the biggest today, on a real live wiggly minnow, of course.

Time: 11:30 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Magothy River, Cattail Creek
Weather:  sunny, 40*  variable and pesky southerly breeze.
Water Temp/Cond:  Water temp was 54*, varied from a little off color at the launch to clear with a visibility of several feet as we moved up the creek.
Tide: Water levels were fairly high and rising slowly this afternoon.
Fish Caught:  9 pickerel from 9" to 21".  One white perch.

Virgil called just in time to keep me from going to work this morning. Instead I met him at the launch on Mill Creek and we headed up river. We picked a creek at random and began fishing our way to the head of the creek. I had stopped at three different bait shops looking for minnows this morning and come up dry. So this trip would be with 'artificials' only. We'll have to wait for another trip to see Virgil prove he can outfish a real minnow using artificials. If we were going to get some fish today they'd have to fall for some fake food.

We fished a slow rising tide. Not enough water moving to get the fish real excited, at least that was our excuse for casting and casting and coming up dry. Virgil was worming most of the day using lizards and even a plastic worm for a while. I cast my old reliable horsehead jig with a inch and a half tail. Pink didn't do much for me today, best color was chartreuse.

We eventually eked out some pickerel from the shoreline. Most of the fish were in the 18-20 inch range. But Virgil managed to catch a couple almost the size of his lure. I didn't even have to use PhotoShop to tweak the pics today. So who caught the biggest fish today? You decide. One of these days I'm going to pay for this...

Time: 11 am - 5 pm
Location: Magothy River, Cattail and the headwaters
Weather: mostly sunny, 80*  Calm.
Water Temp/Cond:  Water temp was 68-75*, variable water conditions from brown water with 2" visibility, to water with clouds of funky brown algae, to clear water with 4 ft. visibility. We saw no SAV's.
Fish Caught:  Half dozen or so pickerel from 6" to 23 1/2". White perch everywhere and decent size too. Micro rock abundant. A bluefish, several micro yellow perch and a small bass.

We were rushing the season, the pickerel season that is. Virgil and I went scouting on the river today enjoying a bluebird day with flat calm water. Water quality was a disappointment with what seemed like a 'red tide' in Mill Creek where we launched, extensive areas in the shallower portions of the creeks where there were odd brown algae-like clouds that covered extensive areas and some clean waters with visibility as much as 4 ft. Take your pick.

We fished strictly artificials on this trip - nary a minnow on the boat. Pink was a good color and a rainbow colored jig of green, yellow and orange was hot for a while. I caught a few on a tiny Mepps too.

White perch and micro rock were everywhere to the point of being an annoyance. And the oddest thing about it was that they were most abundant in the funkiest, most disgusting water we fished. They seemed to prefer to be under the odd brown algae-like clouds that floated just under the surface in the shallows. We could have filled the boat with perch fishing under and on the edges of those funky algae clouds.

Clean water produced the most pickerel action, no surprise there. Virgil got two whoppers today of about 23". We caught a couple of that abundant year class that is now in the 16-18" range and even caught a couple babies about 6" or so. We think this bodes well for the fall pickerel season assuming water quality improves as the water cools.

We caught only one bass on this trip, but lost count of how many we saw sunning in the shallows. There are mess of the little buggers in the river now and they seem to be doing well, just need a little time to grow up as most are in the 6-10" range.

I confess, I was the one who instigated this pre-season adventure and I thank Virgil for humoring me and going along (in his boat, of course.). Now that I've got that out of my system I think we'll give the river a little time to cool down, keep our fingers crossed that water quality improves and hit 'em again in a few weeks. Luv them pickerel!

August 17, 2004 (more or less) - Magothy River - we've been doing real well from the pier catching crabs for a change. I also made a few casts the other evening while Ricky crabbed and picked up about 4 nice size white perch on a plain white horsehead jig with white twister tail jigging along the edge of the pier.

June/July 2004 - Magothy River - We've fished a few time this month from our in-laws pier on Sillery Bay and when the water levels are high enough we've had some pretty good fishing for fair size white perch. There is SAV all over the place around the pier and the water has been crystal clear around the pier except in very shallow when the boat traffic is high. The area is a regular fish nursery with minnows and small fish everywhere. Not many crabs in the pots though, but what crabs we've caught have been big.

Time: 5 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Trappe Pond, Delaware
Weather: mostly sunny, 80*  Almost calm.
Water Temp/Cond: Not sure of the water temp, but it felt warm. Tannin colored water with visibility of less than 1 ft.
Fish Caught:  A nice mess of big crappie, several gills, a pickerel and a few yellow perch.

Virgil and I got a late start for this trip, even by our usual standards. It would have been too hot to spend the day on a pond anyway, we reasoned. It was a two hour drive getting there, after a few stops along the way, but gosh what a pretty place. We launched the Tracker and set out on electric.

Since the sun was still high we figured we'd fish some structure that provided shade for the fish. We fished under boats and a floating pier and quickly found some fish. We picked up a few crappie, a pickerel and a yellow perch there, but crappie were our target today and this didn't seem like the way to get them today.

Virgil hadn't fished this pond in probably a decade, but back in the 'good ol days' he had worked out a technique of trolling up crappies in the pond that was almost a sure thing. We rigged for ultra-light trolling on electric power and set about our business. We were dragging assorted tiny tubes and occasionally a little twister tail on a jig head.

We zigged and zagged around the pond till the sun went down and the skeeters came out. We never found a pattern for color, but it didn't seem to matter. We creeled a nice mess of crappie, mostly pushing 12". Real beauties.

