Potomac River Fishing Reports

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Reports from the past 60 days:


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Sep 15, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Cool night time temperatures have dropped water temps into the mid 60s. Floating grasses from diminishing grass beds can complicate bait presentation. We have been concentrating our efforts for bass along grass lines in the creeks and feeder streams where we find concentrations of bait fish. On flood tides we move over the grass flats on days when a higher than normal tides allow us to fish these areas. A top water popper has been a good way to start the day. We follow up with wacky rigged stick worms and either a finesse worm in June bug color or a nine inch action tail plastic worm in red shad. Small, shallow running crank baits in brown craw colors also draw strikes. Isolated pieces of wood or the occasional dilapidated duck blind can produce bass also."

Water Temperature: 64 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Sep 09, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Cooler nights have some surface grasses breaking up creating floating mats that can hinder fishing. Patterns remain the same. We look for grasses with signs of bait fish. Diving terns are a good indicator. Start with top water lures and depending on the depth of the grasses, use a shallow running crank bait or a spinner bait worked sub surface. Follow up with plastic worms or wacky rigged stick worms. Large yellow perch are showing up in the grass and they will hit a small crank bait."

Water Temperature: 79 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Sep 02, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Get on the water at the crack of dawn and you should experience one or two good hours of top water action. We have been using Rico poppers along the edge of grass with three to five feet depths in front. Follow up with a shallow, wide wobbling, crank bait and then a four inch June bug color finesse worm or a fat nine inch worm in red shad or motor oil colors. After wards, try spatterdock fields with a chatter bait, crank bait or a swim jig."

Water Temperature: 84 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Sep 02, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"SEPTEMBER 2014
Finally a break in the heat&the nights are getting a bit longer to allow water to cool overnight, making early morning topwater bites even better! Its also a good time to put the pedal to the trolling motor and move with the fish. At lower tides, fish will position on outside grass edges and will move in with tides.

Starting with topwaters. Buzzbaits, with 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point stinger hooks on braid over grass and near docks and wood is a good choice. Try poppers like Lucky Craft G-Splash&smaller and faster in clear water&work up in size. Start with natural colors and go darker. The subtle Lucky Craft G-Splash spits and has rattles. When water has a bit of chop or a bit stained, go to Aurora Gold. More chop; bigger Lucky Craft G-Splash 80. Shorter casts when fishing stained water and longer casts when water is calm and clear. Use a 7 Quantum KVD medium heavy action graphite rod. For clear calm conditions, walk a Lucky Craft Gunfish 115 anywhere around grass or wood. Replace worn feathered hooks with Mustad dressed Ultra Point Trebles: sharp and hand-tied with colorful feathers and reflective material adding light flash and action. Feathers pull together when moving baits, then open while sitting to get second chance bites. Try red hooks! Topwater bite can last all day.

Hollow frogs and soft plastic toads are great in thick grass. Manns HardNose SWIM TOADS stay on the hook much better and have a slightly bigger profile! Manns hollow frog Weasel has a diving lip to float over grass, or dip into the holes! Great choice&Throw both on braid. Manns new 10 HardNose snake can be worked on top or just below the surface with weighted Mustad swimbait hooks.

Manns Classic spinnerbaits and Baby 1-Minus work when topwaters slow.
Speed is key. Also, Manns Waker baits work over grass. Chop or stained water, cloud cover at higher tides, the 3/8-ounce Classic spinnerbait, willow/Colorado combination and a white skirt, burned around and near cover produces hard strikes. Faster Quantum Burner reels spooled with 17 or 20-pound GAMMA Edge Fluorocarbon and a 7 medium heavy rod to cover wider areas. Bump and rip. At lowest tides, use 1/4-ounce Manns Classic with gold blades in all but the clearest water. For clear water, use double willow nickel blades and with firetiger skirts.

