Potomac River Fishing Reports

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Reports from the past 60 days:


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Apr 14, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Water temperatures in creeks have reached the upper 60s and bass are busting out all over. Weve been enjoying good catches by fishing shallow bays at the mouths of creeks with finesse worms rigged Texas style with sinkers as light as 1/16 of an ounce. The bass are in very shallow water and many are located around wood lying near banks. Marsh banks in the creeks are holding bass that will take a hard or soft jerk bait slowly work close to the shoreline. A Manns Baby 1 Minus or a white ¼ ounce spinner bait buzzed just under the surface also draws strikes. Creek ledges, especially those with new growth spatterdock growing near the drop, have plenty of bass that like a wacky rigged stick worm or a June bug color plastic worm. Blue gill and crappie are occupying shallow areas in the creeks and they will attack a small crappie tube fished under a bobber or a small action tail grub steadily retrieved."

Water Temperature: 68 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Apr 07, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Water surface temperatures went into the upper 50s for the first time this year and the bass responded according. Bass were active on a number of patterns. Shallow bays in the creeks were really productive when fished with finesse worms rigged Texas style with 1/8 oz sinkers. We fished these baits tight against the banks. A Manns Baby-1 Minus crank bait was a good secondary bait as were small, white, spinner baits or chatter baits worked just under the surface. Creek ledges had bass on the shallow parts of the ledge that took worms or grubs as well as small crank baits like a Norman Baby N.
Main river rocky points and gravel banks have bass that will take lipless rattle baits bumped across the bottom. Pick your favorite color, they all seem to work.
More crappie have moved into creek bays in one to three feet of water. Traditionalist use bull minnows suspended about a foot to 18 inches under a bobber but we find a 1/32 ounce crappie tube, coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant and suspended under a bobber works as well if not better. A straggler yellow perch may occupy the same area and succumb to the crappie tube."

Water Temperature: 57 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Apr 01, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Heavy weekend rains have left many of the creeks muddy or stained. The main river isnt affected as much but conditions should reverse themselves as the creeks empty. Bass continue to play hide and seek but water temperatures are rising into the 50s and fishing should improve. Our better baits continue to be grubs and tubes as well as plastic worms and jig in craws in dark colors. Rocky banks near the main river as well as main river points produce some bass. A lipless crank bait worked in a hop and drop manner also will draw a few strikes.
The crappie bite fluctuates day to day and tide to tide. We have been doing best in bays with depths of three to six feet. A small crappie tube suspended beneath a bobber has been best for us. An occasional straggler yellow perch attacks the crappie baits also."

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


This report was submitted by National Bass Guide Service on Mar 30, 2014
Phone: 7033807119
Email: info@nationalbass.com

"APRIL 2013
One of the best months for big Potomac bass! Fish move up, staging near spawning flats, creek mouths, backs of coves, out-of-the-current areas! Start slow, then speed up! Moving baits cover water, but once you find whats holding them, slow with plastic and jig presentations. Dock fishing is starting! Longer days, warmer temperatures make it easier to catch shallow fish. Look for Milfoil and Eel grasses emerging on main river areas above and below the Wilson Bridge, the mouths of Swan, Broad and Piscataway creeks and Washington Channel along Fort McNair&keys to finding and catching bass. Hard cover, like rip rap, docks, laydowns and barges are places to find bass. Woodrow Wilson bridge pilings provide cover at varying depths. Fish bite nearly every bait, depending on water temperature and clarity.

Wind, rain, fronts, have a huge impact. Water clarity dictates speed, bait and color choice. Warmest water comes later in the day. Slow in cooler mornings, and faster as the day warms&plastics in the morning, moving baits in the afternoon. Seek warm, clear water. Blue Plains temperatures are in mid 60s! Dock below Blue Plains is better on outgoing tides. On sunny days, fish hold tight. On cloudy days, cover areas around docks. Catch them deeper with drop shot and Sting Ray grubs, but open up the tackle box with crankbaits and spinnerbaits&lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits.

