Potomac River Fishing Reports

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Reports from the past 60 days:


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

"The bass bite has remained fairly steady. We have had our best luck by targeting sharp dropping rock and gravel banks out of the direct current and near water at least ten feet deep. A Manns Sting Ray grub in avocado color and rigged on a ¼ ounce ball jig with the hook exposed is our preferred bait. We coat the grubs with a crawfish scent Smelly Jelly fish attractant. Silver Buddy baits and ½ ounce Crippled herring spoons will also attract fish. The fishing pressure is heavy on the crappie which can be found around boat docks and marinas as well as bridge pilings. Standard artificial crappie baits will catch them but patience may be required. Traditionalist using live bait are also catching crappie as well as some small yellow perch."

Water Temperature: 41 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


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

"Bass fishing has ranged from fair to very good. We have been targeting rocky shorelines and points in creeks and along main river areas. Wood along these areas is also holding bass. Our better baits have been the Manns Sting Ray grub, a wacky rigged stick worm using a light weigh and a small deep diving crank bait. Some of the popular crappie spots around marinas and bridge pilings are seeing a lot of pressure and as a result catch rates have dropped dramatically. Look for some isolated spots away from the crowds and try small crappie jigs or small action tail grubs. A swimming retrieve has been most productive for us. Large bluegills and some yellow perch are in the same areas and strike the crappie baits. We us a Smelly Jelly fish attractant on all of our soft plastic baits."

Water Temperature: 53 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Nov 05, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Water temperatures have dropped into the low 50s and we are finding more bass on hard cover than grass. Rocky points and banks with wood cover are producing good numbers of bass when fished with grubs and tubes. Our favorite grub is the Manns Sting Ray in avocado green color, rigged on a ¼ ounce ball head jig with exposed hook. A dark green color tube rigged Texas style is what we fish around the wood with. Coat both with a Smelly Jelly fish attractant. Juvenile stripers can be caught around bridge pilings with grubs also. Crappie can be found in marinas and around bridge pilings but the bite seems tide specific. Small tubes or small action tail grubs as well as minnows will catch them."

Water Temperature: 51 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


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

"NOVEMBER 2014

Massive hydrilla and milfoil grass on the Potomac are going, going, gone! Target hard cover and drop-offs. Look for rock, wood and docks! Fish are moving and eating! Reaction baits get the job done&take note of speed. Search baits like squarebill cranks, lipless crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits with cloud cover or chop on the water can locate grass and fish. Early November fishes entirely differently than the end. Transition from late fall into early winter takes place.

Blue Plains is a great fishery&but crowded. Carolina rigs, split shot and drop shots are good choices. Downsize line to 6-10 clear, low-stretch line on spinning gear like GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon. For deeper applications, South Point & Spoils are great Carolina rig spots. Theres some topwater activity, but you must exercise patience. Fish will either be on the edge of the drop or in ditches or channels. Clear water areas around Blue Plains and Four Mile Run are great locations for jerkbaits like Lucky Crafts Pointer 100. In very clear water, go to the Pointer 78. This is a light line 10-pound test Edge fluorocarbon line presentation on a medium action graphite rod. Let baits sit for varying lengths of time; fish tell you what pause they want. Try gold and firetiger patterns. Clearer water, more movement.

Spinnerbaits, like a 1/4-ounce Manns Classic with Indiana/Colorado gold blades, work around wood, especially when water is a bit stained. For deeper applications when water cools to 50 degrees, slow roll a 3/8-ounce willow/Colorado across cover near drops.

Cranking is the best pattern for the Spoils, Smoots, Fox Ferry and other deep-water access spots. Target shallow fish first, with Manns Baby 1-Minus. Medium bodied crankbaits like Manns C-4, Baby X and tight wiggle Loudmouth I and II work in firetiger and chartreuse with brown back patterns. Bigger-body baits are best in stained and/or colder water. Try Manns 15+ for deeper cover and edges. Use 12-pound test GAMMA COPOLY on a 7-foot medium action graphite rod making long casts. Change belly hooks to Mustad Ultra Point RED hook Trebles.