The lack of grass around the Woodrow Wilson Bridge has fish on bridge pilings and drops in and around Spoils, Smoot Bay (National Harbor), and the Fort Washington lighthouse. Fish might not be grouped; however, these spots replenish. Boat channels in grass around main river docks are target areas. Crank the Wilson Bridge, Fox Ferry, and Spoils. The Manns 15+ has a wide wobble. For shallower applications, the new Manns Baby X is perfect, coming through wood very well. On sunniest days, get tight to cover. With clouds, fish use cover as a current break. Fish will tell you where they are positioned and on what type of cover. Water temperatures range from 75 to 80+ degrees.

Backs of Swan, Piscataway, and Little Hunting Creeks are good spots to pitch plastics and jigs. Green pad beds around Mount Vernon hold fish. Wind blown mats hold fish too. Punch through grass canopy especially on sunny days. Get reaction strikes with a 1 to 1.5 ounce Round Valley Tungsten weight pegged. A 5/0 Mustad Flipping hook and 60lb GAMMA TORQUE braided line with a 76 Quantum Biffle flipping stick with a strong reel will get the big ones out! Maui Jim PolarizedPlus HT lens are ideal for low light to full sun conditions to help you see cover.

Drop shot bridge pilings, docks and deep grass edges with 12-18 inch leader. Using 10-pound test and 1/4-ounce BULLSHOT bullet shaped split shot weights, rig HardNose Finesse worms on 2/0 Mustad Mega Bite hooks. Pitch and let settle on the bottom and gently shake. Find cover with your weight, leave to aggravate fish into biting.

Swim Manns HardNose 5 swimbaits on a 7/0 Mustad Ultra Point Swimbait hook with adjustable ΒΌ ounce weight to make any bait a good swimbait. Rip free from grass. Watch for bites on fall.

Split shot rigs on 10-pound test in deeper areas in front of the grass lines at falling tides and on hard bottom deeper areas. A 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot bulletshaped split shot comes through cover well. Fluorocarbon lines like GAMMA EDGE help you feel bites and get baits down faster. Stickworms like 5-inch Manns HardNose Freefall worms work well rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Lite hook or wacky rigged...add 1/8-ounce weight to get to the bottom to dead stick! Slowly drag and stop! When you hit cover leave as long as you can!

Soaking Mizmo tubes in garlic Jacks Juice that penetrates plastic eliminates re-applying. Pitch Mizmo 4-inch Arkansas Craw tubes&green pumpkin with orange tails to grass edges, docks and scattered deeper grass. Quarter-ounce R&R Custom Baits insert tube heads provide the best open water action. In heaviest cover Texas rig 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hooks with 1/8 or 3/16 BULLSHOT. Punisher Rattles can be attached to plastic chunks, jigs and to R&R insert tube heads for a rattle that wont come off Mizmo tubes! (www.punisherjigs.com).

Capt. Steve Chaconas, Potomac bass fishing guide, BoatUS Ask the Expert (http://my.boatus.com/askexperts/bassfishing/) Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@NationalBass.com."

Water Temperature: 80 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Aug 26, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Bass fishing remains slow on most days but by fishing a number of patterns throughout the day a decent catch can be made. Top water poppers over grasses are still a good way to start the day. Follow up in the same areas with a wacky rigged Senko type bait or a fat plastic worm. Spatterdock and Lotus pads in the creek can give up a few bass when a swimming jig is fished in these areas. We cast just a few feet inside the pads and swim the jig about five feet away from the pads before we let it drop to the bottom and hop it a few times before retrieving it. Lay downs, docks, rocks and wrecks can all be targeted to pick up a few swimmers. Crank baits and plastic worms or creature baits can produce. A chatter bait or spinner bait work through the sparse grasses at the outside edge of the grass mats on creek flats will turn a few bass and some catfish as well."