There was only one other boat on the pond and that was our fault. We called Virgil's buddy Rick Lynch and told him we were on the way to his neighborhood to slay some of those crappie he emailed about. So Rick showed up with his fishin' buddy to make sure we didn't get 'em all. All evening long we heard them hootin' and hollerin' when they'd catch a fish. They were either catchin' a mess of them, or trying to make us think they were.

It was after dark when we pulled the boats, so it was too dark to see who got the 'bestest' or the 'mostest' fish, but it didn't matter anyway since those Delaware boys claimed they were only C&R'n. Hmmm...

Time: 7 am - 4 pm
Location: Chesapeake Bay south of the bridges
Weather: mostly sunny, 60*  Southerly breezes picked up to a good blow by late afternoon
Water Temp/Cond: 51-55*F , off color, poor visability
Tide: Started on the dead high and fished the falling tide in the AM. PM fished a dead and eventually rising tide.
Fish Caught:  2 striped bass ( 35" & 36")

Virgil Poe and I actually planned this trip the day before. Wonder of wonders. I woke him with a phone call at about 5 am and we were launching at Sandy Point by 7 am on a dead high tide. There was a bit of a breeze blowing and Virgil said his last check of the weather indicated that by 2 pm the wind would be a factor.

We set the usual 9 lines and covered the water column working our way south from the bridges. Down off Matapeake there was a concentration of boats. There was some really live water down there. Gannets and cormorants diving. Bait occasionally flashing on the surface. It looked promising and we joined the fray, but the radio chatter was all about SKUNK and we had to agree.

We held out for a while hoping a change in the tide would eventually spark some action, but gave it up to return to X for a change of scenery. We had hardly left the pack when one of the top lines popped from the rigger and the fight was on. A 36 incher was in the box and the skunk was off. A good feeling.

Round and round we went in the shadow of X and after many moons a mid-depth rod on the port corner went down and Virgil took his turn in the hot seat. A twin of the first fish, this guy gave us each  a fish to fry and an excuse to quit. We stuck it out for a while just to play and enjoy the afternoon.

As it turned out we never saw another fish. It got windy. We got sunburned and beat up by the freshening breeze.  Not sure who cried uncle first, but we didn't argue about calling it quits. BTW, our limited sampling indicated that white 9" sassy shad was the lure to beat today.

Time: Noon - 4 PM
Location: Magothy creeks
Weather: Sunny, 40*  Wind light and variable but picked up as the day went on
Water Temp/Cond: 47-51*F , fairly clear with just a little milky tone in the first creek and and clean and clear in the second creek.
Tide: High water and rising.
Fish Caught:  27 chain pickerel to 15", 1 yellow perch

Virgil called this morning and before long we were on the river headed for a favored creek. It was flat calm, but a bit brisk. The sky was cloudy which gave the water a strange look about it. Within minutes of stopping the boat we each had a fish to the boat at the same time. The day was starting off gangbusters.

Well, I wish I could say it was steady action, but it ain't so. We had to work hard for the pike today. We never found any concentrations of fish and worked some usually excellent shoreline without as much as a tap. It was like pulling teeth. Just before leaving the creek we hit one last 'go to' spot. We met some old friends there.

Back in November 2003 when fishing this creek we had caught and tagged two pickerel in this spot. Each of the fish had been caught, tagged and released in the same location one after the other. So amazingly enough on today's trip we caught the same two fish, again back to back. That was wild! They had grown about 1/2" since we last saw them. And they are yet again back in the Magothy presumably hanging out at that very same spot.

We moved on from there to another creek where we had fished last week. The water was a little cleaner and very high. Action was a little better in there and again we met some old friends. Amazingly enough we caught three more tagged fish. Two of them had been tagged on our trip here last week. And one persistent little fellow was caught, tagged, released and caught again about 2 minutes later!

Virgil had grandpa duty so we called it quits about 4 pm when the tide topped out. With the sun low in the hazy sky and the breeze picking up a little it was a brisk ride back to the ramp. But there's nothing like meeting a few old friends though to warm the soul. What a great trip!

Time: 8 am - 5:30 pm
Location: Magothy creeks (Mill, Blackhole, Forked)
Weather: Sunny, 50*  Wind N about 10 mph
Water Temp/Cond: 47-51*F , visibility varied creek to creek from slightly off color to clean and clear.
Tide: High water most of the day. Technically a falling tide but not very noticeable. High was about 9:30 am at Mt. Pt. Bar.
Fish Caught:  41 chain pickerel (~10" to 16"), 1 yellow perch, 3 white perch and one striper of about 16".

Virgil and I fished the river today and found the pickerel concentrated and cooperative when we could find them. I caught one while I waited for Virgil at the ramp so the skunk was off before we even started. We caught a few fish near there and then headed for another creek.(Blackhole)

The breeze was tolerable today but definitely pesky. Standing in the bow with one foot on the trolling motor control, Virgil didn't get to relax except for the few times we dropped anchor to keep from being blown around. It was definitely jacket weather when the breeze was blowing. Every once in a while the wind would lay down and it would warm up a bit.

There was no magic lure, but the simple jig minnow worked well enough for me that I never switched all day. Virgil experimented a bit but tipped most everything with a minnow. Minnows out-fished naked lures about 40:1 today. No question how those pickerel like it.

We fished three creeks and found water conditions different in every creek. The last creek (Forked) was crystal clear and produced a bounty of fish. To round out a rather fish filled day we can even claim a "Magothy Grand Slam." A nice mess of pickerel today but gawd were they small. Didn't get a pic of the white perch. You'll have to take my word on that.

1/13/04 - Virgil and I went out on the Magothy for a while this afternoon. It was very cold. Most everything was frozen in the creeks. We plowed our way out to the river and trolled a little for some stripers on electric with jig/minnow. Saw some marks, but nary a bite. Skunked. Frozen. And blown off the river after an hour or so. Why did we bother? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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