They say that 10-percent of the fishermen catch 90-percent of the fish. So, which category do you fall into? Just how impressive is your angling prowess? And, are you ready to put it to the test? Take our Chesapeake Bay fishing knowledge pop quiz — if you dare.

angler with a cutlass fish
Can you ID this fish? Get away from Google, no cheating!


Ok nice job fishbrainiac! Further prove your fishy knowledge and take our Fishing Quiz For Beginners

1. It’s mid-February and you have a serious case of cabin fever, so you decide to go fishing in a Bay tributary for yellow perch. You go to the tackle shop and ask them for:

a. Leeches.

b. The largest bull minnow possible.

c. The smallest bull minnow possible.

d. A box of grass shrimp.


2. March brings with it a warming trend and after two sunny, calm days in a row, you decide to try fishing for the first snakeheads of spring. What lure gives you the most realistic shot at success:

a. A Savage Gear 3D Rad Rat.

b. A Z-Man Jackhammer.

c. A Rapala Chug Bug.

d. A Yo-Zuri Bonita.


3. It’s now April, and you want to hunt for slot puppy drum in the southern Bay with soft plastics. You check your tacklebox to make sure you have plenty of __________.

a. It’s a trick question — April is too early to find redfish in the Bay.

b. Topwater lures.

c. Live minnow.

d. Hooks.


4. Darn! Your boat broke down right as spring has sprung and you were getting excited about the beautiful May weather. Being limited to the shoreline and having a strong desire to catch something really, really big, you decide to target blue catfish. But first, you need to make sure you have what size circle hooks on hand:

a. Number six.

b. 1/0.

c. 5/0.

d. 10/0.


5. June is a great month to hunt speckled sea trout, so you decide to fish for them in the shallows. What single critical factor outweighs all the other (also important) factors when you decide on a specific location to fish?

a. The presence of current.

b. Wind speed and direction.

c. Shoreline structure.

d. The presence of weedbeds.


6. The dog days of July are making fishing during the day tough, so you decide to enjoy some cool, calm night fishing. Historically ___________ bite better after the sun goes down.

a. Bluefish.

b. Flounder.

c. Croaker.

d. Speckled sea trout.


7. It’s time for a cobia trip! There’s been a good August trolling bite on surgical hoses at an underwater hump you know of in 14 feet of water, so before heading out you check the tackle box to make sure you have several:

a. Number-one planers.

b. Number-two planers.

c. Number-three planers.

d. One-ounce cigar weights.


8. Crazy catch alert! You just reeled up this ugly critter (see above picture). What the heck is it?

a. A snakefish.

b. A snakehead.

c. A cutlassfish.

d. A wombat fish.


9. There’s a chill in the air, rockfish are active, and a serious topwater bite has begun. You tie on your favorite Badonk-A-Donk and begin to:

a. Snap-jig.

b. Slow-roll.

c. Walk the dog.

d. Butter the monkey.


10. The November winds are howling, and you need to stay in the tributary or you’ll get blown right across the Bay. Fortunately there’s been a good pickerel bite lately, and you happen to know that this species is partial to hitting:

a. Anything with a spinner blade.

b. Anything with rattles.

c. #21 Tony Acettas.

d. Umbrella rigs.


Gadzooks! It’s so dang cold outside that the water at the boat ramp is frozen. There’s quarter-inch-thick ice in the way, and you know there’s a hot bite going off so that’s not going to stop you. Before launching your boat, you know it’s imperative to reach for:

a. A long-handled scrub brush.

b. A boathook.

c. A brick and a piece of rope.

d. Any of the above.


1. b; the bigger the better when it comes to minnow for yellow perch, and grass shrimp generally prove less effective until later in the spring.

2. b; a and c are topwater lures, which usually don’t prove productive until the weather warms up substantially, but the Jackhammer is a chatterbait that you can work well below the surface. If you chose the Yo-Zuri, we’re thinking it was a wild guess. And, a pretty bad one.

3. d; in the southern reaches of the Bay April is not at all too early, but it is a little early for topwater to be effective in this venue, too. If you chose “c,” we’re pretty sure all your minnow will be dead in short order because your tacklebox is a really bad place to keep them. But “d” fits since many anglers use shrimp, and you do need hooks for fishing with shrimp.

4. d; anything smaller is too small for those big blues and some sharpies even prefer a 12/0.

5. b; wind speed and direction will be the biggest factor dictating water clarity, which is a make-or-break even if the other important factors are present.

6. c; croaker almost always bite best at night.

7. a; any planer larger than a one will be digging bottom in 14 feet of water, and a one-ounce cigar weight will barely keep the hose in the water.

8. c; if you answered “d,” we think you need to spend a lot more time reading the fishing reports.

9. c; if you answered “d,” we think you need to give up fishing entirely and take up a more appropriate hobby like crochet.

10. a; Mepps, Roadrunners, and inline spinners of all sorts often get pickerel biting when other lures fail to.

Bonus Question: d; you need to bash open a clear hole before backing in, or you’ll smash out your trailer’s tail lights (been there, done that). Any of these items can get the job done.


10+ – You should quit your day-job and start guiding.

7 – 9 – That’s a solid score and you might just be in the 10-percent club.

4 – 6 – Don’t miss a single edition of FishTalk, and try taking the quiz again next year.

3- – Why are you taking this quiz since you live in Montana?