Along grass edges and tops, try lipless crankbaits like the 1/2-ounce size Lucky Craft LVR D-7 in shad colors for fairly clear water, or gold and craw colors in stained water. Shallower, go to smaller ¼ ounce size LV-100. Make long casts on 7-foot medium action KVD Quantum cranking rods with 12-pound test GAMMA fluorocarbon to find scattered grass. Good treble hooks are a must for long casts! Mustad Ultra Point KVD Short Shank Triple Grip Treble hooks are not only very sharp and angled making it harder for fish to throw, but short shanks allow you to move up a size.

For Carolina rigs, use 17-pound test GAMMA EDGE fluorocarbon for main line, 12-pound test GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon for leader. Mustad Mega Bite hooks on Manns HardNose green pumpkin lizards with 3/4-ounce Round Valley Tungsten weights locate cover and bottom composition, especially down steeper drops. Shallower and lighter split shot rigs work on 10 or even 8-pound test GAMMA COPOLY with 3/16 or 1/4-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot bulletshaped split shots that come through cover. Stickworms like 5-inch Manns HardNose Freefall work well when rigged on a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite hook. Slowly drag and stop! Hit cover? Leave there!

Drop shot rigs can be fished deep or shallow. When you contact cover with a c-rig or crankbait, try dropshots with leaders 8 inches or less and 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin BULLSHOT weights. Using the weight on your drop shot, feel your way to drops&or grass edges, leave in these locations as long as you can. Rig Manns Stingray grubs on 1/0 Mustad Mega Bite hooks or 3/0 with a 5-inch Manns HardNose Finesse worm. Pitch around docks! Soaking baits in Jacks Juice penetrates plastic giving you an edge.

Warming clear, calm, and low water, smaller top water baits like the Lucky Craft G-Splash-65 in natural colors with a pop and stop retrieve works. Note activity under baits; small swirls indicate a bass coming up to take a look. Dont pop the bait. Pull to activate feathers. Its very important to have good feathered-trebles. Mustad makes a great one with Ultra Point trebles also in RED hooks. Blue Plains will be fishable on top into December. Stable water temperatures above 50+ degrees on sunny days near rock, wood, or grass will produce topwater strikes. Throw popping baits on 10 pound line. Clearer water, longer casts. Use a 7-foot medium heavy rod&moderate fast tip. Dont count on this to put a lot of fish in the boat&its just more fun. Try the last hour of a warm day!

Tube fishing is strong, fished deep or shallow, depending on water temperature and clarity. In most cases green-pumpkin/copper, green pumpkin orange, and blue craw colored MIZMO tubes on tube heads make this rig the best bottom bait. In stained water, darker colors are best. For heaviest cover, Texas rig a 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point Tube hook with a 3/16 or ¼ ounce BULLSHOT. Punisher Rattles can be attached to the insert tube head for a rattle that wont come off Mizmo tubes or plastic jig chunks! (www.punisherjigs.com) Swimming or pitching bulkier baits like 3/4 ounce Stone Jigs in black/blue, or green pumpkin with a matching Manns HardNose Flippin Craw are good choices depending on water clarity, near grass clumps, especially on sunny days.

Shorter days, the sun coming in at a lower angle, I switch to gray polarized sunglasses, from Maui Jim, offering 3 different layers of polarization. Theyre still great for picking out cover, but really cut low angle fall and winter glare. I wear them for eye protection this time of the year. I recommend the Maui Jims (www.mauijim.com).

When cold fronts come through, one of the best baits is Manns Stingray 3 grub in avocado on a 1/4 ounce round jig head on 8 pound test GAMMA COPOLY line on spinning gear. Drag slowly over drops from 2-5 feet and deeper, depending on how big the weather change is. Shaky head fishing with light line just about anywhere with 5-inch Manns HardNose Finesse Worms on a ¼ ounce head will get bites when all else fails."