This is time to get big bass on suspending jerkbaits in water 45-55 degrees. Aurora Gold, and Baby Bass Lucky Craft Pointer 78s are a good size, and cast well into the wind! Two keys: length of pause and how hard you either jerk or tap the bait. Fish will tell you what they want. Clearest water, try American Shad, Clown and other fish-like colors. Another good Lucky Craft bait for cold water, the Bevy Shad, has a very tight wiggle and glances off cover very well, also suspending. Try same colors, cranking to cover and stop&twitch gently for shallow fish on cover near drops! Add a Mustad Ultra Point red treble on the belly.

Manns 3-inch Stingray avocado colored bait on a 1/4-ounce R&R Custom Baits round jig head with a Mustad Ultra Point hook is appetizing to lethargic early spring bass. Soak in garlic flavored Jacks Juice to keep fish holding on longer! Let it go to the bottom, slowly lifting. The bite feels like weight, set the hook. Cast green pumpkin, blue craw or river craw Mizmo tubes with R&R Custom Baits 1/4-ounce weedless tube heads, using a similar presentation as the grub, for a gliding action. Try Mizmo jig tubes in Arkansas Craw and Blue Screamer.

Drop shot cover or at Blue Plains. The drop shot weight feels drops or cover. Keep leaders about 8 inches with a 3/16-1/4 ounce BULLSHOT bullet shaped split shot weight. Try Manns 5 HardNose Finesse worm, shaky head style, using the same technique as the drop shot, gently shaking to aggravate fish into biting. Manns harder nose keeps baits on hooks. Softer body produces lifelike action. A good rod for shaky heads and drop shotting enables you to work baits better and set the hook under a load&a rod with about the last quarter or less flexing. Quantums Drop Shot rod is perfect allowing shaking without making baits jump out of cover! Go to light line for plastics and jigs, 6-8 pound test GAMMA Copoly. Split shot rigs cover water with 3/16 or 1/4-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot come through cover. Rig Manns 5-inch green pumpkin HardNose Finesse worms on 2/0 Mustad Ultra Point Ultra Lock Lite Wire hooks. Drag slowly, stopping when contacting cover or moving down drops. Work around Spoils, Smoot Bay and South Point and in Blue Plains. Feel weight? Set the hook! For deeper applications or in wind, beef up with Carolina rigs with Round Valley Tungsten weights for better feel.

Bigger fish are coming on jigs, specifically 3/8 oz. Punisher Hair jigs, a small bulky package with hair that really breathes. Punisher chunks with rattles make this bait a great light-line bait. Try black/blue, green/brown and green orange colors on 8-pound test GAMMA Copoly on spinning gear fishing shallow or deep. (www.punisherjigs.com).

While wind makes fishing difficult, wind-blown banks, flats and cover can be productive until water becomes visibly muddy. Wind pushes food sources against shorelines, causing a feeding frenzy down the food chain activating bass, making it great for slow rolling Manns Classic 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits with gold Colorado/willow blades. Manns Classic round head deflects off cover acting as a keel to right the bait quicker. For light bites, try a fast action 7med/heavy graphite rod; otherwise a medium heavy rod. At low tides around heavy cover, Manns Baby 1-Minus is perfect.

Lipless crankbaits find fish and emerging grass once water hits 55 degrees. Grass in April is a gold mine. Thinner and taller Lucky Craft LVR D-7s can be fished through grass. To go slower and deeper, try the heavier LV-500 or the new RTO 250. When ripped from grass, they drop in a more controlled fashion, triggering strikes. Other lipless baits roll over, catching line, taking a few turns to get back on track. Use a medium action Quantum KVD composite 7-foot rod cranking for casting distance. GAMMA 14-pound test fluorocarbon is perfect for ripping free from grass or hook sets on long casts. Set the hook when the rod is loaded. Red colors are best when bumping bottom, shad patterns are better when ticking tops of grass, gold in stained water. Hooks are typically a problem for most lipless crankbaits, so upgrade to quality hooks like the NEW KVD short shank Ultra Point Triple Grip trebles from Mustad. Theyre angled, very difficult for bass to throw, especially fish hooked on longer casts. The short shank allows you to replace factory hooks with the next size up!"