Water Temperature: 79 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Aug 18, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"The fishing remains slow on most days but when weather, tide, time and location all come together a decent catch can be made. Start the morning off with frogs, buzz baits or poppers over grasses to catch some early bass and then switch to a spinner bait or chatter bait once the top water bite slows. Follow those baits up with a fluke or senko type bait. As the day progresses we try hitting a variety of patterns with a fat nine inch plastic worm to collect a few more. Creek ledges, pads, lay downs, docks and rocks all deserve attention."

Water Temperature: 78 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Aug 11, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"We have experienced an improvement in the bass fishing with fair numbers of bass being caught. We are doing fairly well by fishing along the drops in front of grass beds. We start with a top water popper or a hard jerk bait during low light conditions and then switch to a plastic worm or craw type bait. A large, bulky type worm, like the nine inch Bass Pro Shops Triple Ripple worm in plum color was good to us this week. We see snakeheads tight against the shoreline under thick grasses but getting a lure to them is difficult. A plastic buzz frog will draw some strikes."

Water Temperature: 81 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Aug 04, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"It is believed that there are bass in the Tidal Potomac River. Finding proof of that fact can be challenging. On some days the bass fishing can only be described as dismal. Conditions dont seem to be improving from last week. If you find some bass we recommend you work the area over thoroughly. Attempting to run a pattern with the tide may only increase your gas bill. If bass are found, try using a larger bait instead of down sizing. We had our best results by super sizing to a ten inch creature bait fished in grasses to make a catch. No particular pattern seems to be the answer to the bass doldrums."

Water Temperature: 81 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Aug 03, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"AUGUST 2014
Bass generally prefer grass to wood in the same spot. Docks with grass best at high tides. At lower tides, bass move to grass. On sunniest days, get tight to cover. With clouds, the fish use cover as a current break. Milfoil edges and boat channels around the front of docks are targets. Crank to 4-6 feet around the Fort Washington lighthouse, South Point, Spoils, the Wilson Bridge and other deeper areas. Make repeated casts to good-looking spots. Fish will tell you where they are positioned and on what type of cover.

Water temperatures range from 85 and up! Cooler mornings are best for topwaters, but hollow frog bite at low tides anytime! Replace worn feathered popper hooks with Mustad dressed Ultra Point Trebles: sharp and hand-tied with colorful feathers and reflective material adding light, flash and action to topwaters and Manns Baby 1-Minus lures. Feathers pull together when moving baits, then open while sitting to get the second chance bite after misses. The slightest movement gets feathers moving. Try in red hooks!

Topwater tips for the Potomac&smaller/faster in clear water&start small and work up in size with natural colors and then go darker. 4 categories of top water popping baits. The subtle approach for clear water on calm days: Lucky Craft G-Splash spits and has rattles. When the water has a bit of a chop or is a bit stained, go to Aurora Gold. More chop go to bigger Lucky Graft G-Splash 80. Chop and stained water use the most intrusive top water of all, darker G-Splash 80. Make shorter casts when fishing muddy water and longer casts when the water is calm and clear. Use a 7 medium heavy action moderate fast tip Quantum Tour Edition graphite rod. For clear calm conditions, walk a Lucky Craft Gunfish around grass or wood. Move to spinnerbaits and Manns Baby 1-Minus when topwater bite slows. The Manns Waker in the larger size is perfect with enough water over grass!

If a fish misses topwaters, cast keep follow-up baits: watermelon and green pumpkin MIZMO Quiver Stix stick worms sprayed with Jacks Juice hooked wacky style with a 2/0 Mustad weedless wacky hook. (www.mustad.no) GAMMA EDGE 100% fluorocarbon line allows baits to fall more naturally.

Chop on the water, stained water, or cloud cover at higher tides, Manns Classic spinnerbait, willow/Colorado combination and a white skirt, burned around and near cover is producing hard strikes. A faster reel like the Quantum Burner spooled with 14 or 16-pound GAMMA EDGE line and 66 medium heavy rod is best for targeting close cover, or a 7 footer to cover open areas. Bump cover and rip free. At the lowest tides, use 1/4-ounce Manns Classic with gold blades in all but the clearest water. For clear water, use a nickel blade and double willow with firetiger skirts. Higher tides 3/8-ounce is easier to work deeper. No spinnerbait bite, go to crankbaits like Manns Baby 1-Minus, at lower tides work short casts around cover and grass clumps. Vary your retrieve. Here, you need a 7-foot medium action graphite rod with backbone to rip free from grass.