Water Temperature: 56 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Oct 27, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Temperatures have dropped into the upper 50s and the crawfish bite has slowed a little, especially in the mornings. Wait until the afternoon sun has warmed the waters on the grass flats into the low 60 degree mark and try then. Rocks and hard cover are becoming more prominent in the cooling waters where both shallow and deep running crank baits will contact bass. Along clean gravel or rock ledges we prefer the Manns Sting Ray grub coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant. This bait will catch multi species along with bass. It is also a good crappie locator. The crappie are grouping at the outer edges of trees as well as around various bridge pilings and marina docks. Standard crappie tubes rigged on 1/16 or 1/8 ounce jig heads will cvollect them."

Water Temperature: 59 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Oct 13, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Water temperatures are hovering in the mid 60s and the bass are taking advantage of the availability of crawfish. Grasses and marsh banks in the creeks continue to produce bass that are feeding on crawfish. A brownish color top water popper or grass frog is a good way to start the day. Follow up along grass edges with a crank bait in craw fish colors and then a swim jig or chatter bait. A rare snakehead may strike a white buzz frog. Large yellow perch can be found in grass beds in the creeks and will take the same baits as the bass. In the deeper grass free holes in some of the creeks, schools of white perch have taken up residence. A ½ ounce Crippled Herring spoon coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant and jigged vertically under the boat will catch them, along with a few catfish and an occasional large carp."

Water Temperature: 65 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Oct 06, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"The creeks and marshes are full of crawfish and the bass as well as birds are feeding heavily on them. Look for terns diving over grass mats or sitting on marsh banks eating crawfish. We have observed crows and kingfishers feeding on the crawfish population also. Early morning bass still like a slowly worked top water popper. Once the sun is directly on the water we switch to wacky rigged stick worms in dark colors or a swim jig. Small shallow running crank baits like a Norman Baby N will draw strike also. Brown colors work well. We have caught bass up to five pounds working these crawfish laden areas. Large yellow perch are in the same areas taking advantage of the crawfish abundance. Some keeper size rockfish have discovered this crawfish bounty and are taking advantage of it while it last."

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


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Oct 01, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"OCTOBER 2014

Cooler temperatures are on the way. We should see a water temperature drop by months end to around 65, opening the tacklebox for most moving baits and topwaters. Buzzbaits, poppers, walkers, and wakers! Note, water warms in midday toward the evening providing a good topwater bite twice a day! Speed is key&Slower presentations in cooler mornings. Speed up as water warms to 70. Fish crowd available hard cover like docks and laydowns in shallow water as scattered grass in Broad, Swan, Piscataway, is breaking up. To see fish-holding cover, try HT lenses like Maui Jim PolarizedPlus ideal for low light to full sun conditions. The Wilson Bridge barges and pilings are great. Target structure like drops and edges around the Spoils, and Smoots (National Harbor).

Topwater action is great early under low light or in the evening. Start with a continuous pop, pop, pop of a Lucky Craft G-Splash, throw in pauses, and smaller twitches. During colder conditions, wait 10 seconds between pops. Watch baits carefully to note bass movement under your bait. A pull is better than a pop! Feathered hooks give you a second chance if fish blow up and miss. Replace with MUSTAD feathered Ultra Point trebles &also in RED!! Just reel to make feathers move slightly! Fish sometimes strike several times before they take baits. For rods, use a medium 6 foot 6 inch or even 7-foot rod to gain distance and leverage. Cooler water, try walking a Lucky Craft Gunfish. Wake baits like Manns WAKER are great fished at various speeds. Use a med/heavy rod with 30-pound test GAMMA Torque braid for best results in clear water over grass.

Buzzbaits with clackers, like Daves Tournament Tackle builds, draw strikes from quality bass in cover over grass clumps as tides fall, and after water warms through the day. Use a freely swinging trailer hooks like 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point. Manns HARDNOSE Swim Toad on a 5/0 Mustad Ultra Point swimbait hook is great over and around cover. The hard nose keeps the bait in place even in thick grass.

Cover depths with Carolina rigs with HardNose lizards on points or grass edges near deep water. Use a 3/4-ounce weight, Mustad Ultra Point Mega Bite hooks, and an 18-inch leader&sometimes shorter. Move baits with rod, dragging slowly, stopping to let baits cover drops. Bump cover, stop and let sit a few seconds. When you get a bite, sweep set. For the tough bite, try splitshotting smaller baits, lighter weights, line and tackle.