Water Temperature: 46 degrees; Water clarity: 2 feet plus


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Mar 25, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Weekly cold fronts and constantly fluctuating water temperatures create challenges for bass anglers. With April less than a week away water temperatures are still in the 40s and most bass are sluggish. The air temperatures at the beginning of the week were cold enough to cause rod guides to ice up but fishing is showing signs of improving. We caught bass by concentrating our efforts along creek channels where our electronics showed groups of bait fish. Manns grubs coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant and fished directly under the boat in a slow jigging action produced bass up to three pounds. Nine to ten feet seemed to be the preferred depth.
Crappie were in the same area hitting the same baits.
A delayed yellow perch run appears to be taking place in the creeks above the Route 301 Bridge with some jumbo perch finally making an appearance in numbers. They were attracted to the grubs also."

Water Temperature: 44 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Mar 12, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"With weekly changes in weather patterns and constantly changing water temperatures fishing can be a guessing game. The bass fishing is still not up to seasonal expectations with success varying from day to day. The Manns Sting Ray grub is still our most productive bait rigged on a ¼ ounce ball head jig and coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant. Fish this bait around quick dropping creek banks as well as rocky points and drops. A red plastic rib worm will draw strikes from wood cover where the grub cannot be fished. Multi colored crank baits worked slowly in contact with the bottom will also draw strikes. The white perch fishing declines with each passing cold front but worms are still a good choice. This years yellow perch fishing has been disappointing and the crappie fishing has been very sporadic."

Water Temperature: 46 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


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

"MARCH 2014
This month brings the widest swing&early it fishes like late winter. By months end, its early spring! Its transition time. Fish are moving. After last years grass die-off, it might make it tougher to find grass beginning to green up, so look for hard cover, drops, points and inside creek bends in creek mouths and river points! Fish stage in creek mouths like Swan, Piscataway, Broad, Dogue and Little Hunting before going to spawning areas. Bryans Cove across from Mount Vernon is a good early spring spot. Areas warmed by sun will be best! Better close to deep water. Spoils, Smoot Bay, Blue Plains and other DC areas are heating up as fish move to the upper edges of drops! Water temperature is critical. Into low 40s, find fish on steep drops near banks and deep water. Into mid 40s fish flats near drops. Temperatures around 50, fish are still near drops, but venture further onto flats becoming candidates for aggressive baits. Open the tackle box!

Blue Plains water is near 60! Fish with split shots, Carolina rigs and Drop shots. Jerkbaits like Lucky Crafts Pointer 78 or the Bevy Shad paused briefly to find the right cadence! Use the suspending Lucky Craft baits where you find CLEAR water! In the same areas, use Manns Classic 1/4-ounce double willow nickel blade spinnerbait with white/chartreuse skirts to pick off aggressive fish. In deeper water, jigs produce. Slower presentations with Punisher hair jigs in brown/orange, green/ orange, and black/blue with matching plastic chunks and rattles on 8-pound test Gamma Copoly land nice fish. Let Blue Plains current move baits. Try warm water discharge in Four Mile Run too!

With colder temperatures, 38-42, fish will be depth-oriented on steep drops 8-15 feet deep! Theres a hole in front of Spoils over 20 feet deep. Locate the ditch running outside the Spoils to the Bridge, perfect Silver Buddy vertically jigged or worked down drops. Use 1/2 or 1/4 ounce baits&12-pound test when water is this cold, allowing baits to vibrate with very little movement. Silver: sunny days or fairly clear water. Gold: cloudy days or slightly stained water. Feel a tick on the drop? Set the hook! Be ready if you feel pressure or weight. Dont overwork! I really like a medium/heavy fast tipped 7 Quantum rod.

Once water gets to 45 and stabilizes, toss Pointers to 6-foot depths. Keep them deep and slow and in clearest water possible. Outside the Spoils use the Blue Plains outflow and sun soaked cover and banks to warm your spot. A few degrees change the mood of fish, adjust your in depth and speed. Tight wiggle baits like Lucky Crafts Bevy Shad cast well into the wind and suspend. Let sit to entice strikes. Try Black gold, mat pumpkin, and chartreuse blue. Fish arent hitting any bait very hard, so very sharp crankbait hooks become more critical. Upgrade with new KVD Elite short shank Mustad Ultra Point trebles. These are a great replacement hook with an angled point.

