The spring perch runs are great, but they can also cause the shoreline of your favorite spot to get crowded with anglers. What to do? Well, dust the winter cobwebs off the kayak, get your gear ready, and head out to one of these kayak perch-jerking destinations.

perch caught on a kayak
Kayak fishing for perch is a great way to kick off spring.

Snow Hill

The Pocomoke River runs right through town. It fills with yellow perch, and you may hook up with pickerel and largemouth bass as well. You can launch at Byrd Park to go downriver or park in the lot behind the Pocomoke River Canoe Company where there’s a small waterside park above the drawbridge (which is so low you’ll need to call ahead and have it raised to pass underneath). You’ll have to carry your boat down to a floating dock and launch from there.

Stoney Point

Stoney Point is another Eastern Shore soft launch destination, just south of Hillsboro on Tuckahoe Creek off Stoney Point Road. There you will find a few holes that hold perch as they move up the creek for their spawn, and if you time it right you’ll be into the fish. Look for word of the males being caught up in Hillsboro to indicate that the females should be staged up near this location.

Allens Fresh

One of my favorite places to catch yellow perch is Allens Fresh, just off Budds Creek Road in southern Maryland. You’ll find a spot where you can drop your kayak in on the north side of the road, then navigate under the bridge to get access to the Wicomico River. Early in the run look for small depressions or holes. As the run continues the fish will move upstream. But be quick about it, this run can be over in the blink of an eye. Also, be aware that a falling tide can leave you stuck and unable to get back to the launch.

Waysons Corner

At Waysons Corner kayak anglers can use the soft launch off Marlboro Road at a creek leading to the river. Work your way up or down the river, looking for deeper holes that hold fish. The same tidal warning applies here for exceptionally low tides; the feeder creek can drop very low, making it tough to get back to the launch. A bonus (and little used) Patuxent River kayak launch can be found at Wootons Landing Park.

Beachwood Park

Put your wheels on! You’ll need to take your kayak down a hill to the Magothy River after parking off Beachwood Park Road. After you launch, work your way up the eastern shoreline of the river. There you will find a flat and a small creek feeding into the main river where fish often roam. This river is a bit limited in public access so be courteous to the shoreline anglers at the park, sometimes lined up elbow to elbow.

Occoquan River

In the town of Occoquan you’ll find a kayak launch under the 123 bridge off Mill Street. You can launch from the other side of the river too, at Occoquan Park boat ramp. Work your way upriver, casting around the boat docks and other structure. Bonus info: here you’ll also find a little-known hickory shad run.

-By Eric Packard