Fish pad edges and punch through grass mat canopies, especially on sunny days. Get reaction strikes with 1 to 1.25 ounce Round Valley Tungsten weights. A bobber stopper from Janns Netcraft will keep weights fixed to Manns HardNose Flippin Craws. A 3/0 Mustad Mega Bite hook and GAMMA TORQUE braid 60 pound test braided line with a flipping stick along with a strong Quantum reel will get big ones out!

Otherwise, you have to create commotion to get them to come up. Manns hollow soft Super Frog is perfect for this. I replace the rubber skirt with rabbit fur from Janns Netcraft and a drop of Pros Soft Bait Glue! Drop in 2 round glass rattles! Buzzbaits with stinger hooks work well over grass and wood. TORQUE helps hook-sets! I also like Manns HardNose Swim Toad in white, black green pumpkin, and watermelon, depending on water clarity and chop. The Mustad Swim Bait hooks work very well for these toads! The bayonet keeper and 60-degree bend make it a perfect fit! The HardNose keeps baits in place, even in the heaviest grass! They also work in the middle of the day! Spool 60-pound GAMMA TORQUE not only for no stretch on long casts and strength, but also the bigger diameter makes it easier for casting gear.

Swimbaits are great in fairly clear water and can be fished horizontally and vertically. Pitch into grass clumps or swim over and drop. 16-pound test GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon line is best! Med/Heavy rod for good hooksets. Im also using the Mustad weighted swimbait hooks. The 7/0 with 1/4 oz built-in adjustable weight hold very well in a Manns HardNose swimbait&white/blue back. The weight is movable to get the correct balance with any bait and allows you to cover more depths and speeds.

The most unique and effective chatter jig is one I build with a spinner below creates a thump and scatter movement! Thread a HardNose soft JerkShad trailer and this is a big fish bait! Swim or skim white or green pumpkin Stone jigs with white or white/chartreuse trailer. Manns Stone Jigs pointed head comes through grass better and its bait keeper keeps trailers on and straight and secure with a dab of Pros Soft Bait Glue. Swim 5.5-inch Mizmo tubes Texas rigged with a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point Swimbait hook&again the bayonet keeper allows this bait to swim! I stuff a piece of plastic worm into the bait to provide a better grip for the bayonet. Swim baits and rip free from grass and drop into grass holes. Watch for the bite on the fall.

Soaking Mizmo tubes in garlic Jacks Juice that penetrates plastic eliminates re-applying. I have been using the green-pumpkin/orange
(RIVER CRAW) Mizmo 4-inch tubes. In stained water, darker colors are best. In heaviest cover Texas rig 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hooks with 1/8 or 3/16 BULLSHOT. Punisher Rattles can be attached to plastic chunks for jigs or a rattle that wont come off Mizmo tubes! (www.punisherjigs.com)."

Water Temperature: 83 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Jul 28, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Bass fishing is spotty at best. On days when weather and tide conditions are ideal, fishing can be good. An early morning top water bite can last several hours if there is a good cloud cover or a light drizzle. Our second best bait under these conditions has been a small, hard jerk bait worked over grasses or along the edge of grass. When conditions are lest than ideal, cool nights and a high blue sky, fishing can be challenging. We recommend staying in an area that you find bass in and work it over with numerous bait combinations. Moving to other locations may just result in a boat ride. The snake head bite is fair in the shallow waters in the creeks. They like a top water popper or a Manns Baby 1 Minus. Some yellow perch are active in the grasses and may get to the popper or jerk bait before a bass does."

Water Temperature: 81 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


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