Target grass remnants with lipless crankbaits like Lucky Crafts LVR D-7 in shad patterns and firetiger in stained water. Because lipless crankbaits are notorious for big bass to throw, upgrade to Mustad Ultra Point KVD Triple Grip short shank trebles&go up a size. Cover water on long casts with a 7-foot medium action KVD Quantum composite with 12-pound test GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon line to rip baits free from grass.

Burning Manns Classic spinnerbaits, willow/Colorado combination and a white skirt, near cover produces hard strikes. When water warms, try double willow, faster retrieves. For clear water, use silver blades, gold for stained and a combo for in between. Bump cover and rip free from grass. At higher tides, its easier to work a 3/8-ounce and larger bait down to the grass.

As tides fall, work edges, clumps or isolated pieces of cover including docks with Mizmo Arkansas Craw and green pumpkin candy tubes soaked in garlic flavor Jacks Juice Texas rigged on Mustad 3/0 Ultra Point Tube hooks with 3/16 weights. In stained water, use black/blue with blue pepper tails or the new jig tube colors! Use Mizmo tubes with tube heads around bridge pilings and docks deeper than 5 feet on 10 pound test GAMMA Copoly, on spinning gear. With cooler temperatures following cold fronts, hop smaller profile baits like Manns avocado Stingray grub on 8-10 pound test GAMMA Copoly rigged on a 1/4-ounce head in ditches and in front of pads.

For drop shots use Manns 5-inch HardNose Finesse Worms on 3/0 Mustad wide gap Mega Bite hooks with 8-inch leaders. A 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot weight is perfect in current on 10-pound test Copoly line. It has less resistance and sinks better, so I dont have to add heavier weight to keep it down in current. Make short pitches to pilings along sides and leave on slightly slack line. Shake as needed. Feel pressure; set the hook with a reel and pull.

Get to the bottom fast with heavier 1/2 or 3/4 ounce Black/Blue Manns Stone Jigs with Mizmos new Shredder Chunk with tube tails in bright blue. Metal rattles from Punisher Jigs, the loudest attachable rattle, inserted into chunks will not come off! Pitch to cover, occasionally shaking to attract a bass. Watch line for bites! Higher tides and sun are better for dock fishing. As tides fall, move to deeper pilings. At lower tides, fish are moving to scattered grass in deeper water. Search baits like Manns Baby 1-Minus and spinnerbaits are working in these spots. Remember; slow presentations in stained water! More speed in clearer water. Swim Stone jigs around grass, wood cover and docks!

Crank South Point, Smoots, Spoils, Fox Ferry, Hogg Island, Fort Washington, barges in Broad, around barges near the Wilson Bridge, pilings, and all hard cover. Cover different depths: Manns Baby X and for deeper spots Manns 15+ with a wide wobble on 12-pound test GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon. Sharp hooks are a must! Treble hooks are big in numbers, not big in bite, not holding in much of the fish. Line stretch and rod flexibility make it easier for fish to take baits and provide give needed to land fish hooked on trebles.

Captain Steve Chaconas"

Water Temperature: 70 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Sep 29, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Water temperatures are cooler but patterns havent changed. Poppers around grasses and grass frogs over the grass mats will draw strikes for several hours in the morning. Afterwards, try pitching wacky rigged stick worms or creature baits into openings in the grass. Berkley power hawgs caught good bass when fished in head waters of creeks. Square bill crank baits and grubs caught bass from rocks. Crappie are starting to gather around boat docks and they like the standard artificial crappie tube coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant."

Water Temperature: 69 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Sep 22, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Start the morning off over and around grasses with a top water popper. Once the sun gets high on the water the bite slows dramatically. The bass are on a strong craw fish feed but seem reluctant to take plastic craw fish imitators. They will hesitantly respond to a very slowly fished wacky rigged stick worm fished in marsh runs, grass lined feeder streams and in the head waters of grass filled creeks. If the grass isnt producing, try small crank baits on rocks and wrecks as well as isolated wood cover. Finesse worms fished along drops in front of pad fields may turn a bass or two."

Water Temperature: 69 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


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