Delaware’s 3,000-acre Trap Pond State Park, home to the nation’s northernmost naturally occurring bald cypress swamp, is also home to multitudes of panfish and pickerel. “We have tons of bluegills and other panfish,” says park naturalist Jenna Luckenbaugh. “Crappie numbers have dropped off a little from years past, but there’s still a respectable amount.” She notes that the pond’s pickerel population is particularly healthy. In May, these toothy predators typically remain motionless among the tangled cypress roots, where they can easily pick off passing baitfish. Fishermen targeting “chainsides” have their best luck on Trap Pond retrieving small in-line spinners alongside the submerged cypress stumps. The best way to maneuver in the backwaters of the 90-acre lake is with a canoe. If you don’t have your own, you can rent one at the park. If you want to turn your Trap Pond fishing trip into a weekend-long outing, camping facilities and cabins are also available. Contact: Trap Pond State Park (R.D. 2, Box 331, Laurel, DE 19956; 302-875-5153; www.destateparks.com/tpsp/tpsp.htm).
Trap Pond State Park