For spinnerbaits, wait for water to stabilize at 45 degrees. Fish are on flats near drops. Keeping your rod tip low, slowly retrieve 3/8-ounce willow/Colorado gold blade Manns Classics, maintaining bottom contact. The Classics thin wire generates a lot of vibration. The round head deflects off cover providing a keel to right the bait after contact. For light bites, try a medium/heavy fast graphite rod; otherwise use a medium heavy. Look for strikes as baits near drops. Slower retrieve reels (5.3:1) help.

Plastics bites are light. BE PATIENT! Fish light line very slowly, stopping frequently. Attractants like Jacks Juice encourage fish to hold on! A quick spray of Jacks Juice into plastics bag soaks in. Stick with Manns 3-inch avocado Stingray grubs, Mizmo 4 inch tubes in green pumpkin colors, and 5-inch Manns HardNose Finesse worms. Lifting the rod you might feel weight, so keep the rod tip a bit lower to set the hook, just reel and lift. The R&R CUSTOM Baits ¼ ounce round jig head and the ¼ ounce tube head have open Mustad Ultra Point hooks making it easier to get hooks into sluggish fish! On 6 or 8-pound test GAMMA Copoly on spinning gear, work very slowly on the bottom stopping often. Fish arent moving a long way to eat. Rather than hopping, lift, let glide and stop with a shake every once in a while. Sitting Mizmos tantalize fish into striking when barely moved. Shaky heads are also effective.

Drop shot all depths using 6-8 pound test with leaders about 8 inches or less and 3/16-ounce BULLSHOT bullet shaped split shot weights. Rig Stingray grubs on 2/0 Mustad Ultra Lock Lite Wire hooks with 5-inch Manns HardNose Finesse worms. Settle on bottom, gently shake. Feel cover with weights? Leave to aggravate fish into strikes, feeling like a rubber band.

In warmer water split shot and Carolina Rigs cover water, producing good catches. GAMMA braid and Round Valley tungsten weights increase feel with GAMMA EDGE Fluorocarbon 10-12 pound test leaders. Manns HardNose (these really stay in place!) lizards on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point hooks work well. Darker colors in deeper or stained water. Heavier weights with Carolina rigs, up to 1 ounce. For lighter split-shot applications in shallower water, 3/16 BULLSHOT weights come through cover. Compact, Punisher hair jigs breathe, generating strikes while sitting in cold water! Two colors...black/blue, and olive/orange. Light line and Punisher Chunks with rattles work very well moving very slowly, sitting for a while. Check out at www.punisherjigs.com.

Later in March, as water stays above 45 degrees, slowly retrieve lipless crankbaits in red patterns covering flats near deep water, looking for grass. Lucky Crafts LV-500 runs deeper and has a lot of vibration. Mustad Ultra Point Triple Grip trebles make it easier to keep fish on. Crawfish are coming alive and fish are eating and moving at months end!

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: 39 degrees; Water clarity: 1-2 feet


This report was submitted by Reel Bass Adventures on Feb 25, 2014
Phone: 3019321509
Email: rbaandy@aol.com

"Warmer waters have fish stirring and several opportunities exist for anglers. Bass are receptive to a Manns Sting Ray grub, avocado green, coated with Smelly Jelly fish attractant and fished along creek ledges that drop into waters at least seven feet deep. Some bass can be located along main river rocky areas where the grub, jig and craw or a slowly retrieved lipless crank bait will work. Crank bait colors include fire tiger or orange craw.
Excellent white perch fishing has started in the creeks where jumbo white perch can be caught on night crawlers fished in eight to twelve feet of water. Yellow perch is starting slow with some being located in he deeper holes in the creeks. Artificial baits include crappie tubes in chartreuse colors as well as slider grubs. Grass shrimp or bull minnows can be more productive."

Water Temperature: 47 degrees; Water clarity: 6 inches - 1 foot


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