Los Angeles Times

5 questions for Shawn Kimbro

Shawn Kimbro will speak to the Coastal Conservation Association Maryland's newly revived Annapolis chapter Tuesday at the Boatyard Bar & Grill.

He'll be discussing cold-water jigging as well as Careful Catch Maryland, a program started collectively by the CCA and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on the best way to release fish after catching them.

Kimbro will also talk about his self-published book, "Chesapeake Light Tackle – an introduction to light tackle fishing on the Chesapeake Bay."

The Baltimore Sun spoke to Kimbro last week about light-tackle fishing, the Careful Catch Maryland program and his book.

What do you like about cold-water jigging?

Typically, people don't do a lot of fishing this time of year, but really, the winter is the best time to catch rockfish since most of the light-tackle fishing is catch-and-release and the best chances of survival for the fish — it's almost 100 percent when they're released — come this time of year. So it makes sense.

Where are the best places in the area to do cold-water jigging?

They're several in Baltimore Harbor — just about any industrial site has warm-water discharge — but there are several power plants around: Bethlehem Steel, Calvert Cliffs and others near the mouth of the Chesapeake. But you don't necessarily have to fish around the power plants.

What is the biggest difference in technique between cold-water jigging and casting at other times of the year?

You have to really slow things down, use lots of color (with the lure). There are some pretty specific lures that work better in the wintertime as well.

What is Careful Catch Maryland about?

It's an Internet, social-networking site in which there is an open conversation about catch-and-release techniques and types of baits to use. We will have different articles up there (on the website) about different species and ways to release the fish. In the wintertime, there's a lot of perch — we have release-type baits for those fish because even though we like to eat them, you have to release them if you get them undersized or if you are over your limit. We're not discouraging people from keeping the fish. I love to eat fish.

What's in your book?

It's 344 pages, and it kind of runs the gamut of light-tackle fishing, the right equipment to buy, the right rods and reels, the right lures, the techniques for casting, how to rate current, we talk about temperature and salinity. The book is very family-oriented, lots of pictures of kids fitshing, of female anglers, lot of big fish. The overall premise is that light tackle, which are the rods and reels used for catching large- and small-mouthed bass, can produce big rockfish. There are also chapters on Careful Catch programs and a program called Giving Back, which talks about an angler's responsibility to give back to the resource we enjoy so much.

Don Markus

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